How To
17 min read

How to Write a Resignation Letter: Samples & Template

Soniya Jain

June 2, 2022

Quitting a job can be overwhelming and stressful for most people.

No one likes the feeling of jumping ship - even when they have the best of intentions. It takes courage, self-confidence, and true grit to say goodbye to the place you've been for long to pursue something more fulfilling, challenging, and otherwise unimaginable.

One of the things that makes quitting a job a little more intimidating is writing a resignation letter to your manager.

A good resignation letter will help empower you before quitting, show respect for your boss, and—if you play it right—may even keep the door open if you change your mind and want to come back!

But writing a resignation letter doesn’t have to be so hard or take so much time!

This article will guide you through all the steps needed to write a resignation letter and have it sound professional and respectful to your manager and colleagues.

What exactly is a resignation letter, and when should you write one?

How a resignation letter should be
Source: Wikihow

Typically, a resignation letter is an official document that announces your intentions to leave your current position at a company and provides management with important information about the last date you intend to work.

There are two main reasons you want to write a resignation letter: 

  1. It helps you maintain professional relationships and gives you clarity as you move forward. 
  2. It's also a chance to explain when and how you will be transitioning out of the company. Providing this information ahead of time allows the company to prepare for your departure and helps make sure that everyone is on the same page.

If you've only been at your job a few days or even weeks, chances are you don't need to write a resignation letter (although some experts suggest writing one anyway). But most companies have an explicit policy about how far in advance you need to submit your notice letter—usually, two weeks is standard. So if your employer has such a policy, you should write one.

Common reasons cited for resignation

1. Looking for a better opportunity

This may be the most common reason for quitting your job. There are many reasons why you may be looking for a new role. You may have found a new job that works better with your schedule or allows you to build new skill sets. Or maybe you're looking for a position that pays better or offers more opportunities for advancement.

Whatever the reason is, it's essential to focus on the positive when explaining why you're leaving your current job. Don't burn any bridges—just explain that it's time to move on to a new opportunity.

2. To continue studies

If you want to get a degree or diploma in a different field or go to higher studies, it can be hard to do this while working full-time. Many people will choose to quit their jobs to focus on their education. If your reason for quitting is to continue your studies, be honest about it. It will show that you are not leaving the job for no reason.

3. Getting married

This is quite an important milestone in a person's life. When someone gets married, they have to take care of their spouse and family. Sometimes getting married can mean moving out of town and leaving the job behind. You can use this reason, but make sure you mention that you would like to stay and work from home or relocate if that is an option with the company.

4. Health issues

If you must resign because of health issues, you need to be precise. You don't have to share the full details of your illness, but you should refer to it and make sure your boss knows that you're not leaving because of conflicts with work or your colleagues.

Of course, if you have a severe illness that requires you to stop working immediately, there might not be time to write a letter. Instead, talk to your employer in person and explain the situation.

5. Family emergency

Another common reason for resignation is when someone has to quit their job to stay at home and take care of family members, such as small children or ill parents. If this is the case, be open about it.

6. Pregnancy

First, congratulations! If you're expecting a bundle of joy in your life, that's a great reason to resign. Your pregnancy will be a time of enormous change for you and your family, so it's only natural that you wouldn't want to rock the boat too much. A resignation letter will allow you to leave on good terms and maintain relationships at work to make returning after maternity leave easier.

You should talk to your boss about paternity leave if the company offers it and you want to return to work after a certain amount of agreed-upon time.

7. Retirement

Retirement is a big deal! It's a significant milestone, and it deserves to be recognized. You want to make sure you express your thanks for the opportunity you had at the company.

Writing a letter of resignation is a great way to formally announce your retirement and tell everyone what you plan to do next.

8. Low salary

Don't be afraid to give your boss a reason for your resignation. It may seem like you're being rude, but this isn't the case. If you're leaving because you feel underpaid, don't be afraid to say so. Your employer won't be upset that you spoke up.

If you're not sure how to bring this up, try talking about a change in your personal life that has led to this decision. Talk about how your family is growing, and now you need more money to support them, or how you need to pursue further education or training to grow professionally.

9. Need a different work environment

Sometimes you find yourself in an environment that simply isn't comfortable for you. Maybe the work culture isn't up to your standards, or you want to take a break, or perhaps it's time to try something new. Whatever the reason, quitting your job should be approached with care. While writing your resignation letter, make sure you cover all the bases and avoid hurting any feelings.

