How to Write a Professional and Simple Resignation Letter

Posted on April 6, 2020 by in Business | 3 comments

How to Write a Professional and Simple Resignation Letter

Leaving a job is stressful, whether you’re excited to move on to a better opportunity or you’re fed up with your employer and need a way out. If you have a good relationship with your boss, you may be worried about disappointing him or her. If you have a bad relationship with your boss, you may be worried about getting into a verbal argument or losing your cool right before you leave. Either way, you’ll have to write a resignation letter, which can send some people to hide under the covers.

Typically, resignation letters are given to HR or your employer two weeks before your last day on the job. The letter serves as the official announcement of your termination, and it also provides your company with important information, like the day you’ll be leaving, so that they can prepare. Getting the resignation letter right is a step toward making an easy, drama-free transition out of your job and into your future.

Your resignation letter should:

  • Get the point across clearly so there’s no confusion
  • Have the correct tone — professional and respectful
  • Be concise and quick to read, with no irrelevant information
  • Show appreciation for your time at the company
  • Avoid burning a bridge (even if you secretly hate your job and know you’ll never want to return to the company)

If you have a lot to say or you’re unsure of how to write a resignation letter, hitting all those marks can be tough. Let’s go through the different components of a resignation letter, along with templates and samples that you can steal.

Simple Resignation Letter Template

While you’ll tweak your resignation letter to fit your experience with the company and your reason for leaving, here’s a generic layout, followed by explanations for several sections:

Your name
Job title
Company
Company street address
City, state zip
Your email

Dear Mr. / Mrs. / Ms. [Last Name]:

This letter is to inform you that I am resigning from my position as [position] for [company], effective [month, day, year].

I appreciate [something you appreciate]. I’ve enjoyed my time with [company] and am grateful for [something you’re grateful for].

My next step is [brief overview of what you’ll be doing next].

Let me know how I can be of help during this transition. I’m available to train a replacement, and I’ll be sure that [project] is completed before my last day of work.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to work at [company]. I wish you the best, and I hope to stay in touch. You can reach me at [email address].

Sincerely,

[Real signature]

[Typed name]

Tips for Writing a Simple Resignation Letter

  • It may seem strange to list your job title and company, but assume this letter is going to HR first. HR may not immediately know what you do for the company, and they also need an official and thorough resignation letter to keep on file. Regarding the company’s stress address, that’s also for professional purposes, and it’s necessary if your company has different branches.
  • The resignation date is the most important part of the letter, so make sure to include it in the first paragraph instead of leaving it for the end.
  • You may have a hard time coming up with something positive to say if you don’t have a good relationship with your boss or your job. Months from now, though, you’ll be happy you ended things on a high note. It’s also helpful for your employer to know what makes the biggest impact on their employees.
  • You don’t have to talk about what you’ll be doing next. If you have a nice relationship with your employer or you want to clarify that you’re leaving to do something completely different with your life — travel, go to graduate school, have children — or that you’re switching industries, include it.
  • Technically, you’re probably not required to wrap up any projects before you leave — it’s your manager’s job to assess what has to get done and reassign tasks. However, it’s helpful to your employer and your team if you can list the tasks and projects you’re in charge of, other collaborators and points of contact, and anyone who reported directly to you. If the list is lengthy, you can add this as an addendum to the resignation letter, or you can send a separate email to your employer and/or team at some point before you leave.

Sample Letter

Here’s a sample resignation letter following the outline and suggestions above:

Lindsay Pietroluongo
Social Media Marketer
Company X
1 Company X Way
Anywhere, New York 11111
[email protected]

Dear Ms. Smith:

This letter is to inform you that I am resigning from my position as a social media marketer for Company X, effective January 1, 2021.

I appreciate the many professional development opportunities you’ve afforded me over the past five years. I’ve enjoyed my time with Company X and am grateful for having worked with such a talented and creative team every day.

My next step is heading back to school for a graduate program in English so I can pursue my dream of becoming a college professor.

Let me know how I can be of help during this transition. I’m available to train a replacement, and I’ll be sure that my marketing campaigns are completed or properly handed off before my last day of work.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to work at Company X. I wish you the best, and I hope to stay in touch. You can reach me at [email protected]

Sincerely,

[Real signature]

Lindsay Pietroluongo

Extra-Short Template

Let’s say you haven’t been at your job for very long, you don’t have a good relationship with your boss or it’s all you can do to not scream at everyone you work with on your way out. You want as short of a resignation letter as possible, one that will be clear and to-the-point, avoiding burned bridges as well as flowery language. Here you go:

Your name
Job title
Company
Company street address
City, state, zip
Your email

Dear Mr. / Mrs. / Ms. [Last Name]:

This letter is to inform you that I am resigning from my position as [position] for [company], effective [month, day, year].

I appreciate [something you appreciate] and am grateful for [something you’re grateful for]. I wish your company the best.

