How to write a Resignation Letter

Learn how to write a resignation letter with grace. Our guide offers tips, structures, and examples for a smooth, respectful professional exit.

How to write a Resignation Letter

Leaving your current job is never easy. It can be an emotionally charged experience, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about your next steps. One of the most essential parts of quitting your job is writing a professional resignation letter. But learning how to write a Resignation letter can be a bit daunting. With some simple tips we will show you how to craft the perfect letter.

What is a Resignation Letter ?

A resignation letter is an important document to inform your employer of your intention to leave your position. This letter not only states that you are leaving your job, but it also serves as a formal communication between you and your employer. It is important to write a resignation letter that is concise, respectful, and contains all the necessary information.

Reasons for writing a Resignation Letter

There are several scenarios in which you might decide to write a resignation letter. These can include wanting to move on to a different career opportunity, taking time off to travel or care for loved ones, or simply wanting to take a break from the workforce. In addition to these scenarios, there may be other reasons why you may need to write a resignation letter. No matter the reason for your leaving, it is important to keep in mind the need for a formal expression of gratitude to your employer.

It is also important to keep in mind the tone of the letter when writing a resignation letter. The tone should be positive and professional, reflecting your appreciation for the opportunity and knowledge you have gained throughout your tenure.

Understanding Your Employment Contract Before Resigning

Before taking the step to resign, it's crucial that you thoroughly comprehend the terms outlined in your employment contract. Your contract serves as a legal agreement between you and your employer and typically includes stipulations around resignation, including the notice period required.

Failing to provide the appropriate notice as specified in your contract can have consequences, such as the withholding of your final paycheck. It is therefore, paramount that you adhere to the guidelines set forth in your contract when submitting your resignation.

In certain circumstances, the conditions of resignation within your contract may seem unreasonable or overly demanding. If you find yourself in this situation, it could be beneficial to seek legal advice. Contacting a solicitor can provide clarity about the legality of your contract's terms and provide guidance on the best way forward.

Knowing your rights and obligations before resigning can prevent potential issues down the line, allowing for a more seamless and less stressful transition from your current employment.

When to submit a Resignation Letter ?

Choosing when to hand in your resignation letter is a key consideration. Typically, it's professional to give at least two weeks' notice before your planned last day, allowing your employer sufficient time to manage the transition. However, the specific timing can depend on your individual situation and the terms of your employment contract. If your workplace circumstances have become intolerable, you may opt for immediate resignation. Always remember that maintaining professional relationships and leaving on a positive note is important, regardless of the circumstances of your departure.

Essential Elements of a Resignation Letter

When crafting your resignation letter, there are several key elements to keep in mind. These include the format, language, and length of the letter. It is important to ensure that the format of the letter follows the proper guidelines and includes all the necessary information. The language used in the letter should also be formal and polite, while the length of the letter should be kept to a minimum.

Writing the perfect resignation letter can be difficult, but there are certain steps you can take to ensure your letter is professional and effective. The advantages of crafting a well written resignation letter include making a positive impression on your employer and expressing gratitude for the opportunity. To make sure your letter sounds professional, there are certain tips you should keep in mind, such as being honest and concise and avoiding any negative comments.

How to write a Resignation Letter

1. Include a formal salutation: Address your employer or manager directly. If possible, avoid generic phrases like "To Whom It May Concern."

2. Clearly state your intention to resign: Your first sentence should explicitly state your intent to resign. Include the role you're resigning from and the effective date of your resignation, typically two weeks from the date of the letter.

3. Provide a reason for leaving (optional): If you feel comfortable doing so, you can provide a brief reason for your resignation. Keep this explanation professional and concise.

4. Offer assistance during the transition: Whether that's training a replacement or tying up loose ends, your willingness to help demonstrates professionalism and consideration for your employer.

5. Express gratitude: Thank your employer for the opportunities and experiences you've had during your tenure. This can include skills you've acquired, projects you've enjoyed, or growth you've experienced.

6. Include a warm closing: Wrap up your letter with a warm but professional closing, like "Best regards" or "Sincerely," followed by your name.

7. Proofread: Ensure your letter is free of typos or grammatical errors, and that all information is accurate. A clean, error-free letter is a sign of professionalism.

Remember, while this guide serves as a good starting point, your resignation letter should also be tailored to your personal circumstances and the professional culture of your company.

Format & Sample of a Resignation Letter


Salutation: A formal greeting, e.g., "Dear [Manager's Name]".

Opening statement: Clearly state your intention to resign and from which position, along with your last day of work.

Body: A brief explanation of your reason for leaving (optional), and a positive note about your experience with the company.

Closing statement: Offer assistance during the transition period and express gratitude for the opportunities received during your employment.

