How to Write a Resignation Letter

Writing a resignation letter doesn’t need to be a daunting task. A resignation letter is a simple business letter to inform your employer you will no longer be working for them. Your professionalism throughout the process of resigning and writing your letter says a lot about you. In this page we’ll break down the process of writing a letter of resignation into three easy steps and give you tips to make your exit as professional as possible.

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How to Write a Letter of Resignation

Keep your resignation letter short and straightforward.

As with all business letters, you’ll need to include a heading with your name, date, recipient and contact information, two or three body paragraphs, and your signature.

To write a clear and structured body paragraph for your resignation letter, follow these three steps:

  • Begin with the reason for resignation. Announce your departure date and the reasons for leaving your position in the first few sentences. A better job opportunity, family reasons, and health issues are acceptable reasons if you express them adequately.
  • Express your gratitude. Even if you had a negative experience at your job, you should always remain positive and let the company know one or two aspects of the job you appreciated. A resignation letter can follow you throughout your career (regardless of the fact that it’s supposed to be a confidential document). Criticizing your boss or venting about your frustrations will only make you an undesirable employee if information from your letter is ever shared.
  • Close by stating your willingness to help with the transition. Whether you’re giving two weeks’ notice or no notice at all, it’s important to offer assistance with the transition process. That can mean training a replacement, informing clients of your departure, or speedily transferring essential files from any current projects.

Resignation Letter Examples

Once you have an idea of the type of information you need to share in your resignation letter and the appropriate wording, you can dive into writing the letter. Our Cover Letter Builder allows you to easily write a resignation letter by taking care of the design elements and the formatting, so all you have to do is politely state your reason for resigning, and you’re done.

There are countless reasons why you may want to leave your job: a new job, taking time off from work, or going back to school. If there’s no other reason you’re quitting than because of issues you have with the company, you should at least express it respectfully.

Review the following resignation letter examples with specific reasons for resigning, and take note of the tone and the information that is being shared.

Resignation Letters for Family Reasons: Events that interrupt our ability to work full time or work at all are bound to come up when you have a family. Whether it’s a family member’s passing, taking time off to be a parent, or a sick family member in need of critical care, be direct about your reasons, but don’t worry about getting into detail.

Resignation Letter Due to a Better Opportunity: Almost everyone will have to leave their current job if they want to advance their career at other companies or industries. The key to writing this type of resignation letter is to be grateful for the knowledge you’ve gained at your current job and stay away from any criticism.

Resignation Letters Due to Health Reasons: When writing a resignation letter for health reasons, the amount of information you can share is entirely up to you. However, it’s important you know you’re protected by law not to disclose your medical information. Read your employment contract beforehand and take note of any leave benefits you may have so you’re informed and ready to assist with the resignation process.

Resignation Letter Due to Academic Reasons: In this type of resignation letter you can express you’re interested in returning to the company after completing your studies. In fact, always consult with your employer before resigning since they might be able to hold the position while you study, and even assist you financially in your studies in exchange for working for them for a period of time.

Resignation Letter Due to Retirement: When the time comes to retire, you’ll most likely tell your employer a few months or even years in advance. However, a formal resignation letter is indispensable for your employee file and for the disbursement of retirement benefits. Keep a digital or hard copy of your letter and make sure to copy HR in your recipients so they can kick off your retirement process smoothly.

Resignation Letter Tips

Now that you have an understanding of the different reasons for resigning, you should keep in mind some important factors that can affect your resignation process. Keep these tips in mind when you decide to resign, and take the necessary steps for a smooth transition.

  • Talk to your manager first: If you’re having a hard time in your job, try reaching out to your superior or an HR representative for help. However, if you’re not seeing any improvement and you’re sure you’re ready to quit, go ahead and send your resignation letter.
  • Don’t discuss it with colleagues: You don’t want word of your potential resignation getting around before you formally tell your manager.
  • Keep it professional: Although your resignation letter is a confidential document, once it’s out there, you never know who will see it. Think carefully about how you express yourself. The impression you leave when you resign is as important as the impression you wanted to give in your job interview.
  • Follow the standard format: Your resignation letter should only be one-page long and cut to the point quickly. Think of this letter as a formal notification instead of a conversation with your employer about your frustrations. That should be left for a face-to-face verbal discussion another time.
  • Give your letter in person: If you’re physically able, hand over your resignation letter in person to your direct supervisor. It lets them know you’re serious about your decision and how it impacts the workplace. If you have no choice but to send it by email, at least take the time to create a document to send as an attachment.
  • Be prepared for the job search: Quitting is just the first step toward the rest of your career. We always recommend you browse a couple of job boards or even apply to any ads before quitting. You should also make sure you have an updated resume ready for any potential interviews that come up.
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