Whenever possible, it's best to quit a job verbally and then follow up with a formal resignation letter for your employment file. However, sometimes circumstances arise that require you to send a resignation email.
For example, you may work remotely, or you might have a sudden family emergency that means telling your employer that you are leaving as soon as possible. When that happens, you need to notify your manager that you’ll be leaving, and do so professionally and courteously, so as not to burn any bridges.
Quitting your job can be an opportunity to strengthen relationships and build your network—if you go about things in the right way.
A well-crafted resignation email can help you resign professionally and gracefully as you move on from your job.
What to Include in Your Email Message
Include the date you intend to leave the company. This will give your employer a clear sense of your timeline. Before you send your message, consider how much notice you want to give. Two weeks' notice is standard, but not required if there are circumstances that require you to move on right away.
You'll additionally want to cover a few other issues.
This is a good opportunity to express your gratitude for the time you have worked at the company.
Even if you're very unhappy with the company, do not complain or say anything negative in your letter.
Your goal is to maintain a good relationship with the employer, especially since you might have to ask for a letter of reference in the future.
If you are able to do so, offer to help the company with the transition period. You might offer to train a new employee, for example, or document the tasks you do.
Provide Contact Information
Provide your non-company email address or other forms of contact information that you want to include, so that your employer can get in touch with you if necessary. This is especially important if you are leaving right away. You will lose access to your work email account when your employment ends.
Resignation Email Message Writing Tips
Emailing Your Employer
Send the email to your boss, but also carbon copy (cc) the Human Resources department so that they can keep the email on file.
You may also choose to send a copy to your personal email account for your own records, in case your soon-to-be former employer cuts off access to your work email account immediately.
Give Two Weeks' Notice
If possible, give your employer the standard two weeks’ notice when you are going to quit. If that's not possible, give them as much notice as possible. This will help you maintain a good relationship with your former employer.
Be Ready to Leave Immediately
Even if you give two weeks’ notice, your employer may choose to end your employment immediately upon receiving your resignation. So clear up any loose ends and pack up your personal items before you hit “send” on your resignation email.
Don't Go Into Details
You do not need to provide details on why you are leaving or what you will be doing next. You want to keep your letter brief.
Ask Any Questions
This is also an opportunity to ask any questions about compensation or benefits, such as where or when you will receive your last paycheck. You should send the email to both your employer and the Human Resources department. Human Resources will be able to answer these kinds of questions.
Review Resignation Email Examples
It is a good idea to review resignation email examples before writing your own. Examples can help you see what kind of content you should include in your email (such as an expression of your gratitude, or an offer to help the company with the transition).
You might also look at a resignation email template to get a sense of how to lay out your letter, and what to include (such as introductions and body paragraphs).
While examples, templates, and guidelines are a great starting point for your email, you should always tailor the email to fit the company and your situation.
Two Weeks’ Notice Resignation Email Message
Email Subject Line: Resignation - Your Name
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
Please accept this message as notification that I am leaving my position with ABCD Company effective September 15.
I appreciate the opportunities I have been given at ABCD and your professional guidance and support. I wish you and the company the best of success in the future.
Please let me know what to expect as far as my final work schedule, accrued vacation leave, and my employee benefits.
If I can be of assistance during this transition, please let me know.
In the future, you can continue to get in touch with me through my non-work email, email@example.com, or my cell phone, 555-555-5555.
Effective Immediately Resignation Email Message
Email Subject Line: Immediate Resignation - Your Name
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
Regretfully, I must submit my immediate resignation for personal reasons.
I have enjoyed my time at XYZ Corp and will miss working with you and our team. I’m proud of the work we’ve done. Thank you for your support and mentorship these past five years.
I know that my leaving so quickly will likely create some difficulties; please accept my sincere apologies and help in the transition. I’m happy to help screen replacement candidates and/or assist in training my replacement via video conferencing.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at my personal email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via phone at 555-555-5555.
Thank you again.
- Have a conversation. If possible, tell your boss in person or over the phone that you’re resigning. If it’s not, then send a resignation email message.
- Be specific. Give appropriate notice (two weeks is typical) and include the date of your last workday.
- Keep it professional. Even if you’re thrilled to be moving on, it’s important to keep your correspondence polite and professional. You may need a reference in the future.