How to Write a Respectable Resignation Letter [+ Samples & Templates]

Download Now: 5 Free Resignation Letter Templates
Caroline Forsey
Caroline Forsey

Published:

Even though millions quit their jobs every month, I understand that telling your boss that you're leaving the company is never an easy conversation.

Resignation Letter Example: graphic with letter

A respectful resignation letter can mean the difference between an awkward goodbye and a chance for a long-term professional connection.

Download Now: 5 Free Resignation Letter Templates

But how do you write a good resignation letter? What should you include and exclude? I created this guide just for you. Let's dive in.

Table of Contents

What is a resignation letter?

A resignation letter is a formal document that lets your employer know that you are resigning from your position. It can be submitted either by email or printed letter.

It lets you officially announce your departure from the company and offers essential housekeeping information, like your last day and other details about your exit. Ideally, you'll submit your resignation letter at least two weeks before leaving the company.

An effective one helps you ensure a positive conversation with your boss and a smooth transition to your next journey.

5 Free Resignation Letter Templates

Resign with grace and formality with these five templates.

  • General Resignation
  • Taking a New Opportunity
  • Formal Resignation
  • And More!
Learn more

    Download Free

    All fields are required.

    You're all set!

    Click this link to access this resource at any time.

    My colleague, Alana Chinn, shared her thoughts on how to approach a resignation letter. "Your resignation letter should effectively convey your appreciation and professionalism," says Chinn.

    She continues, "I like to start the resignation process with a face-to-face conversation. That way, I can keep the actual letter brief and only focus on the relevant details — like the date of my last day and my exit plan. My ultimate goal is to create a smooth and amicable transition for everyone involved."

    With this in mind, here's the ideal resignation letter format.

    Resignation Letter Format

    resignation letter formatImage Source

    The letter should be detailed but brief. Inform your manager of your decision, but keep it professional if the reasons are less positive.

    The format of a resignation letter typically goes as follows:

    Date and Salutation

    Your letter should start with the date along with a formal salutation to your manager. Nothing too complicated here — you simply want to provide a filing date for HR, and to greet your manager courteously.

    Although this step is simple, it effectively sets the tone for a professional and respectful letter, which is what you always want in your resignation.

    A Statement of Resignation

    resignation letter templateImage Source

    Use the opening paragraph to state what role you're leaving, and when. This is known as a statement of resignation.

    Like the greeting, it doesn't have to be complicated at all. It's simply meant to provide your employer with the necessary information surrounding your departure.

    No need to gush, like in this example: "I'm so sorry, but I'm resigning from the position of [job title] in two weeks, although it's been a true pleasure working with you all. I know this is the worst, but I promise, I wouldn't if I didn't have to."

    You can be corporate and cold here. Leave the emotions for when it's time to talk face-to-face with your manager.

    Example: I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as [Position Name] for [Company Name], effective [Date].

    Don't forget your date of leaving — the more exact, the better, because that gives your employer a timeline to work with. They can start planning for your departure by locating a replacement, for instance.

    Body Paragraph

    resignation letter sample

    Image Source

    You should use the body paragraph (singular! Not plural. We want the letter to stay short) to express gratitude for your time at the company, as well as share your exit plan.

    I highly recommend lingering on your gratitude. Take the opportunity to reflect on your time at the company and express your appreciation for your experiences. Highlight any professional development or growth you achieved while there.

    Even if you have negative reasons for leaving, be as specific and genuine as you can. I'm sure you can find at least one good thing about the job.

    For example, you can thank them for the valuable training, supportive team environment, or work experience.

    As for the exit plan, focus on making the transition easier. It's less about you leaving and more about what happens after you leave.

    Offer to train your replacement and ensure that all your responsibilities are properly handed over. You can even outline your projects and tasks so your successor has an easier time picking up the slack.

    Closing Paragraph

    Although optional, you can use the closing paragraph to list your contact information. I specially recommend it if you plan to use your former manager as a reference.

    Thank them for the opportunity to work at the company and express your interest in staying in touch. Provide your email address or phone number, then sign your name.

    Writing a professional resignation letter starts with understanding each of its components.

    example of what to include in a resignation letter

    1. Statement of Resignation and End Date

    Begin your letter by stating your position at the company.

