If you quit your job, you’re not alone.
The workforce has revolutionized “The Great Resignation.” Some experts have renamed recent peaks in employee resignations as “The Great Imagination” or “The Great Realization.” People are reevaluating how they work, where they work, and why they work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in April 2021 alone, about 4 million people quit their jobs. This figure is the highest since the office began recording these rates.
Even though millions of people leave work every month, we understand that telling your boss that you will leave the company is never an easy conversation. A respectful resignation letter can mean the difference between an awkward goodbye and an opportunity for a long-term professional connection.
Ideally, you should provide a letter of resignation two weeks before you leave the company. It allows you to officially announce your departure from the company and provides essential cleaning information, such as your last day and other details about your departure.
An effective one helps you ensure a positive conversation with your boss and a smooth transition to your next trip.
But how do you write a good resignation letter? What should you include and exclude?
How To Write A Professional Resignation Letter
Your waiver letter should be brief and include only relevant and useful information. Don’t focus on the benefits of your next role. Instead, take the time to reflect on any appreciation you feel for the company you are leaving behind.
Writing a resignation letter can seem like a daunting task, so we’ve created a professional resignation letter template to get you started and included examples to inspire you.
Letter of resignation format
A waiver includes some elements: the greeting, the opening paragraph, the body paragraph, and the closing paragraph. The letter should be detailed but brief. You should want to inform your manager of your decision, but keep it professional if the reasons are less positive.
What is included in a resignation letter?
Writing a resignation letter begins with understanding each of its components:
1. Declaration of resignation and end date
Start your letter with your position in the business. This may seem redundant if you work for a small business and your boss knows you well, but it is essential to include it, as the letter is your official leave. Along with this information there should be a simple statement of your resignation.
Also, it’s helpful to provide an end date in the first paragraph, as this is one of your employer’s first questions.
Here’s what this first paragraph might look like in practice:
I would like to inform you that I am resigning as [Position Name] per [Company Name]effective [Date].
Take the time to consider how you have grown or appreciated more of your time in business. Be as specific as possible. Perhaps the company offered professional development opportunities. You may have enjoyed the business-friendly environment and supportive atmosphere.
It is also good that your employer is grateful for the time and resources you have used to support your professional growth. Here’s an example of what this might look like:
I appreciate the professional development opportunities you have provided me over the past two years. I enjoyed my term at [Company Name] and I am honored to have been part of such a supportive team.
If you want, you can include where you are going. For example, if you change your industry to pursue a passion or attend a graduate school, it may be appropriate to include it. For example:
I accepted a position as [New Job Title]and I’m looking forward to it [pursuing my passion in [X] or continue my work focused on [Y].
However, if you leave the company for a competitor, it is best to omit this information.
3. Details of the transition
In the third paragraph, mention your willingness to facilitate the transition. For example:
If I can help you with this transition, let me know. I am available to help train my substitute and make sure all my reports are updated before my last day of work.
This phrase may sound different to you. But no matter what you write, it’s a good practice to include specific details about how you’ll help.
As an optional follow-up paragraph, briefly review the work you will submit when you officially leave the company. While it is technically the responsibility of your manager to collect this work and determine how it will continue, it is helpful to list all the projects and tasks you have undertaken to further facilitate the transition to the company during the period.
If you did not serve as a manager or did not work with other departments, you may omit this part.
4. Personal contact information
This last paragraph is optional and does not need to be included all the time, especially if you do not want or need to use your former employer as a reference. However, many candidates choose to maintain their professional networks. A closure may look like this:
Thanks again for the opportunity to work on it [Company Name]. I wish you all the best and look forward to keeping in touch. You can email me at [Email Address].
What should not be included in a waiver letter
1. Future professional movements
Although you may mention where you are going next, you do not need to tell your employer about your new position or salary. Keep things professional. You can recognize how your current position has helped you move forward in your industry. Your letter should be direct and thoughtful to your business owner.
2. Unpleasant language
Needless to say, a letter of resignation is not the time to use obscene and obscene language. You have to be respectful and professional until the end of your term. While you may feel the urge to criticize your old work, the resignation letter is not the time to vent your dirty clothes.
3. Emotional bonds
If you leave a favorable work environment, it is helpful to put aside emotional feelings on the menu. Be as professional as possible. You can illustrate these emotions with face-to-face meetings with others.
4. Criticism of co-workers
Your resignation letter should not include negative comments about colleagues or company executives. The letter seeks to end your term, not to blame others for incomplete tasks.
5. Projection of bitterness
This is not the time to project your resentment toward your current job. You need to reflect on the good times and how you gained useful knowledge about the industry and about yourself. You do not want to be frustrated if you cannot get the right pitch so invest in a good capo.
Examples of professional resignation letter
Given the template above, let’s look at a few examples of resignation letters for different positions, each taking a slightly different but friendly tone to their resignations.
1. Example of a friendly letter of resignation
You can share why you quit smoking for work reasons. Reasons must be positive or neutral. Your tone is appreciated that the employer has taken a risk with you. Most offer an outstretched hand to train the incoming person. The letter includes a notice of resignation at least two weeks in advance.
2. Brief sample letter of resignation
A brief letter of resignation will include two important things: your date of resignation and a formal notice to your supervisor. A good letter may also include a “thank you” line, but it is not necessary. Even if you are ending your term with your current employer, you do not want to burn a bridge without respecting the notice period.
3. Sample letter of immediate resignation
While the best way to leave a job is to give at least two weeks notice and offer to help you with the transition, sometimes circumstances make it impossible. If you need to leave your job immediately without notice, you need an immediate resignation letter.
Here’s a sample that might help:
Free resignation letter templates
Download the templates now
Sometimes the nature of your position deserves a more specific letter of resignation when you leave. Below are a couple of templates that help these more dynamic roles come out of the company gracefully.
1. Contractor’s letter of resignation template
If you are self-employed, you may need to adjust the focus of your resignation letter to address your final tasks and exactly how you will separate from your client. This includes your current homework, tasks that you will not complete, and how you will accept your final payment.
2. Executive resignation letter template
A quick email or a two-paragraph warning to your superior may not be enough as an official waiver if you have an executive or senior leadership role.
Because these roles are more difficult to fill, you may play a more important role in the transition period, especially as you manage more people and decide on the direction of more projects.
The following example separates the waiver into two sections. The first is the resignation itself, and the second is how (and with whom) the resignator’s work will continue. It’s just one of the many different templates we have to offer.
Ready to write your resignation letter?
Be polite in your resignation letter, regardless of your role, indicate why you are leaving, and be clear about who you are reporting. Gratitude and support during your departure are very important to employers, and the last thing you want to do is leave the company on a bitter note, even if you leave for unpleasant reasons.
Inspired by these samples and resignation letter templates, you will protect your professional bridges and keep your professional network intact as you begin your next adventure.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been updated to be comprehensive.