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How to Write a Resignation Letter/Email (Samples Included!)

Picture this—you're thinking about quitting your job because it's not the right fit anymore, or maybe you have accepted another job offer and have already started packing your desk supplies. But there's one more thing you need to do: write a resignation letter/email. 

What is a resignation letter? 

A resignation letter or a resignation email is an official document that notifies your current organization that you are leaving your job. It can be written as a printed letter or an email message to your hiring manager. You may or may not choose to mark a copy to the HR department. 

Why should you write a resignation letter?

In a few companies, writing a resignation letter/email is a mandatory part of the exit formalities. However, it may be possible that your company does not even require a resignation letter. But does that mean you shouldn't write one?

Writing a resignation letter is essential because of the following reasons: 

  1. It's an official document that states that you are voluntarily leaving the job or office.
  2. Resignation letters are also crucial for HR departments to keep track of your time for things such as payroll and reference in the future, if necessary.
  3. They are also vital because they contain crucial operational information for your manager, such as your last working day at the company and what is needed as you plan your departure.
  4. It serves as a means to explain to your past employer why you're leaving, what you appreciated about the job, and leave on good terms, which is the most crucial part because you don't want to burn bridges with your current employer. 

To help you get started, here are a few tips that you should keep in mind while drafting a resignation letter or email. 

The fundamentals of a resignation letter/email 

Salutation

A resignation letter always needs a salutation. You can start by greeting your manager with her/his name at the beginning of the resignation letter.

Introduction

Your resignation letter should start with the fact that you're resigning from your current role. You should then include the intent or reason behind your resignation, such as relocation, family circumstances, and more. 

Tip: Stating the reason for you switching your job is optional. However, if you are leaving immediately, it is wise to state the reason for your departure.

Body

To maintain a positive and graceful exit, you should express appreciation for the learnings and experience that you may have gained in the number of years spent in the company you're resigning from. You can also talk about how you've enjoyed your time there. Your resignation letter should also provide information about your last working day. 

Tip: For an easy transition, you can draft a general list of your daily work responsibilities and attach it with your email. Your replacement can use this list as a guide.

Closure

The closing of your letter should contain an expression of kind wishes and a request to stay in touch. Also, you should make an offer to assist with the transition. For example, you might offer to provide assistance in training the new employee or be available to answer questions for a few weeks after your departure. In this way, both employee and employer can leave the situation with a sense of respect and amicability. Also, don't forget to include your personal contact information, so it's easy for the company to get in touch with you whenever required. This is especially important if you are leaving right away.

Tips for writing a resignation letter/email:

It is always advisable to leave on a good note when resigning from your current job as you may need a reference or letter of recommendation in the future from your employer. Read on for tips on writing a resignation letter/email.

  • Sound positive: While writing about your experience in the resignation letter/email, keep it positive. Don't go into detail about how the new job at hand is better than your current job. 

    Tip: Even if you were not happy with your job, resist the temptation to comment negatively on your manager, your fellow employees, or the company.

  • Consider speaking with your manager: It's a good idea to talk to your manager in person before sending the resignation letter/email. This exudes good professional etiquette and allows you to have a two-way dialogue in which you discuss your reasons for leaving the job and your plans to help facilitate a smooth transition. 

  • Know your audience: It is best to address the resignation letter/email to your reporting manager. Use their first name (if that's what you typically call them). You will also want to send a copy of your resignation letter to Human Resources.

  • Use a simple and straightforward email subject line: Use direct email subject lines, such as "Notice of Resignation - Your Name" or "Resignation Effective Immediately - Your Name". This way, your manager will know right away what the email is about and read the email as soon as possible.

  • Don't go into details: Until and unless necessary, you should refrain from going into details as to why you are leaving your current job and what you will be doing next. Keep the explanation short and positive. For example, you might say you are leaving due to higher studies, family circumstances, a change in your career, etc. However, if you are leaving for another job, you probably don't want to mention it. 

  • Express gratitude: This is an excellent chance to give thanks for the time you spent at the company and its learnings.

  • Ask questions: Consider this as an opportunity to ask any questions that you may have about your last paycheck or other benefits. Mark a copy to the human resources who will be able to answer these types of questions.

  • Proofread the email before you send it: It's a good idea to proofread your email for any grammar errors or typos. Make sure to keep your tone friendly or neutral. You might ask someone (a friend or family member) to read the email for double-checking your tone and look for any remaining errors that you may have missed.

Category-wise resignation letter/email examples:

  • Two weeks' notice resignation letter/email

    Dear <Your manager's name>

    Please accept this letter/email as my formal resignation from the post of ———————— (mention your post) at —————- (mention the name of organization). The associations I have made over my tenure here will be truly memorable for years to come. 

    I hope a two-week notice is sufficient for you to find a replacement. If I can be of any help during the transition, please let me know. 

    I wish everybody at —————- (mention organization name) all the very best in their future endeavors.

    Sincerely,
    Your name and signature

  • Short notice resignation letters/email

    Dear <Your manager's name>


    Kindly accept this letter/email as my intention to resign from the post of ———————— (mention your post) at —————- (mention the name of organization). I am fully aware that I should have notified you no less than —————- (mention number of days) to my departure.

    However, due to —————- (mention reason), I have to depart prematurely. I apologize for the short notice. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance during the transition. 

    Sincerely,
    Your name and signature

Different types of resignation letter/email samples:

  • Example of a wholehearted resignation letter/email

    Hello <First name of your manager>,

    I would like to notify you that I am officially resigning from the post of a————————- (mention your post) from —————- (mention the name of organization) effective ————– (mention the period of notice) today. 

    The reason for my resignation is ————————– (mention reason for the switch).

    From the time I joined ———————– (mention organization name) —————- (mention no. of years served in the company) years ago, I have enjoyed unbreakable bonds of friendship and immense professional growth. I have received an abundance of advice, support, and encouragement from my superiors, and for that, I shall always be grateful.

    I wish everybody at —————- (mention organization name) all the very best in their future endeavors.

    Sincerely, 
    Your name and signature

  • Example of a resignation letter/email with regret

    Hello <first name of your manager>,

    I am writing this ————————- (mention email or letter) with great regret to inform you that I am resigning from the position of ————————- (mention your post) with ————————- (mention organization name) effective today, with my last working day being ————————- (mention the date). 

    It is because of ————————- (mention reason for resigning) that I must resign from the position I have enjoyed for the past ———————- (mention number of years) 

    Allow me to thank each of you for the numerous opportunities awarded to me for my professional and personal development. I will always be proud that I was a part of this esteemed organization that has groomed me to where I am today.

    Please feel free to contact me if you require any assistance during and after my departure. It will be my pleasure to assist in any way I can.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Your name and signature


  • Example of an independent contractor resignation letter/email

    Hello <First name of your manager/POC)

    Please consider this ————————- (mention email or letter) as a formal withdrawal of my contract with (mention company name) effective today.

    As required by my employment contract, I am giving ————————- (mention the number of days or weeks) notice. My last working day will be ————————- (mention the date). 

    Please let me know if there is anything I can do to tie up any loose ends. I wish you all the best.

    Sincerely,
    Your name and signature

There you have it; our guide to write the perfect resignation letter/email. Any tips you’d like to share from your personal experience in writing a resignation letter? We would love to entertain a conversation. Drop an email at content@interviewkickstart.com.

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