When you are quitting your job, 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. It also confirms your end date of employment.
You should send this letter to your manager, 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 a Sample Resignation Letter
Use the sample resignation letter below as a template for your own letter, but just be sure to rewrite the letter to fit your particular employment situation.
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
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.
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 from 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 co-workers, 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.
Resignation Email Example
Here's an example of a resignation email. Be sure to use a clear subject line so the message gets opened and read.
Subject Line: Resignation – John Taggart
Dear Ms. Caldwell,
I’m writing to inform you that I am resigning from my position as administrative assistant for Acme Corporation, effective November 1.
I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from you and the team. Thank you for your support, mentorship, and guidance over the past two years.
If I can be of any assistance during the transition, please let me know.
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.
Always Send a Letter of Resignation When You Quit Your Job: It’s protocol to inform your employer in writing; plus, sending a letter will provide a written record.
Include Important Information in Your Resignation Letter: Note your last day of work, convey your thanks, and offer to help with the transition.
Know When to Send an Email Resignation: In certain situations—working remotely, for example—an email resignation is appropriate.
Be Professional: Review sample resignation letters before composing your own, proofread your letter, and be gracious to your employer.