How to Craft a Resignation Letter

Congratulations! After months of interviewing, you’ve finally landed a role at a new company you’re excited about. Or perhaps you’ve decided to take some time off. Or maybe you’re leaving a toxic work environment. Regardless of your reasoning, you, being the all-star professional that you are, need to write a resignation letter to inform your current employer of your decision.

Why, exactly?

Resignation letters serve a multitude of purposes, from informing the employer of your intent to leave the company (and when), to being a place to share your reasoning for leaving your position and/or the company. 

However, formalities aside, a resignation letter serves as an official document that both you, and your employer, can use as a record of the day you gave your official notice. HR, as an example, will usually keep a copy of the letter on file for company records.

But before you get to writing, it’s important to have a plan in place to send your letter. The best time to send a resignation letter is immediately after notifying your employer (ie: your boss) via a phone call or in-person conversation. As such, it’s a good idea to have your letter saved in your email drafts so it’s ready to send immediately after you’ve verbally informed your employer of your notice. 

How to Structure a Resignation Letter 

Depending on your role, company, and even personality, the exact format of your resignation letter depends entirely upon your unique style and preference. 

That being said, there are a few key components that you’ll want to include to be sure the letter serves its main purpose: to be that official documentation of your resignation from the company. 

  • Cut to the Chase: When it comes to resignation letters, there’s no need to beat around the bush or sugarcoat the facts. Be direct from the start, stating the role you’re resigning from.

    As we mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to first have a conversation with your boss before sending off a resignation letter in an email. During that conversation, you likely shared your reasons for leaving, so there’s no need to reiterate them here. 
  • Include the Effective Date: Make sure you have the effective date of your resignation (ie: your last day of employment) in writing in your letter. This is typically two weeks from the date you notified your empl.oywer of your resignation.
  • Thank Your Employer: Take a moment to share some of the key things you’ve enjoyed and learned on the job. Even if you’re thrilled to be leaving, it’s always good to end on a high note should you need to tap these people again for a reference or networking opportunity in the future.
  • Share a Transition Plan: Even if your plan is to pass your work off to the team on your last day, now’s your chance to have that in writing. State your willingness to help the team during your transition, and ensure a smooth wrap-up of any work you have in progress. 

So how’s this look in action? While no two resignation letters are the same, take a look at the Guide to Graduate’s go-to, easy-to-modify resignation letter template:

Dear {boss, manager name},

Please accept this email as official notice that I will be resigning from my role as

{role/position/title} at {company name}, effective {your last day}.

I can’t thank you enough for the support and opportunities you have provided me

throughout the course of my time here at {company name}. I especially enjoyed

{share an example, like: working closely with the sales team to drive new business}.

I will wrap up any ongoing projects I have in the meantime, and will officially hand-off all working in progress and current duties to the team by {your last day}. If I can do anything to help with the transition in finding and training my replacement before then, please let me know.


{your full name}

Have you used our resignation letter template? Share your experience with the Guide to Graduate community in the comments! 

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