An important milestone in your career is approaching: it's time to resign, but how best to go about it? Whether you’re leaving on good terms or not, it's good protocol to write a resignation letter.
While the main purpose of the resignation letter is to inform your employer that you're leaving the company, you can also use it as a chance to build relationships and help you and your employer part ways amicably.
Here is everything you need to know about writing a concise and professional resignation letter.
A resignation is the act of leaving your job. A resignation letter is an official document that is required after you’ve indicated your decision to leave verbally.
Resignation letters are an ethical and professional way to leave an organisation. A resignation letter gives notice to your manager that you're leaving the role and a replacement will need to be hired. The content will state that you are planning to depart and how soon you will leave. Good resignation etiquette enables you to leave your position on the best terms possible.
Unless you must leave under emergency circumstances, you should give sufficient notice. In most cases, you will need to work for the duration of your notice period; this should be outlined in your employment contract.
Before you compose your letter, review your company's policy on notice periods. They may stipulate a calendar month or a 30-day notice requirement, or you may be on a three month notice period. You should give your manager enough time to find a replacement, so it is good etiquette to give your job the amount of notice or more than they require.
Often it’s not easy to leave a job; you will have built up relationships with colleagues and be familiar with your role.
You should notify your manager in-person before sending your letter of resignation. A resignation letter should be broken down into easy-to-read paragraphs.
It can be difficult to know what information you should include. Your letter should contain:
Don’t forget to also include:
You should always be polite, professional and remain diplomatic. Keep your tone neutral but optimistic and professional. This document is a reflection of your time at the company - either positive or negative - so use tactful and positive language. If it is known that you were unhappy in your role and you use overly positive language about the company and how great it was, it can be seen as sarcastic or offensive.
Avoid negative comments and criticism of the company. You won't get along with every manager or colleague, and even if you are leaving because of them, it is important to remain professional. You may be invited to an exit interview, and it is here that you can voice any concerns and give constructive feedback.
To remain professional, you should do as much as you can to help the company once you are transitioning out of your role. Mention key details surrounding your handover and where to look for important documents, team passwords and logins. Your manager and successor will be grateful for your final pieces of information.
A resignation letter can be one of the most challenging professional documents you’ll have to compose, so here are some samples to help you write your letter.
Please accept this letter as formal notification of my intention to resign from my role as [job title] with [company name]. Under my notice period, my last day at [company name] will be [date of last day].
I want to thank you for the opportunity to have worked in the role for the past [time in employment]. I have learned a lot during my time here and have enjoyed working with my colleagues. I will take a lot of what I have learned with me throughout my career.
During the next [notice period in weeks] I will do what I can to make the transition as smooth as possible and will support as and when needed.
I am writing to notify you of my resignation from my position of [job title] at [company name]. My last day of employment will be [date of last day].
I was recently offered a new opportunity with a company based closer to my home and have decided to take their offer. As you are aware, currently I spend a couple of hours a day commuting and this new opportunity will allow me more time with my children outside of work.
My years at [company name] have been some of the best of my professional life. I will miss my job and the people I have had the pleasure of working with throughout my time here.
Thank you for all the opportunities and experiences you have provided me during my time in your team.
I appreciate your understanding, and I wish you all the best. Please let me know if I can be of any help during the last few weeks of my time here.
I am writing to notify you of my resignation from my role of [job title]. My last day with [company name] will be [date], in accordance with the notice period duration specified in my contract.
After deliberation, I have decided to move on as my career progression opportunities are limited at [company name]. In the best interest of my future and to achieve my career goals, now is the right time to move on.
It has been a pleasure working for you. I appreciate the professional support you have provided whilst I have worked in your team.
If I can be of help in supporting a smooth transition over the next [notice period in weeks], let me know.
While resigning is not always the easiest thing to do, in the pursuit of career development, it is sometimes needed. Following these tips and sample letters will make resigning easier, and enable you to focus on your next career opportunity.