When and How to Write a Resignation Letter (plus Templates)

When and How to Write a Resignation Letter (plus Templates)

If you feel burnt out or you saw a lucrative offer from a company-competitor, you are entitled to quit. No doubt it is your right to leave the job. Burning the bridges and leaving without notice is not professional though. Every company has a resignation policy that you need to look into as soon as you decide to move on keeping business etiquette in mind. 

Although there is no easy way to say goodbyes, following the rules of business conduct will help you smooth the process and keep your reputation stainless. In the end, the business world is not as huge as you think, the chances you will meet your ex-boss and will be forced to work with him again are high. 

What are the stages of the resignation procedure?

The terms and conditions of your employment are written down in the employment contract. So, if you hesitate about where to start, look into that document. The stages of resignation vary although some principles are universal for all the companies. Most probably your resignation process will follow this framework:

  • Talk to the immediate supervisor (boss)
  • Letter of resignation (of a certain type, depending on your contract)
  • Exit interview
  • Getting final pay

How do you write a good resignation letter?

The best advice for writing a resignation letter is to keep it simple, courteous and professional. You don't need to mention your reason for leaving – especially if it reflects negatively on the company. Instead, focus on thanking your manager for the knowledge and skills you have received during your employment. It is also advisable to avoid mentioning your new employer in your resignation letter. For example, bragging about the salary increase you will receive at your new job is not something your existing employer wants to see.

Tips for writing your formal resignation letter

You know the basics of what should be included in your letter of resignation, but you might be stumbling over how you should word things. So, If this is the case, let's break down exactly how to write a resignation letter that will be effective while helping you make your exit with grace:

Address it to your direct manager. When writing a resignation letter, ensure you address it to your direct-line manager, rather than an HR manager.

Include your leaving date. Before you hand in your resignation letter, make sure you are aware of your responsibilities in terms of the company's notice periods ‒ you'll often find the notice period listed in your employment contract. It is important to list your leaving date in your resignation letter as it will act as your formal written notice.

Keep a positive, professional tone. Despite taking on a new role, you may need to contact your former employer in the future for references. Therefore, it is important that you avoid disparaging the company or your former colleagues in your resignation letter. Adopt a positive, professional tone in your letter and avoid any negative language towards the company, your managers or colleagues.

Don't forget to say thanks. You may need to leverage this position in the future, so you want to avoid burning any bridges. Thank your manager and the company in your letter, telling them you appreciate everything you've learned while in your position. That way you can transition to your new job and maintain the connections you have at your old one.

Wrap up any loose ends. If you are currently in the middle of a project at work, it is favourable to include a brief handover action plan in your letter. For example, you may mention that your notice period will allow enough time to complete the project before moving on, or that you will ensure a smooth transition by taking the time to do a thorough handover with another member of staff.

What is the resignation letter?

First of all, it is not a creative assignment. It is an official document that states your reasons for leaving the current workplace. Depending on the contract you signed initially, the letter of resignation will be of a certain type. There are a couple of letters you might be asked to write. Note that it is not only the form that differs but your obligations to the company. For example, if your contract states that you have to give two weeks’ notice, you will not be able to hand in the resignation letter and leave the next day. At times, the employer adds the obligation to train the replacement. 

Letter of resignation that includes notice 

Rushing to quit the job and move towards new opportunities is an understandable desire. However, take time to assess the relationships with the current employer and resign as a professional. Whatever reason you have to say bye to the current boss, it is your reputation and recommendation letter that you can attach to the CV or resume, at stake. 

It is a common practice to stick to the notice period rule. With the notice of an employee leaving the employer has time to interview the candidates for replacement, and train them. How do you benefit from it? First of all, you receive positive feedback and avoid violation of the contract. So, if you are going to write two weeks’ notice resignation letter, here is a sample you can use:

Dear [Name],

Please accept this letter of resignation from the position of [title] at [company name].

As my contract specifies, I am handing in my two weeks’ notice and it becomes effective on [date]/today.

After careful consideration, I decided to accept the other offer (or any other reason). This decision is final. 

I would also like to use this chance to express my gratitude for the experience and opportunities I received while working with you.

I will gladly assist with selecting the next candidate for this position. I will do my best to smooth the replacement search and make it as effective as possible. 



Letter of resignation that does not include notice

If your contract does not include the section that obliges you to inform about your leave in advance, your letter of resignation can be handed in on the last working day. It depends on the type of work you are doing and the relationships that you established with the company. It is recommended to inform the boss or colleagues who will potentially be influenced by your abrupt leave. If your job is similar to freelance work, a company is most probably used to the sudden changes and flow of workforce. Yet, your competence and professionalism are displayed when you stick to business conduct rules. Sample:

Dear [Name],

Please accept this letter of resignation from the position [title] at [company].

Due to personal reasons (any other reason) I am not able to give X days notice and [date] is my last working day.

I want to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity to work as [position] at your company, I appreciate this experience. 



Email resignation letter 

It happens that meeting your employer or HR representatives in person is impossible and you need to resign with an email. Remember to send a professional email without getting too familiar or emotional. 


The career path may take you to various places and make you face challenges. With more changes in your career, the more experience comes and your professional qualities improve. Writing a CV as well as writing a resignation letter is inevitable for any specialist. Every employee will experience resignation at least once during the career. Should you need assistance with your letter, you can always contact our writing services.