Resignation letter template: How to write a letter of resignation

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Moving on? Here’s what you need to write the perfect resignation letter

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People leave their jobs for a whole host of different reasons, to accept a better offer, to escape a toxic work environment, to move to a different place, to start their own business or perhaps to ditch the rat race altogether and go travelling the world.

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While the reasons for leaving a job are varied, the correct way to hand in your resignation is pretty uniform no matter what sector or career you are working in.

So, if you have decided to move on to bigger and better things then follow our guide on how to write the perfect resignation letter.

Layout

A resignation letter should be formal. It shouldn’t look like an email, or even worse, a text message. Lay it out like a proper formal letter including your manager’s name and the company address (see below). You should space out your paragraphs and double check it for grammar or spelling mistakes too.

Get to the point

This is not the time to waffle or go off on a tangent. Your resignation should be brief and to the point. A well-written letter allows you to cut through any confusion that may result in a lengthy discussion with your manager or supervisor.

Legally, there are two main things that you absolutely have to include.

  • A sentence stating that you are leaving the company.
  • A line detailing your last day of work.

Always say thank you

Use this opportunity to express your gratitude for the opportunities that were presented to you and everything that you learned. You can keep it to one or two sentences but adding in a few words of thanks can make a positive difference to how the letter reads.

Offer to help

As well as thanking the company, it’s also a nice touch to offer to help them with the transition period. Make it clear that you want to make the whole process of finding and training a replacement as easy as possible for them. This will put their mind at ease.

Don’t air your grievances

Now is not the time to retaliate with a sarcastic rebuke or hidden insult. Even if you are leaving the company on bad terms you need to remain professional.

Remember that this letter could be kept on file and revisited if you ever need a reference. Remain diplomatic throughout.

Tailor the length

The length of your resignation letter will depend on the industry that you work in. In careers where employees are required to leave right away like banking and law, sometimes the notice period and a brief thank you are all that you need to include.

Ditch email

Handing your employer a physical copy of your resignation might seem just a little bit old-fashioned but there are many reasons why you shouldn’t send it via email.

Having a physical resignation letter means you can control when you give it to your employer and you can also prepare them for what they are about to read.

Control the delivery

Ask your manager for a one on one meeting. Bring the resignation letter with you and explain to them that you are handing in your notice.

While they probably won’t open the letter there and then at least they have a hard copy to refer back to. You should also email them the letter after the meeting in case they need to send it on to the HR department. This also important so you have a timestamp as reference.

Be prepared

When you hand in your letter of resignation your boss might offer you more money or a better position. Be prepared for this conversation. Know your bottom line and exactly what you want before you meet them so you are not caught off guard.

Example

Here is a sample resignation letter that you can tailor it to fit your own circumstances.

Employer name,

Company address,

Town / City,

Country.

Dear (manager’s name),

First paragraph: Cover the basics

I am writing to resign from the position of (job title) at (company name). My last working day will be (leaving date).

Second paragraph: Express your gratitude.

During my time with (company name), I have really enjoyed ________ or I’m grateful for the opportunity you’ve given me to ________.  

Final paragraph: Offer help and remain positive

In the lead up to my departure, I’ll prepare handover notes for all of my current responsibilities. I would also be happy to assist you in finding a replacement.

Thank you for my time with (company name). I wish you and (company name) all the best for the future.

Yours sincerely,

Your first and last name

Contact number or email address.

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