How to Write a Professional Resignation Letter [With Samples]

Learn best practices for how to write a professional resignation letter, see resignation letter samples and examples.
9/19/2019 By Jofibo Team 5 min reading time
How to Write a Professional Resignation Letter [With Samples]

So, it’s time for you to move on with your career?

Quitting a job is a big decision and should be handled with care.

The most important part to remember is not to burn your bridges - not even if you hope to never see any of your soon-to-be former colleagues again. A great letter of resignation can help you there. 

In this article we will show you: 

  • What is a letter of resignation? 
  • Best practices for how to write a letter of resignation
  • Resignation letter templates
  • Resignation letter samples

What is a letter of resignation? 

Formally speaking, a letter of resignation is a way of expressing your intention of leaving your current job. The document formalizes your decision to leave the company while conveying your reasons to do so. If you succeed in writing a good resignation letter, it might even smooth out the process of leaving. 

Of course the first step you must take is to have a one-on-one conversation with your boss to let him or her know that you are planning to resign.

The resignation letter is the formal follow up on this conversation. Note that it will most likely become part of your employee file which is one of the reasons why it’s important to leave with a good impression. 

Best practices for how to write a letter of resignation

Writing a resignation letter can be a daunting task for some. That’s why we decided to  collect a whole bunch of best practices for how to write a resignation letter right here. Read on to learn more about what to include in your letter, when you should submit it and how. 

When should you write a letter of resignation? 

When you resign from your job, there are certain resignation etiquettes that you need to follow in order to leave things as smoothly as possible. One of those etiquettes is the time you need to give your boss to prepare for your departure. 

The standard practice for sending in your resignation letter is two weeks before you stop.

This will provide your boss with sufficient time to find your replacement. It will also ensure that you’ll be able to hand over your assignments to a new person or to one of your colleagues.

You can choose to hand in your resignation letter earlier, but do avoid sending it later than two weeks before. However, if your employment contract states how much notice you should give you should obviously follow that instead. 

Keep in mind that your employer is not obligated to accept your two weeks notice. Some employers will want you to stop right away so be prepared for that. 

How should you submit your resignation letter? 

There is really only two ways of submitting your resignation letter: in person in the shape of a physical letter or by email.

What’s most appropriate for you will depend on various factors. One isn’t better than the other. If you have a paperless culture, an email might be the appropriate choice. 

However, regardless of how you decide to send your resignation letter, make sure you’ve talked to your boss in person before. It may seem uncomfortable but in the long run it’s the best way to go about it. 

A graceful resignation includes these steps: 

  • Have a conversation with your boss
  • Hand in your letter of resignation
  • Be helpful in any way to make the transition easier

Resignation letter template - what should you include in your resignation letter? 

A resignation letter is much like any other business letter. It consists of a letterhead, 3-4 paragraphs concerning your resignation, and a signature. 

Here’s what you should include in your letter of resignation: 

Letterhead

Begin your resignation letter by stating your name, your job title, and all other relevant information. This might seem redundant, especially if you’re working in a small company, but since the letter will become part of your employee file it’s still important. Include information such as: 

  • Your name
  • Current job title
  • Current organization
  • Address
  • City, state, zip code
  • Your email address
  • Today’s date

Paragraph 1

Take some time to reflect on the work you’ve done for your workplace.

Tell your soon-to-be former employee what you’ve learned, what you’ve appreciated the most, or maybe who has had a special impact on your time there. It’s important to keep this paragraph as positive as possible since leaving your workplace on a positive note will make the transition more smooth. 

You could consider adding your next place of work as well. There are cases where this is appropriate as well as cases where it is not wise. For instance it is very appropriate to let your former employee know if you’re switching industries to pursue a passion of yours or if you’re perhaps going back to school. However, it may not be appropriate to include this information if you’re moving over to the competition. 

Paragraph 2

Next up we recommend that you offer your help in making the transition as smooth as possible. You could for instance write something like this: “I am of course offering to help as much as possible in the transition of my work assignments to my replacement. I will also make sure all my reports are up to date and ready to be handed over.” 

Your former employer is sure to be impressed if you can pull of being very specific in this part. 

Paragraph 3

If it’s applicable to you, you can choose to use the next paragraph to outline your main tasks and unfinished projects.

This will be extremely helpful to your former employer and will make the transition easier. However, this part is optional so you should only add it if it makes sense to do so.

Paragraph 4

In the last paragraph before your signature you can choose to add your personal contact information such as email or phone number. However, this is completely optional and you should only add them if you want to stay in touch with your employer or use him or her as a resource. You’ll be the best judge in knowing if it is a good addition or not. 

Signature

Lastly is your signature. If you hand it in on paper you should sign it in hand and include your typed name. If you’re handing it in via email, it should be sufficient to sign with your typed name.

Resignation letter samples

With the resignation letter template above in mind, it’s time to take a closer look at a few sample resignation letters. What all of them have in common is their focus on the pleasant parts of their experiences with the company in question. 

The resignation letter example below here includes helpful and relevant information. It’s brief, sticks to the point, and above all it’s very polite. 

Very polite resignation letter example from a content marketing manager

Text version you can copy: 

Jane Williams
Content Marketing Manager
Company XYZ
145 XYZ Street
Portsmouth, NH, 03801
jwilliams@ggmail.com
August 20, 2019

Dear Mrs. Swanson

I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as Content Marketing Manager for Company XYZ, effective September 3, 2019.

I appreciate the opportunities for professional development that you have provided me over the past two years. I have enjoyed my tenure at Company XYZ, and in particular feel honored to have been apart of such a supportive team.

If I can be of any help during this transition, please let me know. I am available to help train my replacement, and will ensure all my reports are updated before my last day of work.

Thank you again for the opportunity to work at Company XYZ. I wish you all the best and look forward to staying in touch. You can email me at jwilliams@ggmail.com. 

Sincerely,

Jane

 

The resignation letter example here is shorter and less informative. You can have many reasons for keeping your letter as simple and short as this. The key element is, as before, to keep it professional and polite above all. 

Short, simple, and polite resignation letter example from a content marketing manager

Text version you can copy:

Jane Williams
Content Marketing Manager
Company XYZ
145 XYZ Street
Portsmouth, NH, 03801
jwilliams@ggmail.com
August 20, 2019

Dear Mrs. Swanson

Please accept this letter of resignation from my position as Content Marketing Manager at Company XYZ. My last day of employment will be September 3.

It has been a pleasure working with you and the team for the past two years. In particular, I’ve enjoyed tackling extensive copywriting projects as the business has grown. I’m very appreciative for the opportunities to develop my skills in the field, and want to thank you for all your guidance and insight. I wish your company much success.

Please let me know if you need any assistance with the transition.

Sincerely,

Jane

 

And there you go.

Writing a resignation letter is no longer that daunting task but instead a way of creating a smooth transition to the next part of your work life. You may also be interested in reading some of the following articles: 

How to Choose the Best Resume Format (Guide & Examples)

How To Write a Resume for a Job - Ultimate Guide (2019)

How To Write a Successful Cover Letter (Step-by-Step)

Ready to begin your next chapter? 


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