Resignation Letter Templates & Examples: How to Resign From Your Job
If you are resigning from your job and need to write a formal letter of resignation, this guide has you covered. Download our free resignation letter templates and learn how to leave your job the right way.
Download free resignation templates
As a resignation letter is a formal document, it follows a specific format. You’ll also need to include, at a minimum, a statement of intent to resign, your position title, and the date of your last day of work. Expressions of gratitude and offers to assist with the transition are optional, but they can help you leave on a good note.
Download our simple resignation letter in Word format, so you can get your resignation right.
When you resign, you’ll need a resignation letter. A resignation letter is an official document that an employee submits to an employer. It serves as a formal notice of intent to resign, often following verbal notice. The letter of resignation:
Whenever possible, it’s smart leave your current employer on a good note — whatever your reasons for quitting. After all, your professional reputation is at stake. Over your career, maintaining good relationships can open many doors, and you may need a good reference later on.
How to write a good resignation letter
A good resignation letter is professional, polite, positive, and to the point. When writing your resignation letter, make sure you have all the necessary details correct, while avoiding negativity and criticism. If you’re keen to preserve good relationships with their managers and coworkers, offering to help with the transition is a good idea, as is expressing gratitude for the opportunities the this role gave you.
Wondering what to put in a resignation letter? It’s a good idea to include:
A formal yet friendly introduction
such as “Dear [Manager’s Name]”.
A statement of resignation
Mention your exact job title and the company name, such as “I am writing to inform you of my resignation.”
The date of your last day of work
Refer to the terms of your employment contract, such as “My last date of work will be the 9th September, in accordance to the two week notice period specified in my contract.”
Your reason (optional)
Some examples of reasons include career advancement, relocation, or to seek further education. This is not obligatory; if you don’t wish to tell your employer why you are leaving, you can leave this part out. “I have accepted another position, which I feel is a better fit.”
Show your appreciation of the time you have had at the company. Describe what you will be taking away from your experience. “I would like to thank you for the opportunities and learning experiences here at X company.”
An offer of support (optional)
Depending on your level of responsibility and employment status, this could range from making sure all work is completed ready for handover, through to recruiting and training your replacement. “Additionally, I’d like to extend an offer of support with the transition period. I will ensure all work is completed where possible, and ready for handover.”
Your best contact
This may take the form of a mobile number or non-company email address. “Please feel free to contact me at 0400 000 000 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you should need anything further.”
Keep a digital copy of your resignation letter for your own records. More conservative workplaces may expect you to print it out, but this isn’t always the case. Most often, you will email your resignation letter to your manager after speaking to them in person in order to formalise the process.
What not to include in your letter
Your resignation letter is a professional document, and as such, should be kept polite and to the facts.
- Never criticise your employer. The appropriate forum to offer this type of feedback is during a formal exit interview.
- Do not single out any managers, co-workers or subordinates.
- Avoid emotive, inappropriate and/or offensive language.
Check your employment contract
- Check your company’s termination policy. Refer to the terms of your contract for the minimum notice period. The standard is two weeks notice, but this may vary between companies.
- Check other contractual terms. These include non-competition, non-solicitation and non-poaching clauses. This is particularly important if you’re communicating to your employer where your new opportunity will be.
Quitting your job is a nerve-racking move, with the resignation letter or email being one of the hardest aspects of it. To stay on good terms and preserve your relationship with your employer, here are our top tips for writing a resignation letter and quitting without a hassle.
Resignation letter examples with a reason
There are various reasons for people to leave their jobs, and the resignation letter needs to effectively reflect the reason. The below resignation letter samples and formats have been provided to sample different approaches to resigning, including career change, career advancement, relocation, education, retirement, without notice period, and generic (non-specific).
