How To Write A Resignation Letter (With Examples)

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If you’re thinking about writing a letter of resignation, you’re probably looking for a new job. We recommend checking out ZipRecruiter (it’s free and makes applying for a new jobs really easy).

Although resignation letters may seem like a polite formality, they can go a long way toward easing your transition. Learn how to write a resignation letter the right way, and you’ll avoid misunderstandings, make your last weeks on the job more pleasant, and ensure that your soon-to-be former boss will be ready to write a stellar recommendation in the future.

What Should Be Included In A Resignation Letter?

Here are some key features your resignation letter should include.

Professional Format

Use business-letter format and a standard font like Times New Roman, Arial, or Verdana. Edit and proofread your letter to ensure that it’s typo-free and will leave a good impression on your manager. In most cases, you will be able to email your letter, but if you choose to send a hard copy, be sure to retain a copy for yourself.

Make Sure It’s Easy To Read

Be concise and stick to the point. Remember that the primary goal of a resignation letter is to let your boss know that you’re quitting your job. Don’t make them work to get that information.

Convey The Important Facts

Most importantly, specify your last day of work. Ideally, this should be at least two weeks from the day you give notice, unless you’re bound by an employment contract that stipulates otherwise. Most U.S. workers are employed at will, which means that your employer likely can’t force you to give a set amount of notice or any notice at all. However, it’s best to make things easier on your team when you leave.

Expresse Gratitude

Even if you can’t wait to leave, be gracious. Thank your manager for the experience. Offer specifics if possible– a project that helped you grow, support that allowed you to learn, new skills or experiences that you’ll take with you to your next opportunity.

Offer Assistance

If you’re willing and able, offer to train your replacement. At the very least, be prepared to document your projects and tasks in order to make the transition easier for your team. But don’t feel the need to write out all these details in your letter. Mention that you’re happy to provide details and then do so later.

What Should Be Left Out Of A Resignation Letter?

Remember that a resignation letter should be concise and gracious. Be as brief as possible while being polite, thankful, and to the point. Above all, be wary of the following resignation letter mistakes:

Too Much Detail

Quitting a job can feel like another full-time job. There are a lot of details to attend to when you resign, from arranging your last day of work to finding out when you’ll receive your last paycheck to pinning down the details of benefits and unused PTO. Don’t try to make your resignation perform all these different functions. Keep your letter brief and stick to the facts: your last day of work, your thanks for the experience, and any offer of help you’d like to provide.

Complaints About The Job, Company, Or Team

Keep your letter positive and avoid any mention of the downsides of the job. It’s unlikely that your criticism will lead to changes at the organization and there’s no need to burn a bridge on your way out.

Quitting Before You’re Really Sure

Some organizations will allow workers to rescind a resignation letter–but not all. Even if you’re able to take it back, quitting permanently changes your relationship with your manager, teammates, and anyone else who finds out about it. Don’t resign until you’re positive that you really mean it–and never take this step as a means of gaining leverage over your boss or company.

If you are on the fence about quitting your job, it may be time to update your resume so you are prepared. If you need help with your resume, we recommend checking out the best resume writing services.

Resignation Letter Format

Here is the resignation letter format to follow when writing your own letter:

Your name

Street address (with apartment unit if applicable)

City, state, zip code

Phone number

Personal email address


Manager’s name


Company name

Street address

City, state, zip code

Dear [manager’s name],

Please accept this letter as formal notice of my resignation from [organization]. As we’ve discussed, my last day of work will be [full date including day of the week].

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to [learn specific skills, gain experience in the field, learn from the manager's example in these ways–the more specific, the better].

Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help during the transition. [You may include examples such as documenting your role, training your replacement, etc. Or you can leave it vague. Just be prepared to follow through.]

Thank you again for [your mentorship, guidance, the opportunity, etc.].


[Signature for hard copy letter]

Your name

Tips For Turning In Your Resignation

To make sure your resignation letter is well received, follow these tips:

Talk To Your Manager Before Sending Your Letter

In most cases, it’s best to resign in person if possible. If you’re a full-time remote worker, you should communicate with your manager in the usual way, whether that’s by phone, email, or Slack. Have your letter ready to go, but make sure that your manager is expecting it.

Don’t Talk To Other Team Members About Your Decision Until You Resign

Avoid becoming the topic of office gossip. The last thing you want is for your manager to find out that you’re quitting from someone other than you.

Send Your Letter By Email Or Hard Copy

Unless you work entirely offline–in a restaurant or store that rarely uses email, for example–you should be able to send your resignation electronically. Email resignation letters also provide you with a paper trail proving that you resigned when you said you did. This can be useful if there’s any question about timing later on.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I resign immediately?

It’s best to offer at least two weeks’ notice. However, if you need to resign immediately, be as professional as possible. Try to speak with your manager on the phone or in person before giving your notice and prepare a written resignation letter or email containing all the details of your last day, etc.

How do you write a short resignation letter?

A formal resignation does not need to be lengthy. A short resignation letter can contain just three paragraphs: an introduction with your resignation and last day of work, a second paragraph with your thanks, and a third paragraph with an offer to help with the transition. Be sure to include your contact information and to sign a hard-copy letter.

What should you say in a resignation letter?

A resignation letter should state that you are quitting your role, inform your boss and HR of your last day, and convey your thanks and willingness to help in the transition.

How do I resign nicely?

To resign nicely, give adequate notice, speak with your manager in person if possible before submitting your resignation, and draft a resignation letter containing all the details of your departure, including your last day of work.

How do you tell your boss you’re resigning?  

To tell your boss that you’re resigning, ask for a meeting and come prepared with all the details of your planned last day. Thank your manager for the opportunity and offer your help during the transition.

The Bottom Line

A professional resignation letter does more than just tell your boss that you quit. It can also help you stay on top of the details of your job change, as well as document everything to prevent misunderstandings.

Ready to send your resignation letter but not sure where you’re headed just yet? ZipRecruiter can help you find greener pastures.