Are you ready to let your boss know you're resigning? It’s best to prepare a formal resignation letter, even if you plan to discuss your decision in person as well.
A written resignation letter lets you spell out the terms of your departure in writing, so that there’s no confusion. It’s also an opportunity to thank your boss for the opportunity and to establish a positive last impression. You never know when you might need your former manager as a reference for a future job.
Not sure what to write? Here's a resignation letter template that provides all the information you need to include, as well as tips on how to write a letter that will help you leave on a good note.
What to Include in Your Letter
Your letter should be brief, factual, and gracious. There’s no need to write a long note or to discuss the details of your decision at length.
Focus on the Details
Specify the date you will be leaving employment. Give the appropriate notice, which in most cases will be at least two weeks.
Although it’s best to give two weeks’ notice, you should prepare for the possibility that your boss will ask you to depart on the day you resign. Since most U.S. workers are employed at will, it’s usually legal for employers to “fire” you when you give notice.
Provide a Reason if You Wish
It’s completely optional, but you can choose to share the reason that you’re quitting—provided that you can do so in a constructive fashion. For example, if you’re starting a new job or going back to school, you can say so briefly in your letter.
Offer to Help With the Transition
If possible, offer to help train your replacement or document your duties so that a new hire can step into your role.
Say Thank You
Even if you can’t wait to leave, try to find something to be thankful for, and share your gratitude with your boss. It will help smooth your departure.
Keep It Positive
This letter will become part of your permanent employment record so don’t mention anything negative. A graceful resignation letter doesn't burn bridges and boosts your chances of receiving a recommendation from the employer.
Resignation Letter Template to Download
This is a resignation letter example. Download the resignation letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Resignation Letter Sample (Text Version)
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
September 1, 2022
Director, Human Resources
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
Dear Mr. Chang,
I am writing to inform you of my resignation from my position as an advertising coordinator, effective October 1, 2022. I appreciate all the opportunities you’ve given me during my time at Acme Software, and the support I’ve received from the rest of the team.
If I can be of any assistance during the transition, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m always available for questions if need be.
Handwritten Signature (for a hard copy letter)
Email Resignation Message Sample
Subject: Caitlin Lee - Resignation
Dear Ms. Singh,
I am writing today to submit my resignation from the evening front desk receptionist position, effective March 1, 2022. Thank you so much for your mentorship and support during my time at the company.
I’ve learned a lot about the organization and how to work with customers and the general public. It’s been a pleasure working with you and the rest of the administrative staff.
I have accepted a similar position with another company so that I can work daytime hours. If it would be helpful, I am happy to assist with the transition and train a replacement receptionist through my final day. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Sending Your Resignation via Email
While it's always best to resign in person, sometimes circumstances necessitate resigning by email. Perhaps you have a family situation that requires your immediate attention. Or, maybe you’re fully remote and rarely speak with your manager face-to-face. Whatever the reason, there’s a right way to quit via email:
- Provide all the usual information, including your last date of work and your thanks for the opportunity.
- A brief reason for your departure. (“Personal reasons” is OK if you do not wish to get into details.)
- Contact information in case they need to get in touch with you.
Be sure to proofread and test your email before you send it.
Microsoft Word Resignation Letter Templates
Microsoft resignation letter templates are available as a free download for Microsoft Word users. These include a variety of different resignation letters and are accessible from the templates section of Microsoft Word.
To access these templates from your computer, open the Microsoft Word file and select "New". You will be able to search online templates from that screen by typing “resignation” in the search box.