Sample Resignation Letter for Quitting Your Job

Man typing resignation letter
••• AzmanJaka / Getty Images

When you are resigning from employment, it's proper protocol to provide your employer with a formal resignation letter for your employee file. A letter is a way to officially announce your resignation, even if you have already discussed your resignation with your boss or Human Resources.

You should send this letter to your employer, as well as Human Resources so that they have the letter on file.

Writing a letter is also a courtesy that can help you maintain a positive relationship with your employer, which is essential if you hope to use them as a reference and keep them as a networking contact. Review advice on writing a resignation letter, as well as a sample resignation letter.

Sample Resignation Letter

Use the sample resignation letter below as a template for your own letter. Be sure to rewrite the letter to fit your particular employment situation.

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email

Date

Name
Title
Organization
Address
City, State Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as Account Executive for the Smith Agency, effective August 1.

Thank you very much for the opportunities for professional and personal development that you have provided me during the last five years. I have enjoyed working for the agency and appreciate the support provided me during my tenure with the company.

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

Sincerely,

Your Signature (hard copy letter)

Your Typed Name

Tips for Writing a Resignation Letter

Give appropriate notice. It's best to give your boss two weeks’ notice if you are resigning. If possible, write the letter at least two weeks before resigning your job. The most important information to include in a resignation letter is the date you plan to leave the company. This helps ease the transition for the employer, as well as for you. State this date very early in the letter.

Say thank you. You should also let the employer know you appreciate your time with the company. If you were not particularly happy at the company, or if your relationship with your supervisor or colleagues was contentious, you can keep this expression of thanks brief. It's enough to simply say, "I've enjoyed my time at ABC company." or "My two years at ABC company have been a pleasure."

Offer to help. If possible, offer the employer assistance as they look for a replacement. This help could come in the form of recruiting or training a new employee. You can also offer to prepare transitional documents or share your personal email for questions after you've left the company. It's up to you how generous you want to be.

Ask questions. If you have any questions, including where to leave work supplies or questions about your benefits, you might include these in your letter as well.

Don't vent or complain. A resignation letter is not the time to share frustrations about coworkers, managers, or the company. Keep in mind that you may someday need a reference from people who will see this letter, so it is best to be polite.

Keep your letter short. A resignation letter should be simple, brief, focused, and to the point. There is no need to elaborate on your reason for leaving—keep the letter professional rather than delving into the personal.

Use business letter format. Make sure to follow proper business letter format in your letter. Include a header with the employer’s name and address, the date, and your name and address.

Proofread and double-check before you send. You should also thoroughly proofread the letter before sending it. Again, you may need to ask for a recommendation from your employer, and you want all your work to be polished.

Sending an Email Resignation Message

Thinking of sending an email message in order to resign your job? The content of your message will be similar, but there are a few things to keep in mind, to be professional and keep from burning bridges with your soon-to-be former employer.

  • Talk to your manager or HR if possible. Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to resign via email out of the blue. While email can be an acceptable substitute for a hard-copy letter, it’s not the equivalent of a face-to-face conversation with the boss. A few exceptions: if you work remotely on a full-time basis or feel unsafe resigning in person, email may be your best option.
  • Include all necessary information. That means providing a clear subject line (e.g., Resignation – Your Name) and your effective resignation date, contact information, and offer to help with the transition if possible. You should also tell the company where to send your final paycheck if you don’t have direct deposit, as well as ask any questions you might have about benefits and paid time off.
  • Proofread and test your message. The last thing you want is to send your resignation email only to discover that it was filled with typos or formatting issues that you would have caught during a simple test. Send the message to yourself first, and consider having an eagle-eyed friend review it for errors before you send it on to your boss.