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How to Write a Professional Resignation Letter (& Templates)

So, you’ve decided to move on to a new job and now have to tell your current employer. Read our comprehensive guide to how to say “I quit” with a professional and polite letter of resignation, including sample resignation letters you can use, whatever your position is within the company.

What is a Resignation Letter?

A professional resignation letter is an official document that an employee sends to management, the human resources department (HR), and their boss to provide formal notification about quitting a job. Generally, the letter is sent after a meeting with a supervisor or manager in which the employee resigns and discusses the fact they’re leaving and a transition plan. However, it can also be sent in lieu of a meeting to announce a resignation.

It can be challenging to deliver bad news. Learn skills and steps with Managing Up: What to do When Your Boss is in a Bad Mood.

3 Steps of a Professional Resignation Letter

A professional letter of resignation includes three components: your departure details, gratitude for the experience, and remarks about the transition process. In the United States, managers typically give 4-6 weeks’ notice as a professional courtesy, while two weeks’ notice is standard for other employees. This can vary in other countries, so it’s best to research before deciding when to resign.

Let’s dive into the steps of a professional resignation letter! And, of course, you can copy and paste our template below.

Step 1: Get to the point

The letter should start with a greeting using the manager’s name followed by a simple paragraph about when your last day will be and any relevant details. Providing a notice letter ensures you and the company are on the same page.

Here are some sample phrases to consider:

  • I am resigning from my [position] with [company] effective [date]. 
  • Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from [company]. My last day of work will be [date].

Step 2: Express Gratitude

If possible, you want to express gratitude. Skip this step if it has not been a good relationship. Between the time you give notice and your last day, you want to try to leave on good terms with the employer and your colleagues. It’s always a good idea to leave on a high note, regardless of your deeper feelings about the company. Don’t say anything negative.

In your letter, it’s appropriate to add a paragraph remarking on the positive experiences you have had, the skills you developed, or the growth opportunities.

Here are a few examples:

  • Over the years, I’ve learned so much about this industry and the needs of our customers. It’s been a privilege to be part of the process of serving them through [company’s] products.  
  • I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to work with such a skilled and diverse team. I will take the lessons I learned with me throughout my career.
  • Thank you for allowing me to serve as the [title] for the last [years]. I appreciate the trust and confidence you placed in me during this time. It was my privilege to grow the team to the place it is today, and I look forward to seeing it grow even further with my replacement.

Step 3: Offer support

Acknowledge the impact your vacancy may have on the company, and they will appreciate your offer of support.  

  • I know transitions are challenging, and I am happy to do what I can to support the team.
  • Please let me know when you’d like to review my current workload so I can help transition the projects to other team members or get other staff up to speed.
  • Please let me know how I can support a smooth transition over the next few weeks.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Professional Resignation Letters

Finding a new job and leaving an existing one can be arduous and challenging. But don’t throw away the good work you’ve done by making these mistakes.


  • Prepare your letter before meeting with your boss. Check your grammar and spelling to ensure it is correct.
  • Remain professional and courteous in your communication. A resignation letter is part of your employee file, and its contents can affect what current and future employers think of you. 
  • Give your supervisor a hard copy of the letter when you meet to deliver the news that you are leaving. This sets the tone for a respectful and courteous transition.
  • Send the letter to whatever person or department, like Human Resources, who handles personnel matters as soon as you have had the conversation with your boss or supervisor.

Enjoy some of the funniest movie-quitting scenes to see what not to do! 


  • Be negative. It will only reflect poorly on you and is not the impression you want to leave with. Maintaining a good reputation is essential. The professional world is small, and you never know when you’ll need a letter of reference.
  • Use the letter to air your grievances. This document is an official record that closes your employee file. If you have constructive feedback on the company, save it for the exit interview.
  • Feel the need to include why you are leaving in this letter. Keep it professional and positive, and leave out personal details. If you need to share the reason for your departure, use the meeting with your manager to explain what you are looking forward to rather than sharing why you’re leaving. 
  • Send this letter to anyone before you’ve spoken to your supervisor. It would be poor form not to keep them in the loop. You don’t want to embarrass them or catch them off guard.

Set yourself up for success with a job happiness plan in your new position by reading Be Happy at Work: 10 Science-Baked Ways You Can Be Happier.

Resignation Letter Templates For Every Situation

Sample resignation letter for when you like your boss

Subject line: Resignation Letter—[Your name] [Position]

Dear [recipient’s name],

After much deliberation, I have decided to leave [company]. Please accept this letter as my formal resignation as of [effective date]. 

I have really enjoyed working with you over the past [# of years] at [company]. I would like to thank you for believing in me, providing growth opportunities, and sharing your deep knowledge of the industry. I am a better human and employee because of my relationship with you. 

I understand that transitions are challenging, and my goal is to help set the team and my replacement up for success. Please reach out about how I can best support these efforts.  