I’ve kept this part in because, even if you’re seeing red and can’t wait to leave your job, boss or company, you still want to end on a positive note.

Let me know if I can be of help during this transition.

Sincerely,

[Real signature]

[Typed name]

Extra-Short Sample Letter

Here’s a sample resignation letter that follows the extra-short outline above. If you think you can’t find anything nice to say about your soon-to-be-ex-job, consider this: the “appreciation” section I wrote was inspired by a past job, one that I was miserable at and couldn’t wait to leave.

Lindsay Pietroluongo
Social Media Marketer
Company X
1 Company X Way
Anywhere, New York 11111
[email protected]

Dear Ms. Smith:

This letter is to inform you that I am resigning from my position as a social media marketer for Company X, effective January 1, 2021.

I appreciate the one-on-one guidance you’ve provided over the years and am grateful for the opportunity to hire and train the student workers who became my direct reports – the experience was invaluable. I wish your company the best.

Let me know if I can be of help during this transition.

Sincerely,

[Real signature]

Lindsay Pietroluongo

Freelancer / Independent Contractor Template

When you’re a freelancer, gig worker or independent contractor, there’s (usually) a more even playing field than in an employer-employee relationship. You and your client are professional equals, and while you want to remain respectful, you don’t have to abide by specific guidelines, like giving a full two weeks notice or training a replacement. (Double-check your contract, though, to make sure you didn’t agree to that sort of thing.) Here’s the general layout for this type of resignation letter, along with a few clarifications:

Notice of Departure
Phone number | email address

Date

Client’s name
Client’s title
Company
Company street address
City, state zip

[Client’s first name]:

I wanted to let you know that [reason for leaving], and I won’t be able to [short description of work] any longer.

My last assignment – [name of assignment] – will be delivered on [due date], as agreed upon. [Payment info.]

Of course, I’m happy to make any necessary revisions on the assignment. As a reminder, revision requests should be in by [date] so that I can have the finished product back to you within X days.

Contributing to [company] has been a hugely rewarding experience, particularly [something you’re grateful for]. I want to thank you and your team for the support you’ve given me over the past [duration]. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to make this transition easier, and feel free to keep in touch.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Tips for Writing a Freelance Resignation Letter

  • It’s important to have a clear “Notice of Departure” (or something similar) header, and you may want to include that in the email’s subject line, too. Otherwise, the email could go ignored if the client doesn’t think it’s time-sensitive, and then they may expect you to still work for them.
  • You don’t have to be transparent about why you’re leaving. Just like with a traditional resignation letter, your reason for leaving should be professional, even if that means polishing it up when the real reason is that the client is unreliable and you don’t want to work for them any longer.
  • Ideally, you’re paid upfront as a freelancer, but if you have a different agreement with your client, lay it out here – you have to get paid, and you can refer back to this letter if the final payment causes tension.

Freelancer Sample Letter

As a freelancer, you may have a closer relationship with your client than you would with a boss. For this sample, I went right down the middle, imagining a client I was familiar and comfortable with, but not so close with that the working relationship was akin to friendship.

Change in Availability
111-111-1111 | [email protected]

January 1, 2021

Joe Jones
CEO
Company A
1 Company A Road
Anywhere, New York 99999

Hi Joe,

I wanted to let you know that my availability and workload capacity have changed over the past few weeks, and I’m afraid I won’t be able to handle your weekly blog posts and newsletters any longer.

My last assignment – Project A – will be delivered on January 10th, as agreed upon. I’ll send along the invoice that day as well, and the due date will be one week from then, as usual.

Of course, I’m happy to make any necessary revisions on the assignment. As a reminder, revision requests should be in by January 14th so that I can have the finished product back to you by the end of the month.

Working with you has been a hugely rewarding experience, particularly when we’ve put our heads together to come up with new ways to promote your products. I want to thank you and your team for the support you’ve given me over the past year. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to make this transition easier, and feel free to keep in touch.

Sincerely,

Lindsay

Wrapping Up

Writing a resignation letter can be anxiety-producing, as can facing your boss after they know you’re leaving and then continuing to work for two weeks. Just about all of us have gone through it, though. The way to make this easy on yourself is to remain polite, grateful and professional in your simple resignation letter, regardless of your personal feeling about your employer, coworkers or company. Think about the big picture: protecting your reputation and ensuring the smooth transition you deserve out of this job and into the next phase of your career or life.

We support big, courageous moves, even if that means leaving a “sure thing” of a job to try something completely different. Take a look at our article about why being different is a fantastic strategy.

Featured Image via Aleksandr Semenov / shutterstock.com

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3 Comments

  1. There is also a website “Clients from hell” (Google finds it), where you can post your real story, and then send the link anonymousely to your boss 🙂

  2. Leaving a job is always a stressful and emotionally put you down. Thanks for providing the information about how to write a resignation letter.

  3. can we send mail for resignation?

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