    This might seem redundant if you work at a small company and your boss knows you well, but it's essential to include it since the letter is your official termination. Along with this information should be a simple statement of your resignation.

    Also, providing an end date in the first paragraph is helpful since that's one of your employer's first questions.

    Here's what this first paragraph may look like in practice:

    I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as [Position Name] for [Company Name], effective [Date].

    2. Gratitude

    Take the time to consider how you've grown or what you've appreciated most about your time at the company. Be as specific as possible.

    Perhaps the company provided professional development opportunities. Maybe you've enjoyed the environment the company fostered and the supportive atmosphere.

    It's also nice for your employer to receive a thank you for the time and resources they've used in supporting your career growth. Here's an example of what this may look like:

    I appreciate the opportunities for professional development that you have provided me over the past two years. I have enjoyed my tenure at [Company Name] and feel honored to have been part of such a supportive team.

    If you'd like, you can include where you're heading. For example, if you're switching industries to pursue a passion or going to graduate school, it might be appropriate to include that. For example:

    I accepted a position as a [New Job Title], and I'm looking forward to [pursuing my passion in [X] or continuing my work with a focus on [Y].

    However, if you're leaving the company for a competitor, it's better to omit such information.

    3. Transition Details

    In the third paragraph, mention your willingness to make the transition easier. For example:

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

    This sentence might look different for you. But regardless of what you write, it's good practice to include specific details regarding how you'll help.

    As an optional follow-up paragraph, briefly review the work you'll be surrendering when you officially leave the company.

    Although it's technically your manager's responsibility to pick this work up and determine how it will continue, it's helpful to list all the projects and tasks you've been in charge of to make the transition easier.

    If you didn't serve in a managerial capacity or collaborate with other departments, you could skip this part.

    4. Personal Contact Information

    This last paragraph is optional and doesn't need to be included all the time, particularly if you have no desire or need to use your former employer as a reference.

    However, many candidates choose to maintain their professional networks.

    A closing may look like this:

    Thank you again for the opportunity to work at [Company Name]. I wish you all the best and look forward to staying in touch. You can email me at [Email Address].

    1. Future Career Moves

    While you can mention where you're going next, you don't need to tell your employer about your new position or salary at length. Keep things professional.

    You can acknowledge how the current position helped your advancement within your industry. Your letter should be direct and reflective in tone to your employer.

    2. Distasteful Language

    It goes without saying, but a resignation letter isn't the time to use profanity and obscene language. You need to remain respectful and professional until your end of tenure.

    Although you may feel the urge to criticize your former job, the resignation letter isn't the time to air out the dirty laundry.

    3. Emotional Attachments

    If you're leaving a supportive work environment, it's helpful to leave out emotional sentiments in the letter. Be as professional as possible. You can illustrate those emotions through face-to-face meetings with others.

    5 Free Resignation Letter Templates

    Resign with grace and formality with these five templates.

    • General Resignation
    • Taking a New Opportunity
    • Formal Resignation
    • And More!
    Learn more

      Download Free

      All fields are required.

      You're all set!

      Click this link to access this resource at any time.

      4. Criticism of Coworkers

      Your resignation letter doesn't need to include negative comments about colleagues or managers at the company. The letter is meant to conclude your tenure, not blame others for incomplete tasks.

      5. Projecting Bitterness

      This is not the time to project your resentment towards your current job. You need to reflect on positive moments and how you gained useful knowledge about the industry and yourself. You don't have to leave on a sour note with your employer.

      If you feel that your resignation letter may come across as negative, it's worth considering rephrasing the paragraph to make it more diplomatic and tactful.

      One helpful tool you can use is HubSpot's AI paragraph rewriter, which allows you to experiment with different tones and find the right balance for your letter.

      Resignation Letter Examples

      Speaking of AI, I decided to ask ChatGPT to drum up a few resignation letter examples for inspiration (so you don't have to). Here are the results along with my thoughts on the different outputs.

      Email Resignation Letter Example

      email resignation letterMy observations: I like how ChatGPT used the correct email formatting and included a subject line and space for a signature. However, the letter itself is pretty lengthy and generic. While this is a good starting point, I'd trim down some of the fluff and make this letter more tailored to my experience. 

