10 Essential Steps to Writing a Resignation Letter (With Examples and Template)
Leaving a job can be an emotional experience, filled with worry and stress. After all, this isn’t just the end of a current position; it’s likely that you are leaving opportunities unfulfilled and relationships unfinished. One key step in making sure the transition is as smooth as possible is how you handle your resignation letter. Whether you're looking for new opportunities or simply moving on to the next chapter in life - writing an effective resignation letter doesn't have to be a difficult process!
In this blog post, we'll provide 10 essential steps on how to write a professional resignation letter, along with several examples and even downloadable templates for your convenience.
The letter will consist of (in this order):
- Your name, address, and date on the top left-hand side of the page
- Your salutation
- A brief sentence stating that you are resigning
- Some positive feedback
- The reason you are leaving
- How you will help with the handoff and transition, a request for an open door if you'd like one, and another thank-you
- A simple, professional closing
- Your name under what will be your signature, and under that, a phone number
- Request to complete a personal evaluation
- A plan to deliver it personally to your manager
Now let’s break it down:
1. Your name, address, and date on the top left-hand side of the page.
When it comes time to leave a job, every detail matters. Putting your name, address, and date on the top left-hand side of the page may seem insignificant, but it ensures that your letter is more than a mere formality - it establishes its legitimacy as an official document. Done correctly, this simple act serves as the foundation for your professional resignation letter and sets the stage for you to communicate your feelings in an effective, respectful way.
2. Your salutation
When writing a resignation letter, it is important to create a professional and respectful salutation at the beginning. Salutations can range from simply stating the recipient's name, such as "Dear [Name]," to introducing more formal intros such as "Dear Hiring Manager" or “To Whom It May Concern." When in doubt, err on the side of formality and avoid casual language as much as possible. A polished salutation reflects that you are respecting the relationship between you and your employer even if things didn't exactly go as planned. It is also helpful to use their preferred form of address; simply ask your contact person how they would like to be addressed when in doubt!
3. A brief sentence stating that you are resigning
"I hereby tender my resignation from (Company Name) effective (date)." Make sure to include an effective date—this should be at least two weeks from the date of your letter.
4. Some positive feedback
When it’s time to leave a job, it’s important to maintain positive relationships despite the situation – and that starts with a professional resignation letter. Show your appreciation for the opportunity you’ve had by leaving on a good note. It can take some thought to express yourself clearly and succinctly in this way, but starting with our helpful tips and free downloadable template can make the process easier. Taking the time to provide thoughtful feedback and appreciation will leave the door open for possible future connections, both practical and professional.
“I appreciate the opportunity working with XYZ Company has given me to develop both personally and professionally.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity for professional development provided by XYZ Company.”
“I'd like to thank XYZ company for the past 6 months of employment. I got much more than just a paycheck, and I will always be grateful for that.”
Or, if you truly are grateful for your time there (and I hope you are), you might want to try something such as:
“Although I will always be grateful for the 5 years of professional growth I enjoyed with XYZ Company, it is with a heavy heart I bid farewell to all of you who have become so much more to me than just coworkers, and who I will forever carry with me in my heart as treasured friends.
5. The reason you are leaving
Starting a new job is an exciting opportunity and you likely already have plans for all that you're looking forward to in your career. However, before beginning this new pursuit in life, it is important to take time to properly resign from your current job. This can be daunting but a professional resignation letter can help you part on good terms and still be proud of the work that you've done. Through our tips, examples, and free downloadable templates, writing a well-worded resignation letter will be easier than you ever expected. Leaving with grace might seem like a difficult task, but taking note of your reason for leaving will help create the structure for successful resignation letters.
If you have a new job already lined up, this should be simple to keep positive. If not, and you're quitting with no backup because you just can't take it anymore, it's a little trickier, but here are some examples for both scenarios:
“The reason for my leaving is simple: while I am grateful for everything I have learned here at XYZ Company, I have been offered a new position elsewhere that I believe is more in line with my personal and professional goals, and believe it would be a better fit for me.”
“I am leaving XYZ Company for personal reasons, will be leaving with only positive memories, and therefore have only positive things to say about XYZ and all its staff members.”
“Recent events have caused me to re-evaluate my personal and professional goals and unfortunately, this position and the opportunities it presents are no longer in line with those goals.”
6. How you will help with the handoff and transition, a request for an open door if you'd like one, and another thank-you
Along with expressing your gratitude for the job opportunity, you should explain how you will help to make the transition easier for them over the next few weeks. To ensure an open-door policy between yourself and your employer, you can request it in your resignation letter - who knows, there may be future opportunities where any support from your previous employer could come in handy. Thanking them one last time for their time, patience and kindness is not only polite but helps to leave on good terms.
To cover these three things, here are some examples:
To explain how you will help with the handoff and transition (assuming they will not "escort you out"), and maybe offer to help in the future as well. This might sound something like this:
“I am fully dedicated to wrapping up my projects, taking care of any loose ends, and even offering training for the person who will replace me in two weeks. By the last day of my employment here, you can expect a summary report from me as an aid during this transition period.”
“My priority is to make the transition process for XYZ as seamless as possible. I'm willing and ready to follow any instructions given while I'm still here as well as after my departure; my phone line remains open should you need me.”
