How to write a letter of resignation

Published: 05 Apr 2018

Leaving your job can be nerve-racking. But when the time comes to move on, it’s important to be polite and professional. A good resignation letter can help you bow out in the right way, so that everyone is left with some positive feelings.

Your resignation letter is a formal document that tells your employer your intention to leave your job. Most employers will want one to work out your notice of resignation period – and so that human resources can confirm your leaving date.

It’s also an opportunity to thank your employer for the experience you’ve gained at their company.

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Before you start writing

You should think hard about the following before you start to type.

  1. Consider saving any criticism you may have for a separate letter or, even better, ask for a meeting – then be constructive to help future employees
  2. Give your reason for leaving only if you want to – you don’t have to say why or where you’re going
  3. Deliver your letter to your boss by hand – it’s more professional and friendly than sending an email
  4. Keep it quick and concise, like you would when writing a cover letter.

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Resignation letter format

Here’s an example of a resignation letter format we suggest. Fill in the blanks and it’s good to go.

[Date of submission/When your notice period starts]

 

Dear [Name]

 

Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation from the position of [job title] with [company name]. Based on my notice period, I’ve calculated my final day will be [date of last day].

 

I’ve enjoyed my time at [company name] and I would like to thank you for the many opportunities I’ve been given during my time here. I’m sure that my experience will prove valuable to me in my next role.

 

Yours sincerely

[Full name]

[Signature]

 

Top tips for writing your letter of resignation

As you can see in our resignation letter sample, your letter should be polite, positive and to the point. Here’s how to write one that ticks all those boxes.

 

One final piece of advice

Be helpful during your notice period. Prepare thorough handover notes and offer to train the person picking up your workload.

Discuss priorities with your boss and aim to finish as many of your outstanding tasks as possible. You’re setting off on your next big adventure, so move on with grace and style. Go the extra mile and leave your co-workers smiling.

  • Keep things positive – you’ll probably need a reference from your employer
    • Don’t burn any bridges – you may end up working together again at some point, or with other industry colleagues
    • Say thank you – for opportunities, experiences, training or mentoring. It reflects well on you, will help you to maintain positive long-term relationships, and could even improve your reference
    • Think about adding a personal touch to the letter, but only if you feel it fits with your company’s culture. Perhaps a light-hearted memory or favourite office story? Or talk about a work highlight, like being part of a great team
    • Ask if you can stay in touch through professional networks and offer your contact details to colleagues. Treat each role as an opportunity to build useful industry connections 

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