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A resignation letter is written by an employee when they want to leave their current job.

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Sample Resignation Letter

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What is a Resignation Letter? 

A resignation letter should be a professional, formal letter that is given to the employee's supervisor in order to put their intentions in writing. A resignation letter is an appropriate way to leave a job while still remaining on good terms with other employees and the supervisor.

A resignation letter should include various information about the employee and their job so that they can be identified appropriately. The employee should make sure to include their name, current job position, a brief explanation of why they are resigning, and what date their last day will be. It is best to submit a resignation letter as soon as possible to give the employer adequate time to prepare for your departure from the company.

Types of Resignation Letters

More Than Two Weeks

  • Giving more than two weeks notice is generally not the standard practice in terms of resignation. Usually, two weeks is the timeframe that most choose to give when they resign because it gives their company time to begin making the transition of hiring a new employee to take their place or to dispense their work among other co-workers. However, some still provide more than a two weeks notice to their employers, perhaps because of company dynamics, or because projects are assigned months in advance. Nevertheless, the process of giving more than a two weeks notice is similar to the standard two week’s letter. The information, sections, and format are all the same. We will explore all that is in a resignation letter below.

Two Weeks Notice

A two week resignation letter notifies your employers that you will be departing from the company in roughly two weeks, which is the standard practice among resignations. This gives you time to wrap up any projects that you may be working on, while also allowing your company to fill your position and minimize disruptions within the company; smoothing the transition process with the new employee. There several different forms of a two-week resignation letter.

  • Simple Two Weeks Resignation Letter
    • A simple resignation letter is appropriate when you may not know your boss that well, or you do not wish to include a reason as to why you are leaving the company. This letter is very much short, sweet, and straight to the point.
  • Formal Two Weeks Resignation Letter
    • This type of resignation letter is appropriate for more formal and professional settings, or if you are not very close with your manager and want to keep your resignation professional and nothing more. Formal resignation letters do not always provide a reason for the resignation.
  • Professional Two Weeks Letter
    • This resignation letter is great if you are in an industry where your reputation plays a determining factor in your future employment, such as being a salesman, or leader in the company. This letter is even appropriate if you want to keep the door open so you may possibly return to the company or work with the team again in the future.

Short Notice (less than 2 weeks)

Sometimes circumstances do not allow a two weeks notice. Some job opportunities simply cannot wait.  Whether its due to an emergency or a new position that requires you to start your new job right away, a short notice, or no-notice resignation letter would be appropriate here. These types of situations often put your employer in a tough position, however, it happens. With short notice resignations, try to speak with your employer face to face before following up with a letter. Make sure that you include the following in your short or no-notice resignation letter:

  • Provide the date
    • Be sure to include the date that you plan to leave the company (even if that date is today)
  • Avoid specifics
    • You don’t need to go into lengthy detail as to why you're leaving the company (if you don't want to).
  • Express gratitude
    • Be sure to thank your employer for the opportunity. Even if you are leaving because of a disagreement, or because you are unhappy with the company, do not express that in this letter. You want to try to maintain the best relationship with your employer as possible, especially if you may need to use them as a reference in the future.
  • Provide your contact information
    • Remember to include your personal contact information should your employer need to contact you for any other interactions, such as where to send your final paycheck etc.

Components of a Resignation Letter

The basic components of a resignation letter are listed below.

  1. Letter date
    • This is where you include the date you submit the letter. Be sure that if you type the letter on an earlier date, write the date you plan to present the letter and not the date you typed it.
  2. Address
    • Following a business letter setup, be sure to include the company name, address, zip code and other pertinent contact information at the top of the page.
  3. Addressee
    • The addressee is generally your manager, however, if you need to address a larger department, state the name of the department or division of the company.
  4. Resignation notification
    • This is where you make it clear that you are resigning.
  5. Date of departure
    • This is the date where you state the exact date you will be leaving the company.
  6. Reason for leaving (this is optional)
    • You do not need to give your manager or company a reason as to why you are leaving. If you wish to state why you are departing, make sure that your reasons do not include any negative connotations. You always want to leave on a good note, ensuring you may use your manager as a contact or reference in the future.
  7. Gratitude/Thank you
    • Ensure that you thank your employer for the opportunity and that it has been a pleasure to work for/with them.
  8. Signature
    • Sign your name above your typed name.