“Until my last day, I will continue to accomplish all of my tasks and will be available to answer any questions or concerns. Please let me know what else I can do to help make this a smooth transition for XYZ.”
“Please know that I will always make myself available to help with this transition, both in the upcoming two weeks and beyond; I'd always welcome a call from XYZ and hope the door remains open in both directions.”
Ask for an open door if you'd like one. This sounds like:
“I hope that if my journey should take me back to XYZ, the opportunity will still be available.” This works if you are leaving on good terms and can see yourself coming back.
“If fate has a plan for me to return to XYZ, I pray that the door is open and ready to receive me as warmly as I am prepared to meet it.”
Say thank you again (you might have already done this, but you're going to do it again). It might sound something like this:
“Again I thank you for the opportunity.” This is sufficient if you just want to end it all and be done.
“Again, I'd like to thank everyone at XYZ for all the lessons, both personally and professionally.” This is easy to reconcile with no matter how things went.
“Again, I thank you all for the employment, the lessons, and most of all the lifelong friendships.”
7. A simple, professional closing.
Whether you're resigning from a full-time job or leaving a part-time position, writing a resignation letter can be an important step before officially ending your time with the company. Be sure to close your resignation letter professionally by wishing the company future success and offering two week's notice.
This will help ensure you end things on good terms and build relationships for future opportunities. Writing resignation letters doesn’t have to be hard; with our helpful tips, resignation letter examples, and a downloadable template, you can create a resignation letter that will leave you feeling empowered and ready to move forward, but the closing is easy. Just use one of the two listed below and you’re almost done:
“With warm regards,”
8. Your name under what will be your signature, and under that, a simple phone number.
Once you've composed the body of your resignation letter and revised for accuracy, you can finish the closing. Your full name should be listed in closing beneath your signature. You may also include a simple phone number if it's necessary for follow up or if you wish to remain accessible after your departure from the company. This closing is an opportunity to extend goodwill and demonstrate respect for your current employer, colleagues, and position; your signature signifies that this is also a formal document.
9. Request to complete a personal evaluation
Writing a resignation letter can be a daunting task, however there are ways to make the process go smoothly. Knowing how to give your two weeks notice and writing a professional resignation letter is the first step. For the best outcomes, it is important to request a personal evaluation before leaving your current job. Doing so allows time for introspection on what has been accomplished during that period of employment, and also gives an opportunity to assess how well goals have been met. Make sure you use a resignation letter template when leaving your job!
The request to fill out a personal evaluation could sound like this:
“Please take a few moments to provide me with feedback regarding our working experience.
You can copy the personal evaluation I have used with great success here:
This is just icing on the cake--ending your resignation letter with an unexpected bonus that screams professional and makes (intelligent) people think, "Wow, what are we letting go here?"
10. A plan to deliver it personally to your manager
Knowing how to deliver your letter of resignation in a professional manner is just as important as writing it. Hand-delivering the letter allows you to explain the situation without interruption and can help with a smooth transition. Make sure that you plan ahead how to deliver your resignation Letter – try scheduling an in-person meeting or sending it via email. Immediately after handing in your resignation, provide your manager with any additional documents or reports needed and make sure there is clarity around when you intend to finish up and how any disputes or issues should be handled. This way, both you and your employer will feel better about how you leave the job and the relationship can remain amicable.
So, to put it all together, it might read like this:
Dear Mr. Jones,
I am writing to inform you that after careful consideration I have decided to resign from my position as head baker at XYZ.
Thank you for the opportunity to be part of your team. I am grateful for all the lessons I have learned, both personally and professionally.
Until my last day, I will continue to accomplish all of my tasks and will be available to answer any questions or concerns. Please let me know what else I can do to help make this a smooth transition for XYZ. I hope that if my journey should take me back to XYZ, the opportunity will still be available, and again thank you for the opportunity to be part of the magic that is XYZ.
PS-Please take a few moments to provide me with feedback regarding our working experience. This is beneficial for my professional and personal development, and your opinions will be kept confidential.
While a resignation letter is a formal goodbye, it doesn’t need to be cold. A professional tone should always be used, but if you can, be warm and appreciative as well; it will only serve you in the end.
It's important to remember the principles of writing a resignation letter mentioned here: consider addressing it to your manager for advising you rather than attributing it to the termination of employment. You can include your gratitude for the position and group, offer help with the handoff, offer references upon request, express how this transition has been beneficial for you professionally or personally, provide your contact details if appropriate as well as any other pertinent information that wasn’t included in this blog post; finally sign off formally but pleasantly.
Congratulations on taking the first steps into your next profession! Do take the time to reflect on what you've learned during this journey which will make all of your future endeavors successful and rewarding too. Wrapping up one job is sometimes difficult yet necessary at times; however, it can open up other exciting opportunities down the road.
Download the resignation letter template
What to learn more? Is there a proper way to quit your job? Or do you simply walk in and say "I QUIT!" Dan will walk you through the process, and even provide links to a professional resignation letter, among other things. He leaves no stones unturned. Read more
And, if you are ready to learn to have conversations that create miracles, check this out! We'll give you the words!