      Short Resignation Letter Example

      short resignation letter

      My observations: This output is short and sweet. If you've already discussed your resignation with your employer, I think this letter is a great way to put it in writing as a formality. However, if this is your only method of communicating your departure, you might want to consider adding more detail.

      Simple Resignation Letter Example

      simple resignation letter

      My observations: This letter is very similar to the short resignation letter example, but I prefer this template over the other. It's simple, but it goes a step further by including a formal thank you to the employer. It also provides more detail about how the employee plans to address outstanding projects before their last day.

      Formal Resignation Letter Example

      formal resignation letter

      My observations: I like how this letter states that this is a formal notice in line with the terms of the employment contract. It's very similar to the email resignation letter example, so I'd still recommend tailoring the language to be more specific to your role and your experience with the company.

      Free Professional Resignation Letter Templates

      HubSpot resignation letter templates

      Download the Templates Now

      Below are a few of my favorite resignation letter templates to help you facilitate a graceful departure from your current role.

      1. General Resignation Letter Template

      HubSpot general resignation letter template

      What I like: This resignation letter provides space for you to thank your manager, outline positive experiences from your time at the company, share your last day, and talk about why you decided to leave.

      2. New Opportunity Resignation Letter Template

      new opportunity resignation letter template

      What I like: If you're interested in sharing details about the next steps in your career, this is a great template to use. It also gives you the opportunity to reflect on your experience and accomplishments at the company with gratitude.

      3. Reason for Leaving Resignation Letter Template

      Template 3-2

      What I like: This resignation letter template gives you the space to explain your reason for departure, should you choose to do so. However, it's still a simple and concise way to let your current company know you're planning to move on.

      Job Resignation Letter Templates

      Sometimes the nature of your position merits a more specific letter of resignation when you leave. Below are a couple of templates for these more dynamic roles.

      1. Contractor Resignation Letter Template

      If you work freelance, you might need to adjust the focus of your resignation letter to address your final assignments and exactly how you'll be parting ways with your client.

      This includes your current duties, tasks you won't complete, and how you'll accept your final payment.

      contractor resignation letter template

      Image Source

      Dear [Mr./Mrs.Ms.] [Name],

      I regret to inform you that I will be resigning from my position as the [department] Freelancer as my contract with Company A will be expiring on April 20, 2022. I have enjoyed my time with the company, and I have learned and grown a great deal. I am happy to have been a part of the company, and I would like to thank you for the opportunities I have had at Company A.

      I am saddened to be moving on from the company, but I am going to be taking on new challenges with Company B. I hope my experience here has helped the company with their projects and I am happy to have been a part of the team.

      If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. I will be available to help you with any final projects.

      Sincerely,

      Charles Bloomberg

      2. Executive Resignation Letter Template

      A quick email or two-paragraph notice to your superior might not suffice as an official resignation if you're in an executive- or senior-level leadership role.

      Because these roles are harder to fill, you might play a more significant role in the transition period, especially since you manage more people and decide on the direction of more projects.

      The example below separates the resignation into two sections. The first is the resignation itself, and the second is how (and with whom) the resigner's work will continue. It's just one of the different templates we have to offer.

      executive resignation letter template

      Image Source

      Dear Board of Directors,

      Please let this letter serve as my resignation as CEO of Anson Incorporated effective immediately. The steadily dropping value of Anson stock and the complete loss of faith of the shareholders can be placed firmly on my shoulders. I no longer feel as though I can do the best possible job for the company and must resign from my position.

      I will cherish the friends I have made and hold onto the many accomplishments that are part of my history with Anson. When I first arrived we grew revenue by 45 percent and saved hundreds of jobs. But as time went by, I found it difficult to adjust to the changing business and political climate in our industry.

      I am confident that the board will be able to find an excellent replacement as CEO and bring the company back to its former glory. I only regret that I was unable to sustain the success that occurred when I first arrived at the company.

      If you need any information or paperwork filled out, then call me at 000-000-0000 or email me at email@email.com. I wish you and the company the best in the future.

      Sincerely Yours,

      Geoffrey J. Harper

      3. Teacher Resignation Letter Template

      Depending on your profession, you may want to look for a more career-specific resume template.

