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How to Write a Resignation Letter

At Ultius, we understand that quitting a job can be a stressful experience. Informing your employer that you are leaving can be a delicate dance, and the last thing most people want to do is burn any bridges when it comes to resigning. We're all about offering a holistic approach to the problem of academic content, and our writing guides are excellent tools that will help you in your future endeavors. Check out the guide below on how to write a resignation letter, and if you still need some help, we offer the following services:


A resignation letter is a document of courtesy that you should personally write and give to your superior/s whenever you decide to quit working for a given employer. For whatever reason—a new opportunity, a change of career, incompatibility with coworkers, illness, relocation or retirement—you have decided to move on with your life and the news should be politely revealed in your letter, along with your projected date of departure. Generally, your resignation letter should be succinct and upbeat, with a show of gratitude for the party that gave you the job in question.

Do It In Person

In most cases, it is best to report the news in person to your employer and then hand him or her a resignation letter. But if you are resigning from a telecommuting position, it might not be possible to do things face-to-face; therefore, you will need to handle things via email and/or snail mail, and possibly precede that with a call to your employer to deliver the news.

The thing to bear in mind throughout all of this is that a resignation letter should not go into details about any type of grievances. If there was an issue with your working situation that would have best been handled by the company's human resources department or through an outside attorney, then it would be an issue best left to those avenues for as long as recourse remains an option. When leaving an undesirable working environment, the thing to focus on with your resignation letter is your own happiness about the times that lie ahead. After all, the letter could stay on file, and if it mentioned anything negative it could possible be used against you if a future employment prospect makes a reference-checking call to the earlier employer.

Things to Include in a Resignation Letter

With a resignation letter, there is no reason to give your employer any further information than the fact that you are leaving the job. Therefore, a standard resignation letter can be divided into three simple sentences that cover the following points: 

Announce your resignation from your current position and the projected date of your last day of work.

Tell your employer that you will be glad to offer any additional help, should it be needed, during your final days on the job—this will help sweeten your announcement.

Show your gratitude by wishing the best to all of your superiors and colleagues—this will help ensure that you leave the company on a good note. 

Furthermore, be sure to include your full name, job title, phone number and address on the letter. Unless your company states a specific timeframe that you should give on a resignation notice, the customary length is two weeks.

Example: Two Week Resignation Letter

Dear Ms. Rubble,


I am writing this message to inform you of my intentions to resign in two weeks time from my position as Jr. Editor for Daily Digital Outpost. My final day with the company will be February 5.


I would be happy to offer my assistance if you need it during this time of transition.


It is with the deepest of gratitude that I thank you for the opportunities you've given me as a member of the Daily Digital Outpost team, and I wish everyone at this great company the best of times moving forward



Fred Jetson


Jr. Editor at Daily Digital Outpost


14927 NW. Flintstone Ave. #666

Bedrock, OR 01892


Special Things You Can Add to a Registration Letter

In some instances, you might want to add further details about the circumstances of your resignation. When your reason for resigning is due to a better opportunity elsewhere, try emphasizing the best of both situations. In other words, while you love your current job, the newer one has a more convenient location or set of hours that will allow you to spend more time with your loved ones.

Example: "New Opportunity" Resignation Letter

Dear Mr. Farrell,

I am writing to inform you of my upcoming resignation from MASH. Another employment offer recently came my way from a company located closer to my residence, and I have accepted their offer.


My commute to and from MASH typically takes three hours per day, but this new job would give me more time to spend with my husband and two young children. My final day as an employee of MASH will be November 4.


My nine years with MASH have included many wonderful experiences, and I will miss all of my co-workers that have helped make this a very enriching job. Words cannot express the gratitude that I feel for the opportunities that you have given me during the years that I have spent working for this company.


I wish everyone at MASH the best of times going forward. If I can be of any additional assistance during my final days with the company, I'd be happy to oblige.



Loretta Alda


Company Clerk at MASH


9876 N. Television Lane

Hollywood, CA. 99199


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How to Write an Email Resignation Notice

Writing a resignation notice via email takes an extra bit of consideration because you will want to ensure that the message does not get buried in the inbox of your superior. This will be especially important if you plan to resign within 24 hours of sending the message, because it would not be fair to your boss if he or she belatedly learned that your duties would immediately need to be reassigned to someone new.

The following subject lines will help you ensure that your email comes to the immediate attention of your employer:

Example Email Subject Lines 

  • Notice of Resignation – (Your Name)
  • Resignation – (Your Name)
  • Resignation (day/month/year) – (Your Name)
  • Resignation Announcement – (Your Name)
  • Resignation Effective Now – (Your Name)
  • Regarding (Your Name) Resignation


Example: Email Resignation Message

Email Subject Line: Resignation Announcement – Cosmo Costanza


Dear Mr. Benes,


I'm submitting this message as notification of my intentions to resign from my position at Vandelay Industries on June 15.


I offer my deepest gratitude for the opportunities I've been given as an employee of Vandelay Industries. I wish everyone involved with this great company much success going forward.


Please inform me of any adjustments to my work schedule during this final pay period, as well as any benefits that accrued during my time as an employee.


If any further help is needed during this period of transition, I will happily be of assistance.


Best regards,


Cosmo Costanza

Latex Salesman at Vandelay Industries



Steps to Accompany Your Resignation Letter

A resignation letter can help you maintain a crucial bridge in your working life. As a standard formality, the letter will not only ensure that you exit a given job on good terms, it will also turn that job into a positive reference and a possible option for re-employment if things do not pan out elsewhere. But between the hand-in of your notice and your final day on the job, be sure to cover the following tasks and acts of courtesy.

Ask About Unused Benefits

Depending on the position you held at the company in question, you might have accrued unused benefits that you could still redeem upon resignation. Be sure to find out if there is any unused vacation pay or 401k rollover benefits that you could possibly collect before your date of departure.

Ask Your Boss for a Reference

Upon resigning, you can continue benefiting from all the time you have put into that job by asking your boss to be one of your references. If the request is granted, ask your boss if he or she would be available for phone calls and email inquiries from future job recruiters. Also, ask if your boss could write a professional recommendation on your behalf for use on your LinkedIn profile. As time goes on you are likely to lose track of some of the people you have worked for, which makes it wise to secure a reference while you and a given employer are still in contact.

Be Discreet About Your Upcoming Job Opportunity

No matter how great the opportunity might seem like on paper, you won't really know how it will be until you start at your upcoming job. Even if there is no doubt that you have landed the best gig in town, do not boast about the fact or make your resignation the exit to end all exits. Friendly colleagues will indeed be happy for you, but there is no reason to make them jealous with envy over your newfound prospects.

Say Goodbye to Your Colleagues

Before moving on to your next chapter in life, be sure to send messages to your dear co-workers and fill them in on your upcoming plans, whether you are changing jobs, moving away or retiring. Remind your colleagues of all the fun times you have had working as a team, and include mentions of any special group projects that highlighted your time with the company. For the co-workers that you wish to keep in touch with, be sure to leave them your contact info, such as your Facebook profile, LinkedIn URL, Twitter account, email address and texting number.

Parting Thoughts

Handing in a resignation letter can seem like a daunting task in certain working environments. If negative feelings have come into play—such as animosity towards certain co-workers, a personal dislike for your boss or a general displeasure with the work itself—it can be especially difficult to initiate a formal resignation with tact, poise and confidence. But even in situations where you sense that your days on the job could be numbered anyway and you simply wish to end things on your terms—or "beat your employer to the punch," so to speak—it would still be more sensible for the sake of your resume to exit said job with a polite and proper notice of resignation.

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