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Writing a resignation letter

What is a Resignation Letter?

Are you ready to take your next career move? Then it's good practice to write a letter of resignation. This is a short letter formally advising your employer of your intention to leave, it can help to maintain a positive relationship with your old employer creating a positive final impression, whilst also paving the way for you to move on.

Why write a Resignation Letter?

A letter of resignation is written to announce to human resources, superiors, and co-workers your intent to leave your current position. It is polite to send this letter out well in advance (especially as required by contract) of the date of your intention to leave. You never know when you might need your previous employer to give you a reference so it makes sense to take the time to write a polished and professional resignation letter. 

Resignation letters not only describe the employee’s intent to leave but also provide information about the last day worked and other requests or details. This eases the transition for both employer and employee. In order to maintain a positive and graceful exit, a letter of resignation often thanks the employer for the opportunities provided and mentions experiences gained at the company or how the employee enjoyed their time there.

Often, resignation letters will also offer to help in the transition, whether it be recruiting or training the new replacement. In this way, both the employee and the employer can leave the situation with closure and a sense of respect and amicability. 

What not to include in a resignation letter?

Resignation letters are not an appropriate place for complaints or critiques of the employer or co-workers. It can be tempting to let your employer know exactly how you feel about any bad experiences at the company but regardless of how much you’d like to say it, don’t do it. Saying the wrong things in your letter can bring unwanted consequences if you aren't careful. 

Example Resignation Letter

30th September 2018


Senior Manager
Name of company
123 Business Rd.
Business City, County
W1 1AA

Dear Senior Manager,

I would like to notify you that I am resigning from my position as XXXXX for XXXXX effective from 30th October 2018.

Thank you very much for the opportunity you’ve given me to learn all about XXXXXXX. I have genuinely enjoyed my time with the company and I believe the experience has given me a great platform to continue my career. Next month I will be taking on a position as XXXXX but in the meantime, I will be happy to assist in the transition of a new candidate to take over my position.

Yours sincerely,

Handwritten Signature (hard copy letter)
Jane Smith

Source: Alison Doyle, The Balanced Career