      For instance, this teacher resignation letter template provides space for discussing your experience working with students and how you will assist with the transition.

      teacher resignation letter template

      Image Source

      Dear Mr. Amthor,

      Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my position as 4th grade teacher at Highland Hills Elementary School. To ensure ample time for a smooth transition, my last day of employment will be December 16, 2017, the final day of the fall term.

      My experience as an educator has been insightful, challenging, and fulfilling, and working with the Highland Hills students has brought me great joy. Thank you for the opportunity to invest in the lives of children through learning and play. I am grateful to have been part of this team and will carry the many lessons I learned with me into my future endeavors.

      Because the continued success and care of the students is of upmost importance to me, I am dedicated to doing whatever I can to make the transition as seamless as possible. I am happy to train my replacement on our current curriculum and the content we still need to cover for the spring exams.

      I hope all the best for the Highland Hills students, teachers, and administration. Thank you again for your support and leadership during my time here.

      Sincerely,

      Darla Williamson

      4. Nurse Resignation Letter Template

      As a nurse, it's important to give adequate notice of your departure to ensure there are no health care disruptions for your patients.

      Here's a template you can use to thank your employer for the experience and offer training support for your successor.

      Screenshot 2024-05-23 at 10.40.44 AM

      Image Source

      Dear Mr. Shun,

      I am writing to inform you of my resignation as Staff Nurse at Easy Days Nursing Home, effective two weeks from today. My last day of work will be March 28, 2020.

      Working at Easy Days has been a rewarding experience, and I have enjoyed my time working with you. I learned a great deal about working successfully with a team. It was an honor to work with such dedicated staff who are committed to making Easy Days a place to receive compassionate care. I feel that I have made some lifelong friends here. I thank you for the training and opportunity to grow with you in my nursing career. I wish all the residents and staff good luck in the future.

      My decision to leave was difficult, but I have decided to accept a part-time position nearer to my home due to my family commitments.

      If you feel it would be helpful, I would be happy to assist with the hiring and training of my successor over the next two weeks. Please contact me if you have any questions. My email address is ssmith@gmail.com, and my cell phone number is 442-331-1123.

      Respectfully yours,
      Sally Smith, RN

      5 Free Resignation Letter Templates

      Resign with grace and formality with these five templates.

      • General Resignation
      • Taking a New Opportunity
      • Formal Resignation
      • And More!
      Learn more

        Download Free

        All fields are required.

        You're all set!

        Click this link to access this resource at any time.

        Professional Resignation Letter Samples

        With the above templates in mind, let's look at a few sample resignation letters for different positions, each taking a slightly different but amicable tone to their resignations.

        1. Gracious Resignation Letter Sample

        You can share why you're quitting if they aren't work-related reasons. The reasons should be positive or neutral.

        Its tone is thankful that the employer took a chance on you. Most offer an extended hand to train the incoming person. The letter includes a notice of resignation at least two weeks in advance.

        gracious resignation letter sample

        [Date]

        Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

        I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as Data Analyst for Company A, effective January 3.

        I appreciate the opportunities for professional development that you have provided me over the past four years. I have enjoyed my tenure at Company A, and feel grateful to have started my career alongside such a dedicated team.

        I have accepted a teaching position in Virginia. While my experience at Company A was rewarding, I'm excited to pursue my passion for teaching.

        If I can be of any help during this transition, please let me know. I am willing to help out with freelance work until you find a replacement.

        Thank you again for the opportunity to work at Company A. I wish you all the best and look forward to staying in touch. You can email me at X.

        Sincerely,

        Caroline

        2. Brief Resignation Letter Sample

        A brief resignation letter will include two important things: your date of resignation and a formal notice to your supervisor. A good letter can also include a “thank you” line, but it's not necessary.

        Although you're ending your tenure with your current employer, you don't want to burn a bridge without honoring your notice deadline.

        brief resignation letter sample

        [Date]

        Dear Mr./Ms/ Last Name:

        Please accept this letter of resignation from my position as content creator at Company Y. My last day of employment will be June 1.

        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,

        Caroline

        3. Immediate Resignation Letter Sample

        While the best way to quit a job is to give at least two weeks' notice and offer to help with the transition, sometimes circumstances make that impossible.

