How to Write a Professional Resignation Letter
Leaving a job can feel a bit like turning the page on a chapter in your career. Once you’ve decided to resign from your position, it’s easy to fall into the trap of closing the book on your current company and only focusing on what comes next. But the way you leave a job matters more than you might think, and resigning respectfully can go a long way in maintaining professional relationships throughout your career. By writing a simple and straightforward, yet thoughtful, resignation letter, you can exit your job professionally and make the process smoother for yourself, your team, and your employer.
Why write a resignation letter
Typically when quitting a job, the professional and respectful thing to do first is to let your manager know in person or over a video call. Sure, it might be a little awkward — but just like nobody wants to get dumped over text, no manager wants to find out their employee is leaving via email. However, once you’ve broken the news, it’s a good idea to follow up the conversation with a written letter (or email), even if it's not required.
A resignation letter provides your employer with formal notice that you intend to leave the company and when. Your HR department may need one on file to keep record of your departure, or it might be necessary to begin facilitating your exit process. Beyond the practical reasons you may need to submit one, writing a resignation letter gives you the opportunity to state why you are leaving, share gratitude for the opportunity, and overall maintain control over your departure narrative.
Writing a resignation letter
Writing a resignation letter might feel daunting, but it doesn't need to be. Remember, this is a professional document you'll share with your manager, HR department, and anyone involved in your transition. That means you don’t need to get super deep or personal, nor do you necessarily want to use this as a place to air all your grievances and complaints about the company (you can save that for your exit interview). Instead, your letter should be about two paragraphs to one page long and hit a few key points.
What to include in your resignation letter
The two critical components your resignation letter should include are your intention to leave and the date of your last day of work. But an email stating, “I’m quitting and my last day is tomorrow,” isn’t quite what you want to go for. Not only should you plan to send your letter of resignation at least two weeks before your final day, you’ll want to add a few more details about your departure. Your letter should include:
- Date of sending
- Date of your last day
- Why you are quitting and/or what you will be doing next
- Expression of gratitude for the opportunity
- Acknowledgment of next steps/plans to help the transition
- Your contact information
Resignation letter example template
We put together the following resignation letter template to give you a starting point for writing your own. Your letter of resignation is one of the final representations of you that you’ll leave with your company, so feel free to add as much of your own voice and as many (or as few) details as you like. Just remember to keep the language polite, professional, and to the point.
Please accept this [letter/email] as a formal notice of my resignation from my position of [your title] at [company name]. My last day will be [X] weeks from today, on [date of final day].
I have carefully considered this decision and it was not an easy one to make. I have enjoyed the past [length of time] at [company name] and appreciate the professional and personal growth I’ve experienced. However, now is the time to take the next step in my career and explore new challenges and opportunities.
I want to express my gratitude for the support and guidance I received during my time here. I learned so much from working alongside talented and dedicated colleagues, and I appreciate the valuable experiences and relationships I’ve built.
I’m available and happy to assist however I can in the transition process over the coming weeks before my departure. Please let me know how I can best help.
Thank you again for the opportunity to be a part of the [company name] team.
Finding a new job
If you already have a new job lined up when you send your resignation letter, now is a great time to focus on your transition and prepare for what’s coming next. But if you haven’t yet found the right opportunity, System One can help. We’ll leverage our wide network, industry knowledge, and exclusive partnerships with top organizations to help you find your next great opportunity.
Follow System One on LinkedIn to learn more ways to progress your career.
Looking for business solutions?Explore System One