10. Unfair treatment

Suppose you have a reason to believe you've been discriminated against or treated poorly by your higher-ups. In that case, you may want to consider writing a formal resignation letter that states your intention to file a complaint or legal action against your employer. As with all resignation letters, it's imperative to be as objective as possible in your description of the events and provide examples if possible.

11. Mental health reasons

Mental health reasons are also valid reasons for leaving a job. One of the most important things you can do for your mental health is to put yourself in an environment where you feel safe and supported and comfortable to grow as a person and reach your full potential.

This is one of the most challenging things to explain because it's very personal, but if your job or workplace contributes to your mental health struggles, then it's time to move on.

12. Relocating

If you are relocating, it's time to write a resignation letter. If your new job is in another city or state, you'll want to let your employer know as soon as possible that you won't be able to continue working for them in the future. This will give them plenty of time to find a replacement for your position and make sure that the transition is smooth.

13. Change in career

Sometimes, you get a new opportunity that you just can't pass up. Maybe you're moving on to a job within another department at your current company, or maybe you're leaping over to a position with another employer altogether. You don't need to go into detail about where exactly you're going (or how much you'll be getting paid) if you don't want to. But letting your manager know that this is an exciting new opportunity for your career will help them see your resignation as a positive step forward.

💡 Explain your reason for leaving the company in the best possible way. Try out Copy.AI today!

Now that we've looked at why you may choose to leave a company, let's talk about the critical elements of a professional resignation letter.

Key elements of a good resignation letter

Key elements of a good resignation letter
Source: Squawkfox

A proper resignation letter has several vital parts, all of which are necessary to make a good impression on your employer. Let's see what goes into writing a good resignation letter.

1. Subject line

The subject line of your letter should be short and informative. A simple "Resignation: First Name Last Name" will generally do the trick. If you're emailing your letter (which is usually the case), keep this short enough that it doesn't get cut off in people's inboxes, but don't go overboard—a few words should do it!

Also, include the job title that you're resigning from. For example, if you're leaving your job as a Software Engineer, the email subject line could be something like, "[Name] Resignation: Software Engineer."

This makes it clear to your employer what the letter is about, making it easier for them to file.

Here are some other examples or use an email subject line generator to brainstorm:

  • "Resignation from [Company]"
  • "Last day at [Company] - [Name]"
  • “[Name]: [Job Title] Resignation”
  • "[Name] last day at [Company]"

2. Name of the person you are addressing to

The resignation letter is addressed to the person who has the authority to accept the resignation. It should be written directly to them, and avoid using vague phrases like "to whom it may concern." This shows professionalism and allows your employer to see that you are accountable.

Suppose you work in an environment where there are multiple management levels. In that case, it's helpful and courteous also to send a copy of your letter to your immediate superior along with any other members of the team whose workload might be affected by your departure.

3. Reason for resigning

When writing a resignation letter, state your reason for resigning as clearly as possible. When stating your reason, don't be afraid to point out any successes you've had while working at your current job.

This is important not just for the sake of transparency but also because it can help set the tone for your future relationships with your employer. If you desire to return to the company in the future, which happens more than you might think, you must leave on good terms.

4. Notice period duration and last working day

You should include the duration and the start date of your notice period in your resignation letter. In most companies, a two weeks notice letter is preferred. However, some companies have a more extended notice period. For example, if you are an engineer in a tech company, it is common to have three or four-week notice periods.

It's also important to mention when you will be available for any handover work with your replacement after leaving your current job.

If you have spoken to your manager about leaving before starting the letter, make sure it is evident in the letter that this has already happened.

For example, “As we discussed on [Date], I have decided to leave my position as [Job Title] at [Company]. the last day of my employment will be on [Date].”

5. Transition steps

You've helped your company be successful, so it's only suitable that you help them transition to their new normal without you. Make sure to give them at least two weeks' notice and offer to help with the transition.

How will the knowledge transfer happen?

What do you know that no one else does? Make sure to leave behind a how-to guide for any processes or procedures that you created, so your coworkers don't have to reinvent the wheel when you're gone.

Who will take care of your tasks until they find a replacement?

If possible, offer a list of people who can take over specific tasks until they find a permanent replacement. If you're unsure who could do what, don't be afraid to ask!

For example, if you're the one who manages the social media accounts for your company, you need to make sure someone else gets access to accounts and can keep the content flowing until they can hire someone new. You could write something like, "I am happy to train my replacement on our social media platforms before my last day. I've also prepared a detailed document that outlines how we manage our social media accounts."

