How to write a resignation letter

You’ve decided to leave your job. Whatever the cause of your departure, it’s never going to be easy. The first thing you should do is have a conversation with your boss. That talk is your opportunity to provide your reason for leaving (because even if you don’t want to share it, chances are high that they’re going to ask, so be prepared).

Whether required by your company or not, you need to write a formal resignation letter. This not only sets the tone for your remaining time at the company, but also for your future relationship with your employer. No matter what, keep it simple. Here’s how to pull together a savvy letter of resignation.

[See: How to Quit Your Job Like a Class Act.]

The Beginning. Address the letter of resignation to your boss. You don’t need to repeat the details of why you are leaving. You should simply state you’re resigning and the effective date as follows:

Month Day, Year

Dear [your boss’s name],

Please accept this letter as official notification that I am resigning from my position as [position title] with [company name]. My last day will be [date is typically two weeks from the date of the letter].

The Middle. Even if you don’t feel grateful upon your departure, you should thank your boss. Come up with a few things that you’ve learned at your job; if you can’t, talk to a close friend to help you brainstorm. Your boss will likely be a reference in the future, because even if you don’t list them as a reference, some employers will check in with former bosses. So it’s important to be respectful and express gratitude in order to leave a positive impression.

I appreciate the opportunity I’ve had to work in this role for the past [amount of time]. I’ve very much enjoyed [list a few job responsibilities] and learned a great deal about [name one to two things you’ve learned]. All of this will help me in my next endeavor as well as my future career.

[See: 25 Best Business Jobs for 2017.]

The End. Back to the point about leaving on a positive note and giving a lasting good impression: Express your willingness to help out with the transition. Don’t promise too much, but suggest in your letter that you would like to ensure a smooth transition for the next person in your role. That may mean finishing everything on your plate, filing important documents in an easily accessible place, creating guidelines for some of your tasks or training a colleague to do your job. This shows your boss that you are a team player (an important memory to leave them with as you shut the door).

During my last two weeks, I want to make sure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible. I will wrap up my work and create guidelines for the next person to assume my responsibilities. I’m also happy to train other team members as needed. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to support this transition.

The Close Out. Whether you want to or not, the polite and appropriate thing to do is to wish your boss all the best.

I wish you and the company continued success, and I hope to stay in touch in the future.


[Your name]

You don’t need to follow the exact wording above, but use this as a guide to help you write your own style of a resignation letter. You should tailor it based on your experience, boss and company culture. Submit the letter according to the typical procedures at your company, whether it’s directly to your boss or human resources. You may need to ask one or both of them how to go about it.

[See: 10 Ways to Perfect Your Personal Brand.]

While you may think a piece of paper that will likely get filed away is not important, it can affect your future in ways you cannot foresee. Your current boss (and future reference) will maintain a positive impression of how you left things, as long as you also follow through on ensuring as smooth a transition as possible. And sometimes people come back to a former employer — hey, you just never know — so it’s a good idea to have the professional letter on file.

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How to Write a Resignation Letter originally appeared on

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