How to Resign From Your Job via Email

quit on keyboard
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There’s a right way and a wrong way to quit your job – and generally, resigning over email is the wrong way. Think of it this way: If you were the boss, would you want people to send in their notice electronically, or would you prefer to have an in-person conversation?

When possible, it's always best to quit in person. A face-to-face conversation shows courtesy to your soon-to-be-former employer and strengthens the relationship as you close this chapter in your career. You never know when you might need a networking contact, a recommendation, or a letter of reference. Your manager is far more likely to help you out if you conducted your last days at the office with grace and peak professionalism.

That said, there are circumstances under which quitting in person is impossible. When these situations arise, quitting by email might be necessary and the only option. You can still handle your departure professionally, even if you can't have a conversation with your boss to discuss your departure.

When Is It Acceptable to Quit Your Job via Email?

  • When you work remotely. If your manager is in California and you’re in Texas and you telecommute full-time, it makes sense to resign via email. In this case, email is likely one of the ways in which you communicate with your boss most often, so it’s not as abrupt as it would be if you worked together in a physical office.
  • When you need to resign immediately. Sometimes personal circumstances require you to leave a job on short notice, or with no notice at all. If you're not able to go back to the workplace, you can either resign with a phone call or an email message to your manager.
  • When resigning in person would put you in danger. If you work for an abusive manager or in a psychologically unsafe environment, resigning via email may be your safest option. You’re sacrificing nothing by severing the connection, because it’s unlikely that your boss would provide you with a recommendation anyway. Most importantly, you’re protecting yourself, which comes before career considerations.

Tips for Sending an Email to Quit a Job

Even if you do quit your job via email, giving two weeks’ notice is standard practice. However, if going into the office isn't feasible, you may not be able to provide that much notice.

If you have an employment contract, be sure to check on how much notice you are required to provide.

Give as much notice as you can in order to maintain a good relationship with your employer.

Don't feel like you need to provide details in your letter about why you are leaving. If you don't want to provide a reason for quitting, you can simply state that you are resigning for personal reasons.

This is also not the space to complain about the company or co-workers. Keep your email brief and include only essential details, since a copy of this letter will likely be filed in your employee file, and may be reviewed if you ever ask the company for a reference.

Whom to Notify That You're Leaving

Your emailed resignation letter should be sent to your immediate supervisor, with a copy to the Human Resources department at your workplace. Copy your personal email address on the message (cc: or bcc:) so you have the email in your records.

What to Include in Your Email Message

When you quit a job using email, there is information you will need to include in your message:

  • The date your resignation is effective.
  • What the company should do with your final paycheck, if it's not direct deposited and you are not returning to work.
  • Any questions you may have regarding compensation and benefits.
  • How the company can contact you, if necessary. Provide your phone number and personal email address in your signature.

You can also include a polite thank you to the company and/or your manager. 

Make the subject line of your email message "Resignation - Your Name." Using this straightforward subject line will ensure that your manager doesn't overlook this important piece of correspondence. 

Resignation Email Template

Use this template as a starting point to create your own resignation message.

Subject Line: Resignation - Your Name

First Paragraph
Your email message should state that you are resigning and include the date when your resignation is effective.

Middle Paragraph
The next (optional) section of your resignation email message should thank your employer for the opportunities you have had during your employment with the company.

Final Paragraph
Conclude your resignation email message (also optional) by offering to assist with the transition.

Closing
Respectfully yours,

Your Name
Phone
Personal Email

Resignation Email Message Sample

Here's a sample email resignation message, including the final date the employee will work.

Email Subject Line: Resignation - Anna Leonard

Dear Mr. Collins:

My apologies for notifying you by email. However, circumstances are such that I will no longer be able to come into the office. Please accept this email message as notification that I am leaving my position with CDF effective September 1, 2019 due to personal reasons.

I appreciate the opportunities I have been given at the company and your professional guidance and support. I wish both you and the company much success in the future.

Please let me know what to expect as far as my accrued personal leave time and my final paycheck.

If I can be of assistance during this transition, please let me know.

Best regards,

Anna Leonard
Email
Phone