Resignation letters don’t need to be very long; in fact, short and to the point is often best. But, they do need to convey very specific information and do so in a way that doesn’t burn bridges. For this reason, it’s often helpful to use a template to get started writing your letter. Knowing the right resignation letter format will help.
Elements to Include in a Resignation Letter
- The fact that you’re resigning.
- The date of your last day on the job. (Generally, it’s best to pick a day that’s at least two weeks from the date of your resignation.)
- A general thank you to your soon-to-be former boss, for the opportunity to work at the company.
Optional Points to Include
- A more specific thank you. For example, you might mention a useful skill you learned during your time at the company or a project you particularly enjoyed. If you’ll miss the people you worked with, it’s always nice to say so.
- An offer to help with the transition. For example, by training your replacement.
Elements to Exclude
- Anything negative. Resignation letters serve one important purpose: to set an end-date for your employment with the company. They may also serve to strengthen your networking connection to your soon-to-be former boss by leaving a good final impression. But they are not ever a good way to achieve emotional closure with a job. Even if you’re leaving because you hate everything about the role, and hope to never speak to your boss again after your last day, it costs you nothing to be professional.
- Too much detail. You can provide more information about your duties, clients, and projects, if and when your boss asks for it. Don’t clutter up this particular message with extraneous details.
Quitting in General
- Give at least two weeks notice – but don’t feel obligated to give more than that. Also, prepare for the possibility that you’ll be asked to leave immediately. It’s not common, but some employers will ask workers to leave ASAP after they resign, so make your financial plans accordingly.
- Find out about any employee benefits to which you might be entitled, before your last day. Ask about unused sick time or vacation time, and get information about your 401(k) and any stock options that might have accrued during your tenure.
- If you can, ask for a letter of recommendation from your former boss and coworkers who might have positive things to say about your work. Now is also a good time to ask for endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn and other social media, when you’re still fresh in your team’s mind.
Resignation Letter Format
The following resignation letter format will show you what to write in your letter of resignation.
Your Contact Information
First Last Name
City, State Zip Code
Employer Contact Information
City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,
Your letter should say that you are resigning and state when your resignation is effective.
The next (optional) section of your resignation letter should thank your employer for the opportunities you have had during your employment with the company.
Conclude your resignation letter (also optional) by offering to assist with the transition.
Handwritten Signature (typed letter)
Sample Resignation Letter
This is a resignation letter example. Download the resignation letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Sample Resignation Letter (Text Version)
132 Edge Park Drive
Middleburg, MA 02100
March 1, 2020
Mr. Jason Gonzalez
987 Main Street
Middleburg, MA 02100
Dear Mr. Gonzalez,
I’m writing today to give my resignation and let you know that my last day with ABC Corp will be March 16, 2020.
I’ve enjoyed my time here at the company immensely and will miss working with the team. I’m so grateful to have had the chance to work with you all, and I know the skills I’ve learned over the past five years will serve me well in my new adventure.
Please let me know what I can to do to ease the transition. I’m happy to help train my replacement, and can also provide a quick cheat sheet to the client list for anyone who’s taking over my duties on a temporary basis.
Thanks again for everything.
Use a Template to Format Your Resignation Letter: This will help you ensure that your letter contains the right information and won’t burn any bridges.
Include Essential Elements: These include your last date at your current job and your thanks.
Consider Optional Elements: For example, you may offer to help with the transition.
Avoid Offering Too Much Information: You don’t need to get into detail about why you’re leaving your job.