[Your name]

Sample resignation letter for when you don’t like your boss

Subject line: Resignation Letter—[Your name] [Position]

Dear [recipient’s name],

I am writing to notify [company name] of my resignation from the position of [job title]. I am providing two weeks’ notice, and my last day will be [date].

Thank you for the time and opportunity to work at [company name]. I learned a lot about myself and my preferred work environment through this experience. 

Please let me know how I can support a smooth transition.

Best regards,

[Your name]

Sample resignation letter when you really like your colleagues

Subject line: Resignation Letter—[Your name] [Position]

Dear [recipient’s name],

I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign from the position of [job title] with [company name]. I am providing two weeks’ notice, and my last day will be [date].

This was not an easy decision to make because I sincerely enjoyed working with the [specific team/group] at [company name]. They are collaborative, helpful, and fun, making coming to the office truly enjoyable. I particularly appreciated the support they offered when [describe a situation]. I also value the training and knowledge I gained over the past [years]

I want to help with the transition, including training other team members and wrapping up my projects. If I can be of any further assistance during this time, please let me know.

Best regards,

[Your name] 

Sample resignation letter for providing a longer notice

Subject line: [Your name]—Resignation

Dear [recipient’s name],

I am writing to give you my formal notice that I am resigning from [company]. I understand that transitioning a new person to the role of [job title] will take some time, and I would like to provide as much notice as possible.  

During my [# of years] at [company], I have enjoyed [insert a few key projects]. Thank you for all your guidance and support during my employment.

Please let me know if you’d like to discuss the projects in my workload. I am happy to support the transition in any way I can.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Sample resignation letter for when you are open to returning to the company

Subject line: Resignation Letter—[Your name] [Position]

Dear [recipient’s name],

I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from [company] effective [date], and this is my [number] weeks’ notice.

[Company name] has given me valuable skills and opportunities, and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to work with this team in this environment. The culture [company name] offers is truly unique and inspiring, and I’d love to stay in touch about future job opportunities.

Finally, I recognize that transition can be disruptive. Please know you have my support in making the transition as seamless as possible. 

Best regards,

[Your name]

Sample resignation letter for when you have a contract

Subject line: Resignation Letter—[Your name] [Position]

Dear [recipient’s name],

I am writing to formally notify you of my resignation from the position of [job title] with [company name]. In accordance with my contract, my final day will be [date].

I want to thank the team at [company] for the opportunities I have been afforded. During my [years] of service, I have appreciated the client-centered approach and the commitment to producing excellent work.

I am fully committed to providing assistance to facilitate a smooth transition between now and [end date]

Best regards,

[Your name]

Sample resignation letter for when you are retiring

Subject line: Resignation Letter—[Your name] [Position]

Dear [recipient’s name],

It is with mixed feelings that I am writing to formally give my resignation from [company] as [position].

I have spent the majority of my career with [company], and it’s been quite a journey. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed coming to work to solve real problems with this incredible team. Our team and our commitment to purposeful work have made this feel more like a passion project.

We’ve been through our challenges, but I never questioned the integrity of our leaders or the careful thought process that drove each decision. I always knew that the health and success of our customers were at the forefront.

I want to thank everyone for the memories and opportunities I have enjoyed. Some of the highlights include: [list several experiences].

The fond memories of our time together will follow me into my retirement as I [insert future activities]. Until then, I am fully committed to assisting in the hiring of and transition to a new [position].

Best regards,

[Your name]

Good to Know:

A retirement letter is slightly different from a typical resignation for several reasons. Depending on the company policy and the position held, the organization may request a longer notice. Some retirements also include a provision for overlap and training with the new employee.

Second, it’s often true the retiree has spent a fair amount of time in the organization, and the company is happy to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions over that time.

Third, people who have been with companies for a long time have developed close relationships with coworkers who may be considered family. It makes sense to let colleagues know more about the plans for the future.

Key Takeaways to Mastering the Resignation Letter

  • Communicate. Whether you’re a CEO reporting to a Board of Directors or a barista, it’s always a good idea to put your resignation in writing. It gives the organization formal notice of your intent to leave and allows them to start the process of finding your replacement.
  • Stay neutral. Set aside any negative feelings and focus on the intent–to communicate the details of your last day.
  • Submit a paper letter. When you meet with your direct supervisor, it’s preferable to provide a hard copy of your resignation letter, if possible. If you cannot meet in person, then it’s appropriate to follow up on the meeting with a PDF attached to an email.
  • Give two weeks’ notice. Don’t leave without giving the employer two weeks’ notice of your last day on the job. It is considerate and the standard for all industries to have at least two weeks to start their process to replace you.
  • Be formal. Even if the company culture is casual, this is one time it’s good to be more formal. Use an official business letter format with the date, address block, salutation, body, and closing.

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