How to Write a Letter of Resignation
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What is a Letter of Resignation?
If you're planning to leave your job, you should submit a letter of resignation to notify your employer of your choice. The resignation letter formally lets your employer know you will no longer be working with the company. No matter how miserable or how wonderful your job is, it's proper to submit a letter of resignation at least two weeks before you anticipate leaving the position. However, it's not always easy to know what to write in your letter of resignation. Luckily, whether you're a teacher, in nursing or any other type of job, resignation letters generally all follow the same format.
Resignation Letter Formatting
- Use business letter format - include a header with your employer's name and address first, followed by the date, and then your name and address
- Include a salutation—for example, “To Mrs. [Employer's Name]”
- Explain why you're writing - Your first sentence may say, "I'm writing to inform you of my decision to leave my [job title] position at [company name]."
- Clearly define your final day of work in the first paragraph - For example, the first paragraph might say, “Please accept my resignation as head of quality control for XYX company, with a final employment date of Friday, September 17, 2046.”
- Positively state your reason for leaving - This isn't the time to blast your boss or company policies; it might affect a future reference that you'll need. If you're leaving because of career advancement or change, your family is relocating, or you've decided to go to grad school, you can include that information.
- Offer to help with the transition - If you are hoping to stay on good terms, you might add a quick sentence about a transition plan, such as if you are willing to help train your replacement.
- Say thank you - Finish up the formal letter by thanking both your boss and the company as a whole for the opportunities they've given you.
- Include a closing - Your closing should be short and sweet. "Sincerely" and "best regards" are among the most popular closings.
- Sign the letter -
Add your typed name, and leave room for a signature.
Delivering the Letter - Paper or Email?
Paper is always preferred. If possible, type your letter of resignation, print it, and sign it in blue or black ink. However, if you're in a remote location or otherwise unable to hand in your resignation in person, email will have to do. Human Resources might request you mail a paper copy for record-keeping, so be ready with a stamp and envelope, just in case.
Kelsey Casselbury has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Penn State-University Park. She has a long career in print and web media, including serving as a managing editor for a monthly nutrition magazine and food editor for a Maryland lifestyle publication. She also owns an Etsy shop selling custom invitations and prints.