6. A statement of gratitude

When writing a resignation letter, the most important thing to remember is that you owe your employer a huge debt of gratitude. They were willing to take a chance on you and give you a job, whether it be your first job ever or just your first job in this particular industry.

So, thank them for everything they did for you—the long hours of training, the patience as you learned everything from how to do your job correctly to what kind of code of conduct everyone in the office is expected to uphold. Thank them for the time and energy they invested in teaching you about their company, its goals and helping you grow into the professional you are today.

7. Add any special request you have

If you are resigning from an organization and want to ask for something special, the most appropriate way is to make those requests in your resignation letter.

It may be an early release from your current job, short notice period, buyout of the notice period, or recommendation.

It's suggested you put these requests at the end of your resignation letter if your employer disagrees with them since you have already left a good impression on the body of the text.

8. Decide the format you will share your resignation in

Decide how you'll turn in your resignation letter. You can type it in an email, send it through an employee portal, or even write it by hand and leave it on your manager's desk. Whichever method you choose, be sure to get a copy for yourself so that you have a record of when and how you turned in your letter of resignation.

If you're looking for something more professional, we recommend emailing it to your boss, with a cc to HR and your direct manager. This will ensure everyone has a copy of it and can plan accordingly.

9. Keep the tone polite

Make sure your tone is polite in your resignation letter, even if you're quitting a job you hate. Even though it is tempting to vent about certain aspects of your workplace that you dislike, it's better to keep it to yourself and make everything positive and professional. The person reading your resignation letter might provide a reference for you in the future; you want them to have a good impression of you and be willing to speak positively about your time with the company.

Try to use some humor or lightheartedness in your letter if you can. A little bit of fun will help make the process easier and less awkward (after all, nobody likes having unpleasant conversations). You might also consider thanking them for the opportunity they gave you or mentioning anything positive about your time working there—even if it was just free pizza on Fridays.

💡 Want to make your emails sound professional? Use our free resignation letter generator to create your professional resignation email in seconds.

Examples of simple resignation letter templates

Tips for writing a good resignation letter
Source: The Balance

Resignation letter stating a reason: looking for a better opportunity

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

I am writing to inform you that I will be resigning as [Position] at [Company]. My last day of work will be [Date].

I have accepted an offer from another company, and I look forward to a new challenge. My time here at [Company] has been enriching, and I have gained valuable experience that I know I can take with me moving forward.

Please let me know what steps I need to take to ensure a smooth transition. It has been a pleasure working for you, and I am grateful for all of the support you have given me during my time here. Please let me know if you need anything during the transition.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Resignation letter due to getting married with two months notice

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

I'm writing to inform you that I will be resigning from my position at [Company] effective [Date]. The reason is I am getting married and moving abroad with my husband.

I always felt lucky to have the opportunity to work at [Company], and I am so grateful for all of the support I've received from you and my colleagues during my time here. This company has been an integral part of my life and career, and I will always look back on my time here fondly.

I hope you can understand this decision. Please let me know if I can do anything over the next two months to make this transition smooth. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me via email, phone, or in-person at any time.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Resigning to continue further studies with two weeks' notice

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

I am writing to inform you that I am resigning as an account manager, effective two weeks from today.

After much thought, I have decided to return to school and complete the MBA program that I began several years ago. Obtaining my MBA will enable me to pursue a career in marketing and advertising, which has been a long-term goal.

I have enjoyed my time here at [Company] and wish you all the best for the future. Please let me know if I can do anything before leaving to make this transition easier for you and the department.

Thank you again for your guidance during my time here.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Resignation letter due to health issues with no notice

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

Due to some health-related issues, I must resign from my position at [Company]. I am genuinely sorry to leave with no notice, but this situation has come up suddenly and must be dealt with immediately.

I have enjoyed working with you and your team over the past few months, and I will miss you all. I wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors. Please let me know if I can do anything to help during this short transitional period.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Resignation letter due to family emergency with two weeks' notice

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

I regret to inform you that I am resigning from my position at [Company].

Unfortunately, I recently had a family emergency and must relocate to be with them. I would like to give two weeks' notice, so my last day of employment will be [Date].

Thank you for the opportunity to work at [Company] and for all of your mentorship. You gave me the chance to grow professionally. I have learned a great deal from you and have been fortunate enough to work on some amazing projects.