Career change resignation letter example
In the case of resignation due to a career change, it is appropriate to explain your reasons in the resignation letter. Take the time to speak with your manager about the career move. The letter of resignation example below shows how to explain your motivations:
Relocation resignation letter example
If you need to relocate, it is important to explain to your manager the reason for your resignation, both verbally and in writing. The below example demonstrates how this can be written, in addition to providing assistance for a smooth transition:
Career advancement resignation letter example
Career advancement is one of the most common reasons for resigning from a position. Unfortunately, it may not always be realistic for career progression within the current place of employment, in which case this should be highlighted in the resignation letter. The below letter of resignation is an example of pursuing an external opportunity:
Further education resignation letter example
When looking to further develop skillsets and knowledge, or to delve into something entirely new, employees may choose to resign from their position to focus on study. In this situation, it is important to explain to your manager the reason for your resignation, both verbally and in writing. The letter of resignation example below shows how this can be communicated:
Retirement resignation letter example
In most cases, your employer will be aware of your upcoming retirement and will commence the procedures. However, it is courteous to communicate your intentions with your manager and formalise these intentions with a ‘resignation due to retirement’ letter for distribution to line managers, directors and HR departments. The letter of resignation example below demonstrates how to structure the notice:
Letter of resignation with no notice period
Resigning without a notice period is not very common, but can be relevant in some situations. In circumstances where you are not able to, or do not wish to work your notice period, an explanation is required. The letter of resignation example below shows how this can be communicated:
Simple resignation letter example
If the reason for resigning is simply a need for a change, a generic resignation letter is suitable. If you’re wondering how to write a resignation letter for a casual job, this is probably the template you need. As seen in the letter of resignation example below, the generic format leaves out any specific reasons for the resignation, and features basic details including the last day of employment:
How to resign from your job and leave on a positive note
Before you decide to take the plunge you need to consider your reason for leaving the job. Is it because you’ve found a new job? Have you been in your company a long time? Are you mistreated or unfairly paid? Or are you looking for a career change?
It’s good to make sure you’re fully confident in your decision to resign and that you won’t regret quitting your job in the long run, as it may not be possible for you to return.
How much should you tell your boss?
For instance, do you want to tell them exactly what role and company you are moving on to? Or would you prefer not even mentioning you have a new job lined up? Remember, you have absolutely no obligation to explain your resignation. Whether or not you choose to include any reasoning is up to you – and how open your relationship is with your employer.
How much notice do you need to give?
Your boss will likely ask you when you want to finish up, so have a date in mind, but aim to be a little flexible. If you’re working on a current project, for instance, you may want to see it through to the end. However, bear in mind that you do not have to stay at the company any longer than the notice period outlined in your contract. Some employers, if you negotiate well, may also let you finish up a little sooner. Read more: How much notice do I need to give?
Leave a break before the next job starts
Sometimes, a small break (e.g. 1-2 weeks) can help you rejuvenate, prepare and start fresh in your new job. You might also want to use this time to travel or holiday since you won’t have much annual leave in your new role. Take this into account when determining your finish date (and negotiating the start date in your new position).
How can I professionally resign?
Your boss should be the first one to learn about your resignation, not your coworkers. And yes, it may seem tough at first, but as long as you make yourself clear and use courtesy as your hallmark, you’ll be fine.
Tell your manager face-to-face
If you decide to write a resignation letter, it should be given to your employer in person. It’s best to ask your boss for a one-on-one meeting at a certain time to discuss matters thoroughly. Sit down with your manager for a face-to-face chat. Declare your intention to resign in a direct, positive way, for example, “I have enjoyed working here, and I’ve learned a lot, but now it’s time for me to move on.”
Write a resignation letter
Submit your formal resignation in writing. Keep the resignation letter simple, brief, positive, and to the point.
If appropriate, offer to help find a new candidate.
Give proper notice to resign
Where possible, try to give your employer as much notice as you can to allow time for adequate handover and recruitment. Two weeks is standard, but it’s good form to offer more when you can.
What to say when you resign
You can ‘break the ice’ a little if you wish by making a little bit of small talk, such as asking how your boss’s day is going or inquiring about his/her family or holidays etc. If you’re unsure how to start the resignation discussion, a good opening line can be: “The reason I’ve organised this meeting is that I’ve decided to resign from my job.”
Only disclose what you’re comfortable with
Make sure you only mention to your employer what you feel they need to know. If you don’t want to give away any details but your boss still asks, you can explain in general terms that the role isn’t right for you and doesn’t fit in with your career goals. Whatever you do, don’t lie. The truth will come out sooner or later.
Consider what you’ll say if they try to convince you to stay
He/she may ask you what you would need to stay in the job (e.g. more money, different responsibilities). If this happens, you’ll need to think carefully about whether this will work for your career. If you’re intent on declining the offer, remain polite and professional. You could say something like, “Thank you for the offer, I very much appreciate it. But unfortunately, this role just isn’t right for my career.” If you’re unsure, thank your boss for the offer and say that you’ll think it over. Stay professional and don’t be swayed into finishing up at a time that will make things more difficult for you. However, depending on your relationship with your boss, you may want to extend your finish date if you feel it will help him/her significantly. He/she will likely ask you to put your resignation in writing and possibly speak to HR or inform other managers of your decision.
Thank your manager for their support and understanding
Remember that most managers will be supportive of your decision. If they aren’t, don’t stress or feel guilty. Resigning is perfectly within your rights!
It’s important to set up your meeting in the right way, so find a quiet, private space. Don’t worry if you’re nervous or if the situation is a little tense or awkward. Just stand your ground and follow these tips!
Can you immediately resign?
