What is a resignation letter?
A resignation letter is a formal document or email that lets your employer know you plan to leave your position.
Resignation letters typically include 3-4 paragraphs with a timeframe for your departure, your reasons for leaving, and a final thank you to the company and all your coworkers.
Should I write a letter of resignation?
Yes, you should write a letter of resignation if you’re leaving your job.
Not only is writing a resignation letter professional, but it also increases your chances of getting a letter of recommendation from your manager and receiving positive reviews during reference checks.
Professional resignation letter template
Here’s a template for you to use when writing your resignation letter:
Sample resignation letter
And if you’re looking for an example of what a well-written resignation letter looks like, here’s one written by a resigning marketing manager:
Additional resignation letter sample templates
Here are some more specific resignation letter samples that you can use as inspiration when writing your own letter for resignation:
Resignation letter templates: two weeks’ notice
Just need a short, simple resignation letter template? The below sample is a basic two weeks’ notice that you can use for any job. Download and customize any of these templates for free and leave your job on a professional note.
Resignation letter templates: life situation
Whether you’re a recent college graduate or senior executive, personal issues can force you to resign. Writing resignation letters to explain such issues can be hard because of the personal reasons involved — but the resignation letter template below can help.
Resignation letter templates: career-specific
Below is a resignation letter template designed for a teacher. Additionally, we have a variety of other career-specific resignation letters available below. If you don’t see your position listed, you can still download them and alter them to match your industry.
What to include in a resignation letter
To help you draft your resignation letter, here’s a checklist of what to include:
Your name and address – Follow proper business letter formatting and place your name and address in a centered list at the top of the page.
The date – Left-align the date you submit the letter under your address. Listing the date is important because your company’s HR department will use it to officially begin your notice period.
The company address – Use professional business letter formatting to list your company’s address. Put the company name on the first line, followed by the street address, city, and ZIP code.
A proper salutation – Typically, you should address your manager, but if necessary you can address a whole unit, team, department, or company.
If you’re on a first-name basis with your boss, use their first name. Otherwise, use their formal title and last name (for example, “Ms. Chen” or “Dr. Jones”).
Your final workday – Tell your employer the exact date you want to quit. Doing so lets them immediately begin planning their next steps, and it helps you avoid the stress of not knowing when you’ll get to leave.
Your reason for leaving (optional) – Acceptable reasons range from general health concerns and spending more time with family to relocation, retirement, and career changes.
A thank you to your employer – Thank your employer for the opportunity to work with them. Optionally, offer to help with the transition process, or note your desire to keep in touch.
What not to include in a resignation letter
Knowing what to include on your resignation letter is key to ensuring you leave the company on good terms, but it’s equally important to know what not to include. Here’s what to avoid:
A critique of your employer – Just like when writing a goodbye email to your coworkers, it’s best to keep a positive tone. A resignation letter isn’t the best place to say that you’re unhappy with poor management.
Foul language – Again, even if you’re leaving because of issues with your boss or coworkers, keep your resignation letter professional. This will prevent you from burning any bridges that could lead to future job opportunities.
Information about your upcoming plans – Avoid including information about where you’re going next. Your manager doesn’t need to know, and adding it puts you at greater risk of being sabotaged by a disgruntled former employer.
Spelling mistakes – Before you send off your resignation letter, check it for spelling mistakes.
Common questions about resignation letters
Still have questions about your resignation letter? We’ve answered the most frequently asked questions about letters of resignation below:
When should you write a letter of resignation?
While it may be tempting to go on LinkedIn and write a new job announcement as soon as you accept a job offer, you need to first inform your current employer that you’re leaving.
You should write a letter of resignation at least two weeks in advance, but you might need to give your manager a longer notice period if your contract requires it or you have a lot of work to finish before you go.
How should you submit a resignation letter?
You should submit your letter in a face-to-face meeting with your manager when possible. But if you’re working remotely or your boss is out of the office, you can submit your letter in an email — either as an attached file or as text in the body of the email.
What should your resignation email’s subject line say?
Your resignation email’s subject line should say your name and that you’re resigning. Stating your intentions in the subject line lets your manager know how important your email is as soon as they open their inbox, which helps you resolve the situation as quickly as possible. These are good examples of resignation email subject lines:
- Resignation Notice — [Your Name]
- [Your Name] Resignation Notice
- Two Weeks’ Resignation Notice: [Your Name]
How long should a resignation letter be?
A resignation letter should be one page or less. If your manager needs more details after reading your letter, they’ll request them.