How to Write a Resignation Letter

Below, we will take the components above and put them to use, giving you a step-by-step guide to writing a professional resignation letter.

Step by step

Below are the essential steps to writing a solid resignation letter.

  1. Step 1: Type your name, and contact info at the very top of the page.
  2. Step 2: Write the company's name, address, and phone number
  3. Step 3: Address your superior, manager, or department. “Dear Mr. or Ms.” will suffice.
  4. Step 4: Your resignation statement goes here. An example of a simple, clear statement is as follows: “Please accept this formal notice as my resignation from the position of…”
  5. Step 5: Your last day. An example of a last-day statement can be as simple as “March 13th will be my last day”.
  6. Step 6: Gratitude. One example of a gratitude statement is: “Working for you has been a wonderful experience, and I thank you for the opportunity to learn and grow under your leadership.”
  7. Step 7: Your signature. Type your name at the bottom of the page, and sign above.

Tips for Writing

Sometimes you may want to personalize your resignation letter, which can be difficult, as these types of notices may not be the easiest to write. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when writing your best resignation letter.

  • Try to give an appropriate notice
    • If you know that you will be leaving on a certain date, do not wait until the last minute to give notice to your superiors. Try to give at least two weeks notice in your resignation letter.
  • Be Grateful
    • Try to be thankful throughout your letter. Resigning is not always the best news to break to your employer, but thanking them for their leadership and the opportunity to work with the company will not only show your appreciation, but may also open your employer up to providing future references.
  • Don’t Complain
    • You don’t want to burn any bridges, and writing a resignation letter is not the place to vent frustrations with your job or the inner workings of the company.

Writing an Email Resignation

Sometimes you may not be able to hand your employer a hard copy resignation letter, perhaps because you work remotely, or your supervisor does not work at your work location. Nonetheless, just because it is an email, doesn't mean it should not be just as professional and structured as a physical resignation letter. An email resignation is similar to a hard copy resignation letter. Their main difference is their method of delivery. Additionally, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Try to speak with your Human Resources department, if possible.

  • This avoids blindsiding your employer by emailing your resignation letter out of the blue, especially if you may have just spoken with him or her or showed up to work with no indication that you are departing. You should try your best to use a hard copy resignation letter unless you either do not feel safe delivering one in person, or you work remotely from home and do not physically interact with your supervisor.

Include the pertinent information

  • Include all the information that your supervisor will need in the resignation email. This includes your effective resignation date, where the company can send your final paycheck, as well as any questions that you may have about your departure. Some of these questions may include inquiring about what happens to your paid time off and sick time. Some businesses allow you to cash out on these perks, including them in your final paycheck, while others have a “use it or lose it” policy. Also, make sure that your subject line is professional and direct. “Resignation - (Your  Name)” or “Departure - (Your Name)” will suffice, and is a better subject line than “I Quit”.

Proofread and Format

  • Lastly, you want to make sure that you proofread your email before sending it. The last thing you want is a resignation letter that looks like you sent it from your smartphone during your evening commute home. Though it may be an email, which is generally considered much more casual than a hard copy letter, you still want your resignation letter to be as professional as possible. Read through it twice, checking for typos, correct information, and dates. Additionally, make sure it is structured just like a hard copy resignation letter. Remember that sometimes with digital communications, their format or structure changes when they are sent to different computers of devices. Try sending the email to yourself to check its format, or try sending it to someone you know who will look over it for you before you send it to your superior. This gives your resignation letter a chance to be looked at with fresh eyes to catch any small mistakes or typos.

Firings and Resignations Under Nixon and Trump

Methodology

Our team at FormSwift created a timeline of the resignations and firings under President Trump and President Nixon. The timeline includes the amount of time between the inauguration and each president and the firing or resignation.

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