How to Write a Resignation Letter (+ a Free Template)

How to Write a Resignation Letter (+ a Free Template)
by Brienna Milam
September 30, 2016
The gig is up—literally—and it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. You’ve already given your two weeks notice and started packing up your desk supplies. There’s just one little thing you still have to do: write your letter of resignation.
Oh, right. That.

What exactly is a resignation letter again? Chances are it’s been awhile since you last penned one, so let’s talk about what a resignation letter actually is and why you need to write one.

First Things First: Is This Really Necessary?

It’s possible that your company may not require a letter of resignation, but does that mean you don’t need to write one? If this is the case, you probably won’t lose anything by not writing one, but it’s always nice to go the extra mile.

If you’ve had some hiccups during your employment and you’re worried about leaving on less than ideal terms, writing a resignation letter could be especially valuable for you. Just think, this is your last chance to set the record straight about what kind of employee you are and keep those bridges intact.

Spending fifteen minutes to write a resignation letter that outlines what you appreciated about the job and the company you’re leaving is a small price to pay to make sure you leave on good terms. So let’s get started. Here’s an easy three-step guide to help you write the perfect letter that will have your boss singing your praises long after you’re gone.

Step 1: State the Facts

No need to beat around the bush. They already know you’re leaving, so the beginning of the letter just needs to restate your the fact that you are resigning and your planned exit date. You can also include your reason for leaving and future plans here if you like.

Side note: You don’t have to disclose your reason for leaving if you don’t want to. That’s what an exit interview is for, and even then you get to choose the story you tell. Maybe your boss is a nightmare, or you don’t have a new job lined up. Whatever the reason, if you don’t want to share it, don’t.

This portion might look something like this:
Dear Amanda [Include Last Name if you work in a more formal environment],

Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my role as [Title, e.g. Senior Developer] as of [End date, e.g. October 12, 2016]. I have received an offer for a management position with a start-up company, and after careful consideration, I feel that this is the right career move for me.

Step 2: Say Thank You

Take a minute to reflect. What did you like about this job? What did you learn? What opportunities did you have here that have impacted your career? Even if you can’t wait to get out of this hellhole, you probably wouldn’t have been able to get the job offer you’ve just accepted without the experience you gained here. Everyone loves to hear the words “thank you,” and gratitude has been proven to correlate with happiness, so jot down a few lines about what you have appreciated about this job.
Example:
I want to express my gratitude for the knowledge I’ve gained and the skills I have been able to develop in this role. It would not have been possible without your mentorship.

I am thankful for the time I have spent working with every member of our team and the opportunity to develop great professional relationships here. I look forward to staying in touch, and I hope that we can collaborate again in the future.

Step 3: Next Steps

Before you say #kthxbye and press send, make sure you let your boss know that you fully intend to complete all assigned work, and - if you’re up for it - that you’re available should they have any questions after you’re gone. Two weeks is a short amount of time for a company to be able to transition your role to someone else, and by allowing them to contact you for (minor) help and questions, you’ll help ease that transition, which will speak volumes to your former employer. This is your opportunity to show that you’re a hard worker with integrity and will help you preserve the relationship. It will earn you major brownie points and might even get you a great letter of recommendation.

What you should say:
To ease the transition after my departure, I intend to complete all assigned work before my final day and leave thorough instructions for my replacement. I am happy to assist with any training during my last two weeks. If you have additional questions after my departure date, please feel free to contact me on my cell (xxx-xxx-xxxx) or by email at xxxxxx@gmail.com.

Put it All Together

As with any formal letter, put the date and address of the person you’re writing at the top of the page. And then put it all together.
October 3, 2016


Ms. Amanda Rodriguez

XYZ Company

1234 Memory Ln,

Cityville, CO 33333


Dear Amanda,

Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my role as Senior Developer as of October 12, 2016. I have received an offer for a management position with a start-up company, and after careful consideration, I feel that this is the right career move for me.

I want to express my gratitude for the knowledge I’ve gained and the skills I have been able to develop in this role. It would not have been possible without your mentorship. I am thankful for the time I have spent working with every member of our team and the opportunity to develop great professional relationships here. I look forward to staying in touch, and I hope that we can collaborate again in the future.

To ease the transition after my departure, I intend to complete all assigned work before my final day and leave thorough instructions for my replacement. I am happy to assist with any training during my last two weeks. If you have additional questions after my departure date, please feel free to contact me on my cell (xxx-xxx-xxxx) or by email at xxxxxx@gmail.com.

Best regards,

Brienna
Now hit send, and go celebrate that new job! You’ve earned it.
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What are your tips for writing a killer resignation letter? We’d love to hear them!