Closing: Formal closing, e.g., "Sincerely" or "Best Regards," followed by your signed and typed name.


Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I am writing to formally resign from my position at [Your Company Name], effective two weeks from today, [Your Last Working Day].

This was not an easy decision to make. The past [Your Years of Service] years have been very rewarding. I've enjoyed working for you and managing a very successful team dedicated to a quality product delivered on time.

During my last two weeks, I'll do everything possible to wrap up my duties and train other team members to take over my responsibilities. If there's anything else I can do to aid during the transition, please feel free to let me know.

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to work in this position and for the professional development I have gained during my tenure. I have enjoyed working at the company, and I will miss my colleagues. However, after careful consideration, I have decided to make a move to [Reason, if comfortable sharing].

Thank you again for the opportunity. I look forward to staying in touch, and I hope our paths cross again in the future.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

Remember, the above format and sample are guides. Personalize your letter according to your situation, maintaining professionalism throughout.

Mistakes to avoid when writing a Resignation Letter

Writing a resignation letter is a serious task that requires careful consideration. It's crucial to make a positive final impression, and thus it's just as important to know what not to do as it is to understand what should be done. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when writing your resignation letter:

Being Negative: Your resignation letter should focus on the positive aspects of your time with the company. Avoid speaking negatively about your colleagues, bosses, or the company as a whole, regardless of your experiences.

Providing Too Much Information: While it's okay to provide a reason for your departure, going into excessive detail, especially about personal matters, is unnecessary. Keep the letter concise and professional.

Not Giving Adequate Notice: Failing to provide ample notice can leave your employer in a tight spot. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, try to provide at least two weeks' notice.

Forgetting to Offer Assistance: Offering to aid in the transition process, such as training a replacement, demonstrates a high level of professionalism and leaves a good final impression.

Leaving Out Appreciation: Forgetting to express gratitude for the opportunities and experiences you've had with the company can come across as ungrateful. Even if the circumstances weren't perfect, it's important to highlight the positive.

Lack of Proof reading: Grammatical errors, typos, or factual mistakes in your letter can appear careless. Always proofread your letter for clarity, accuracy, and appropriateness before handing it in.

Submitting Without a Follow-up Plan: Before handing in your resignation letter, have a plan for a conversation with your supervisor. They may wish to discuss your reasons for leaving or talk about next steps, so it's good to be prepared for this conversation.

Avoiding these common mistakes can help ensure you leave your current job on a good note, preserving professional relationships that might be valuable in the future.

FAQ's on writing Resignation Letters

Resigning from a job isn't something most people do often, so it's natural to have a few questions about the process. Here, we'll answer some of the most common inquiries people have about writing resignation letters.

Do I have to give a reason for my resignation in the letter?

While it's not mandatory to state the reason for your resignation in the letter, we encourage you to do so if you feel comfortable and if the reason is professionally appropriate.

What should I do if my employer asks me to leave immediately after handing in my resignation letter?

If your employer asks you to leave immediately, you should comply. It's their right to do so, though they will usually compensate you for the notice period.

How do I resign if I haven't found another job?

The process remains the same whether you have another job lined up or not. It's important to ensure you can financially manage without immediate employment and have a plan for job hunting.

Can I send a resignation letter by email?

Yes, you can send a resignation letter by email. However, the decision should be based on your company's culture and the nature of your work.

Should I keep a copy of my resignation letter?

Yes, it's always a good idea to keep a copy of your resignation letter for your records.

Can I retract my resignation letter if I change my mind?

In most cases, once a resignation letter is submitted, the decision is final. However, if you change your mind, it's up to the employer whether they will accept the retraction.

What if my employer doesn't accept my resignation?

Once you've submitted your resignation, it's legally binding, and your employer cannot refuse to accept it. However, it's important to handle the situation professionally and discuss any concerns or issues with your employer.

Can I use my resignation letter to give feedback or air grievances?

While you can provide constructive feedback, a resignation letter is not the platform for airing grievances or blaming colleagues or supervisors. If you have issues, it's better to raise them before deciding to resign or during your exit interview.

Writing a professional and respectful resignation letter is a crucial step when you decide to leave your current job. It not only officially marks the end of your tenure but also allows for a smoother transition while maintaining a positive relationship with your soon-to-be former employer.

Always remember that a well-written resignation letter should include key elements such as your personal details, a formal salutation, a clear statement of resignation, a reason for leaving (optional), an offer of assistance during the transition period, and an expression of gratitude for the opportunity.

While it can be a challenging task, following the outlined steps and avoiding common mistakes can help you draft an effective resignation letter that leaves a positive lasting impression. As you embark on this next phase of your professional journey, use this guide to handle your exit with grace and professionalism, setting the stage for future opportunities.

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