Resigning from work without notice should be avoided at all costs if possible. Sometimes it’s required, especially if your reasons to resign are because you’ve been treated badly or your new job wants you to start straight away.
What to keep in mind before quitting your job without notice:
Resigning is a difficult move, with one of the most confusing aspects being the amount of notice you need to give. When doing so, you’ll have to comply with your employment contract as well as legal obligations. So what is a notice period and how do you ensure you’ll leave on good terms?
So, you’re ready to leave your casual job. Where do you even start? Even though it may seem like you can leave on a whim, there’s a specific procedure you should follow. Here’s a step by step guide that will help you finally resign from your part-time or casual job.
Navigating the notice period
How your employer will react to your notice may vary. Some may ask you to reconsider, some might want you to leave right away.
If they ask you to stay
If it’s the former, your employer may even provide you with a counteroffer, perhaps exceeding the salary offered by your new job. Remember you can always ask for more time to consider, but keep in mind the reasons for your resignation. Will a financial boost fix the issues you have? If you reject this offer, or your employer provides you with none, well, you might as well clear your desk.
If your boss or colleague becomes frustrated that you’re leaving, loses his/her cool, tries to convince you to stay or even tries to make you feel guilty – stay calm and keep your professionalism at the forefront. Be firm but courteous when you need to.
Don’t get personal
Never resort to making your resignation personal and don’t partake in gossip (e.g. bad-mouthing someone else, complaining to your boss, attacking your boss, whinging about the company). This burns bridges and means you’ll lose those valuable contacts for the future. Don’t post anything negative on social media either.
Be positive and professional
Remain polite and civil at all times, right up until the moment you walk out the door. Phrases like, “I’m going to miss working with you” or “I’ve really enjoyed working here!” can go down well.
Stay positive and emphasise the value and benefits you’ve gained from the job. Don’t make negative quips like, “I’m so glad to be getting out of this horrible place” or “I can’t wait til this stupid job ends.”
Tie up any loose ends
Finally, organise a way to keep in touch with your managers and colleagues, whether via email or on something like LinkedIn. Networking in this way and staying in touch with your contacts can benefit your career significantly – you never know when a past colleague or manager might open the door on a new opportunity for you!
If you find some of your duties are being handed over to another colleague, ask what else you can help with to fill your time.
Make time to conduct handover sessions or training with any employees before you finish up.
Make your last days count
Continue with your tasks and responsibilities up until and including your last day at work.
Avoid slacking off (showing up late, finishing early, taking long lunches) or neglecting your responsibilities (ignoring them, pushing them onto others) just because you’ve resigned – this paints you in an unprofessional light and only shows you have a poor work ethic.
For your last day at work, you must aim to leave quietly and in a positive manner. Say your goodbyes and be kind to everyone, even those who you maybe didn’t get along with. At all costs, avoid saying anything rude or doing anything rebellious such as stealing or vandalism. This can still impact your future positions, especially if you want to use the company as a future reference.
How to handle the exit interview
The exit interview process sounds like another thing to stress over, but that’s not the case. Your employer simply wants to know why you’ve decided to leave, and use those reasons as a way to increase productivity and improve recruitment.
It goes for about twenty minutes and is usually conducted on your last day or the day before. The questions will ask about your experience with the company overall.
Don’t take this as an opportunity to dump all of your frustrations on your employer. Remember, that the employee exit interview is also important for your future career. This will be your last impression on your employer. You don’t want to leave them with a poor one, and it’s better to leave on a positive note.
Exit interview questions
The questions usually asked are:
Were there any outstanding issues you had during the course of your employment?
Did you speak to management about this prior to deciding to resign?
What did you like about working here?
What didn’t you like?
Why have you decided to move to this new company?
You might want to plan out some of your answers prior to the interview to maintain a more professional air. You’d want to lean towards giving more positive feedback than negative to secure that future reference check. However, if there is a serious issue that you strongly believe the company needs to know of, like workplace discrimination, then you should be honest about that. Companies do appreciate it, just make sure it’s not brutal or childish.
After the exit interview
Once that’s all done and dusted, there are few bits and pieces you may want to look into. You can meet up with Human Resources to discuss employment-related benefits, such as health insurance, and other relevant information, like your final pay check. It’s also a time to talk to coworkers about your resignation. It’s best to still keep in touch with your friends there, or, if your experience with your colleagues was less than savoury, then goodbyes may be in order. Whatever the case may be, you’re free to leave your job and start anew. Good luck.
Resigning is never an easy thing to do.
When done correctly, however, it can leave a positive and lasting impression with your current employer. Think about the long-term effects of how you handle this change. This way, your letter of resignation won’t work against you in the future – in fact, it may work in your favour long term.
And if you’re feeling ready for a career change, try taking our careers quiz.
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