        If you need to leave your job immediately without notice, you need an immediate resignation letter.

        Here is a sample that can help you:

        immediate resignation letter sample

        [Date]

        Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

        I regret to inform you that I'm resigning from my position as the X at Company A immediately.

        While my contract requires me to work until July 31, I would be grateful if I could cease working immediately. I sincerely apologize for any inconveniences this sudden news may cause.

        Thank you for the fantastic opportunities you've offered me to grow professionally and personally.

        Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make the transition smoother.

        Sincerely,

        Caroline

        4. Retirement Resignation Letter Sample

        A thoughtful resignation letter is especially important when you are retiring. Not only are you telling your employer when you plan to stop working, but you also are notifying them of when you plan on receiving retirement benefits.

        It's not uncommon to have conversations about your retirement before you officially resign. Depending on your position or company policy, you may be asked to give extended notice so your employer can better prepare for your departure.

        At a minimum, you should give 30 days notice, but it's courtesy to give more time, especially if you are higher up in the company.

        retirement resignation letter sample

        [Date]

        Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

        With great consideration, I have decided it's time for me to retire from Company A, starting on September 30.

        I have enjoyed working here over the past X years and I am proud of everything our team has accomplished. Though I am sad that this chapter of my life is closing, I am looking forward to traveling and spending more time with family.

        As we prepare for my departure, I am happy to assist with hiring my replacement and anything else that will help make this a smooth transition.

        Thank you for all the opportunities and support you have offered me over the years. I wish you all the best.

        Sincerely,

        Caroline

        5 Free Resignation Letter Templates

        Resign with grace and formality with these five templates.

        • General Resignation
        • Taking a New Opportunity
        • Formal Resignation
        • And More!
        Learn more

          Download Free

          All fields are required.

          You're all set!

          Click this link to access this resource at any time.

          5. Extended Notice Resignation Letter Sample

          Although giving two weeks is the standard, providing additional notice of your resignation will be much appreciated by your employer since it gives them more time to prepare for your departure.

          Leaving your job in a considerate way can leave a lasting impression on your employer and may help you out down the road.

          extended notice resignation letter sample

          [Date]

          Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

          Please accept this letter as notice of my intent to resign from my position at Company A at the end of this quarter. My last day will be June 30.

          While it is tough to leave this incredible team, I will be moving on to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Iowa. It's always been my dream to write books and I believe that this is the best path for me to achieve that.

          Thank you for all the support and guidance you have given me over the last X years. I am deeply grateful for all of the opportunities I have had here.

          Since my last day is six weeks from now, I will work toward completing my current projects, along with training and handing off my high-level tasks to other members of the team. Please let me know if there's anything I can do that may help ease this transition.

          Sincerely,

          Caroline

          6. Personal Reasons Resignation Letter Sample

          Every now and then, life throws us a curveball. And depending on your situation, you may need to resign from your job for personal reasons.

          While you don't need to specify in your resignation letter, personal reasons can include moving to a new location, caring for a family member, becoming a stay-at-home parent, or addressing serious health issues.

          personal resignation letter sample

          [Date]

          Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

          I regret to inform you of my resignation from Company A. Due to personal reasons, I am no longer able to fulfill my duties as project manager. My last day of employment will be April 15.

          It has been wonderful working with you and the team for the past three years. I truly appreciate the opportunities I have been given to develop my skills and grow within my role.

          Over the next two weeks, I will work to complete my remaining assignments and hand off my ongoing projects to other members of the team. I am also happy to assist with anything else you may need during this transition.

          Thank you for your guidance and understanding. I will look back on my time here at Company A fondly. I wish you all the best moving forward.

          Sincerely,

          Caroline

          Ready to write your resignation letter?

          Be polite in your resignation letter no matter your role, state why you're leaving, and be clear on who you're informing.

          Gratitude and support during your departure go a long way with employers, and the last thing you want to do is leave the company on a sour note — even if you're leaving for unpleasant reasons.

          By drawing inspiration from these resignation letter samples and templates, you'll protect your professional bridges and keep your professional network intact as you start your next adventure.

          Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

          resignationletter_0

          Topics: Job Search

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