More than just a resignation letter, a well-written resignation letter can strengthen your work relationship with your existing manager. Many people are unsure how much to say in a resignation letter and how best to submit your resignation letter, so here’s what you need to know.

Things to include in your resignation letter

Your resignation letter acts as a formal recognition of your intent to leave the company. It will stay in your employee personnel file after you leave the company. Therefore, what you write in your resignation letter matters as it reflects who you are as a professional.

Resignation letters do not require a massive amount of detail. You want to include the basics – your name, the addressee, and the date. You want to formally state that you’ll terminate your employment and include your exit date. Lastly, sign the document if you are resigning in person.

End the letter with a thank you note to your hiring manager and, or company, as this leaves a civil and professional impression throughout the resignation process.

What you should not include in your resignation letter

As with most professional matters, it’s a good idea to check your emotions at the door when you write a resignation letter. You do not need to explain why you’re leaving in your letter, as this could negatively reflect you.

Refrain from saying anything negative about your employer in the letter as it, in a way, offers you a platform to maintain a positive relationship with the company. If you want to explain your reasons for finding a new position or provide constructive feedback, do it at a face-to-face meeting or exit interview.

Here is a compilation of resignation letter templates to guide you when writing your resignation letter. Below are some examples of resignation letters that you can edit and personalise, where relevant, for your situation.

4 resignation letter templates

When writing your resignation letter, be sure to include the current date and the address of your company, following standard letter-writing practices. It is also crucial to remain professional and polite throughout. Even though you may be leaving due to personal grievances, you should not bring these to light in your resignation letter. You should discuss any further points in an exit interview.

1) Standard resignation letter

Dear [Manager’s Name],

Please accept this letter as formal notification of my intention to resign as [job title] with [company name]. My final day will be [date of last day] as per my notice period.

I would like to thank you for the guidance and support you have given me over the past [time in the company]. I have learned a great deal during my time here and have enjoyed collaborating with my colleagues. I will take a lot of what I have learned in my career and look back at my time here as a valuable period of my professional life. 

During the next [notice period in weeks], I will do what I can to make the transition as smooth as possible. I will support in whatever way I can to hand over my duties to colleagues or my replacement. Please let me know if there is anything further I can do to assist in this process.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

2) Resignation letter for a new opportunity

Dear [Manager’s Name],

I am writing to formally notify you of my resignation from the [job title] position with [company name]. Per my notice period, my final day will be [date of last day].

I have been offered another role that will halve my daily commute and allow me to spend more time with my family outside of working hours. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at [company] over the last [years and months of service], and I would like to thank you for all of the opportunities given to me.

In the coming weeks before [end date], I am fully committed to providing assistance in ensuring a smooth transition. 

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

3) Resignation letter template giving advance notice

Dear [Manager’s Name],

I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign from [company], effective [date]. I understand that transitioning a new person to [position] will take some time, and I would like to provide as much notice as possible. 

At [company], I have learned a lot and grown professionally. Thank you for all of your guidance and support during my employment.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about the projects I have been working on. I am happy to help in any way I can with the transition process.

I wish you all the best for your continued success.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

4) Resignation letter template for a role that’s not a good fit

Dear [Manager’s Name],

I am writing to formally notify you of my resignation from the position of [job title] at [company name]. My last day with the company will be [date].

During my time at [company name], I have realised that the scope of the role is unfortunately not what I had anticipated. As such, I would like to explore other opportunities. 

Thank you for understanding; I genuinely appreciate all the support and guidance you have provided me during my time in the company.

Please let me know how I can help to support a smooth transition over the next [notice period in weeks].

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

When and how should I submit my resignation?

Delivering your resignation news can be the most nerve-racking part of the entire process. First of all, communicate this only after you have written confirmation of your job offer from your new employer; this usually comes in the form of a signed contract.

Resigning in person

With the resignation letter in your hand, approach your manager at the end of the day. Sharing resignation news at the end of the day allows them to process your resignation without doing it while working through their meetings and deadlines for the day. And proceed with tact. Speak clearly in a firm voice but do not come across as aggressive or apologetic. 

Some employees seek new opportunities because they have issues working with their current manager. If that is the case for you, take a deep breath and stay composed and professional throughout the conversation.

As tempting as it can get, do not air any personal issues with them throughout the meeting. Don’t forget; you still need to work with them during your notice period. Say that you are moving on to a new role for your career, and thank them for their guidance.

Resigning through email

There are times where you cannot resign in person. Perhaps you work remotely or are experiencing a personal emergency where you have to leave immediately. Other times, you may be working in a psychologically unsafe environment or have a toxic manager.

If that is the case for you, you may email your resignation letter to your manager with a copy to your human resources manager. You can also copy your personal email address in the email to have a copy of the email as well.

What happens after I have resigned?

You want to leave behind a good reputation. Even if you have had a glorious career at your company, any missteps during your notice period can ruin the reputation you have built over those past years.

So, it is imperative to give your 100% for the duration of your notice period to preserve your professional relationships at the company you are leaving. You would have to finish any urgent work, prepare your handover documents, and sometimes, even train your replacement.

The HR department will arrange an exit interview with you in some companies. Exit interviews are a formalised way for you to give feedback on your experience with the company. If you know that you have an effective HR department, you may communicate any glaring issues you may have experienced. If you are not comfortable sharing more details or are worried about any repercussions, you do not have to.

Leaving a job is never easy, but you can preserve your professional integrity with your previous employer if you communicate clearly and are sufficiently tactful.

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