Please let me know if I can do anything to help with the transition. I wish you and my colleagues at [Company] the best.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Resignation letter due to pregnancy with two weeks' notice

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

I would like to inform you that I am resigning as [Position]. My last day will be [Date].

I appreciate the opportunities for growth and support you have provided me during my time here. I understand this is a short amount of time, but my doctor has recommended that I take some time off for the remainder of my pregnancy.

I plan on being available by phone or email if any questions arise in the next two weeks. Please let me know if there is anything to do before I leave to make this transition easier.

Thank you again for everything.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Resignation letter due to retirement with 1-month notice

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

After much personal consideration, I am writing to inform you that I have decided to take early retirement effective one month from today. I will step down from my position as [Job Title] with [Company].

I have enjoyed working with a fantastic team and the most supportive leadership for the past three years. Thank you for all the opportunities you've given me to grow professionally.

It has been a pleasure working for this organization, and I appreciate all of the support I have received over the years. If there is anything I can do to help during this transition, please let me know.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Resignation letter due to low salary with two weeks notice

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

As I've said many times before, I love working for this company. However, my family and I have been struggling for some time financially. Although I'm so grateful for the opportunity to work here, I will be forced to seek a position elsewhere that pays better.

This letter serves as a formal notification of my resignation from my position as [Position]. I will be leaving in two weeks on [Date].

Again, I want to express my sincere appreciation for the experience you've given me through [Company] and wish you the best of luck in the future.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Resignation letter stating a reason - looking for a different work environment

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

I am writing to inform you that I will be resigning from my position as [Position] at [Company]. My last day will be in 2 months on [Date]. This was a tough decision for me to make, and I would like to thank you for the opportunities I have had during my time here.

I am resigning because I feel the need for a different work environment. I know this will be an adjustment for everyone, and I want to give you sufficient notice to find a suitable replacement before leaving.

Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to ensure a smooth transition into the next stage of my career.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Resignation letter due to unfair treatment with two weeks notice

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

I am writing to inform you of my resignation from my position as [Position] at [Company]. I have enjoyed working here for the last [duration of time], but unfortunately, I have not been treated with the respect and fairness that I think I deserve. Therefore, I have decided it is in my best interest to leave in 2 weeks with my last day on [Date].

I appreciate the opportunities offered to me during my time with the company and hope we can stay in touch in the future. If there is anything I can do to assist with the transition process, please let me know.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Resignation letter due to mental health issues with no notice

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

After careful consideration, I have decided to resign from my position at [Company]. While I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, the past few months have been particularly stressful for me. I don't think a sabbatical would be enough to return to work with the same energy and focus that I feel you deserve from an employee.

Unfortunately, I will be unable to give the two months' notice required by my contract. My doctor has advised me to receive the level of care I need right now. I will have to quit working immediately.

Thank you for all the opportunities you have given me here, and I hope we can stay in touch.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Resignation letter due to relocation with 1-month notice

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

I must tender my resignation from [Company] with a heavy heart. As you know, my wife and I will be moving abroad to [Country] this summer. To make this transition as smooth as possible for the company, I am giving one month's notice of my upcoming departure.

My last day will be [Date]. I will use this time to wrap up any projects in progress and leave detailed notes for my replacement. If there is anything else I can do to help with the transition, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Over the past [number of] years, I have thoroughly enjoyed working here. I appreciate how accommodating you've been during this difficult time, and I wish you all the best.

Best regards,

[Name]

Resignation letter due to change in career with two weeks notice

Dear [Supervisor’s Name],

This letter confirms my resignation from [Company] as of [Date]. Thank you for all the opportunities you have provided me during my time here.

I will be taking a new position as a [Job Title] at [New Company Name]. The opportunity will allow me further to enhance my skills and experience in my chosen field.

Until that time, I will continue to perform my duties throughout the notice period and assist with the transition of any ongoing projects and responsibilities. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to facilitate a smooth handover.

I wish you and your team every success in the future. If there is anything I can do for you before I leave, please do not hesitate to contact me at this address or on my direct line.

Kind regards,

[Name]

💡 Use our free resignation letter template to create your personalized resignation letter in seconds.

Wrapping up

Planning your resignation letter is the best way to ensure that your message comes across clearly and gracefully. It's so important to keep it simple because anything too long or drawn out risks looking like a tirade. You should always try to leave on good terms for the sake of your reputation and future reference opportunities.

We hope you found this post useful and found a resignation letter template to use. We wish you the best of luck in your job search as you move on to your next professional challenge.

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