You’ve given your all to this job, but now it’s time for a new adventure. Writing a resignation letter can feel nerve-wracking because you want to say you’re ready for something different without leaving on bad terms. That’s where having a good formal resignation letter template helps out. It’s like your roadmap to quitting gracefully while showing gratitude and staying positive.

Let’s face it: a one-size-fits-all resignation letter template just won’t work. You need something that fits your situation and leaves the right impression on your boss. How you exit is just as crucial as how you started.

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Resignation Letter Templates for Different Situations

Once you’ve committed to a new job with an employment contract or chosen to step back from work, writing that resignation letter is next on your list. Where should you begin?

I’ve compiled several helpful free resignation letter samples that fit various scenarios. So, if you need just a straightforward one, are in a rush with short notice, or are leaving due to an exciting new job offer, you’ll find the perfect resignation letter examples here to assist you.

Simple Resignation Letter Template

A simple resignation letter template should include your name, position, company name, date, and a brief statement of your intention to resign. It should also mention your last day of work and express gratitude for the opportunity.

Keep the letter concise, professional, and positive. Here’s an example of what a simple resignation letter sample might look like:

Dear [Manager’s Name],
Please accept this letter as formal notification of my resignation from the position of [job title] with [company name]. My last day will be [date], two weeks from today.
Thank you for the opportunities for professional and personal development that you have provided me during my time at [company name]. I have enjoyed working for the company and appreciate the support provided me during my tenure with the company.
If I can be of any help during this transition, please let me know.
Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Short Notice Resignation Letter Template

When resigning on short notice, apologize for the inconvenience and explain your reasons briefly while remaining professional. Offer to assist with the transition and express gratitude for the opportunity.

Here’s a handy template if you plan to submit your resignation on short notice.

Dear [Manager’s Name],
I am writing to formally notify you of my resignation from the position of [job title] at [company name], effective [date]. I apologize for the short notice.
I recently received an offer for a position at another company and have accepted it. Due to the timeline they have requested, my last day of work will be this [Day of Week], [Date].
I am grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given at [company] and your professional guidance and support. Please let me know how I can assist with the transition process.
Sincerely,
[Your Name]

New Opportunity Resignation Letter Template

When resigning for a new opportunity, express your appreciation for your time at the company and the experiences you gained. Mention that you’ve accepted a new position and briefly explain how it aligns with your career goals.

Looking for a fresh start? Here’s an example of how to write a resignation letter when you’re ready to embrace new opportunities.

Dear [Manager’s Name],
Please accept this as my formal resignation from my position as [job title] with [company name]. My last day of employment will be [date].
I have accepted a position with another company that will further my growth and career development, but I remain grateful for the opportunities I’ve had here.
During my time at [company], I have learned a great deal and grown professionally. Thank you for your support and encouragement.
Please let me know how I can help during the transition period. I wish you and the company all the best.
Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Retirement Resignation Letter Template

A retirement resignation letter should express gratitude for the years spent at the company and the opportunities provided. It should mention your planned retirement date and offer to assist with the transition. The short resignation letter should also reflect on your positive experiences and accomplishments during your tenure.

Need help drafting your retirement resignation? Here’s a handy template to guide you through the process.

Dear [Manager’s Name],
I am writing to formally announce my retirement from [company], effective [date]. After [number] years of service, I have decided to retire and spend more time with my family.
I cannot thank you enough for the opportunities, experiences, and support you have provided me during my tenure at [company name]. I am grateful to have worked with such a talented team and will cherish the memories I have made here.
During the next [number of weeks], I will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition. Please let me know how I can assist in training my replacement.
Sincerely,
[Your Name]

These resignation letter templates and examples should help you start writing your own. Just keep it professional, say thanks, and let them know you’re willing to assist with the transition.

How to Write a Professional Resignation Letter

Now that you’ve seen some resignation letter templates and examples, let’s dive into how to write a professional resignation letter. It’s important to get this right, as it’s a formal document that will be part of your employee record.

What to Include in Your Resignation Letter

When writing a professional job resignation letter, be sure to include:

  • Your name, position, company name, and the date
  • A clear statement of your intention to resign
  • Your last day of work (ideally at least two weeks out)
  • An expression of gratitude for the opportunities and experiences
  • An offer to assist with the transition process
  • Your contact information for any follow-ups

This is an example of what it could look like when rephrased to sound more human-like:

Dear [Manager’s Name],
I am writing to formally notify you of my resignation from my position as [job title] at [company name]. My last day of employment will be [date], two weeks from today.
I want to thank you for the opportunities and experiences I have gained during my time at [company]. I have learned a great deal and am grateful for the support and guidance provided by my colleagues and supervisors.
Please let me know how I can assist in ensuring a smooth transition of my responsibilities. I am available to help train my replacement and ensure that all my projects are completed or handed off properly.
You can reach me at [your email] or [your phone number] if you have any questions or need further information.
Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Tips for Writing a Clear and Concise Resignation Letter

To write a clear and concise resignation letter:

  1. Keep your language professional and straightforward
  2. Avoid using emotional or negative language
  3. Focus on the facts of your resignation
  4. Be specific about your last day and your willingness to help with the transition
  5. Proofread for any errors before submitting

Remember, this letter will be part of your employee record, so maintain a positive and respectful tone. It’s okay to keep it brief – in fact, I recommend it. The example above hits all the key points in just a few concise paragraphs.

How to Express Gratitude and Maintain Professionalism

It’s important to say thank you in your resignation letter, even if your time there wasn’t perfect. Highlight the skills you’ve acquired and the opportunities you’ve had for career growth. 

You might say something like:

“I am grateful for the opportunities I have had at [company] to grow professionally and contribute to key projects. I have learned a great deal from my colleagues and supervisors, and I appreciate the support and guidance they have provided.”

Or:

“Thank you for the opportunity to work at [company] and for the experiences I have gained. I am especially appreciative of the support and mentorship provided by my supervisor, [name], which has been instrumental in my professional growth.”

Even if your current job isn’t the best fit or you’ve found a better gig, focus on something positive as you depart. Expressing thanks and professionalism helps you leave on good terms while maintaining important relationships.

Key Elements of a Well-Crafted Resignation Letter

Besides covering the basics, several important aspects can elevate your resignation letter from okay to excellent. Let’s go over them.

Providing Adequate Advance Notice

You should always allow sufficient time for an employer to prepare when you’re planning to leave. Generally, this means giving a standard notice period of two weeks. However, it’s wise to confirm if there are any different requirements stated in either the company’s policy or within your own employment contract.

Giving your employer and colleagues enough advance notice before you leave is really important. It shows respect for them, helps kick off the hiring process early, and allows everyone to plan for a smooth transition of your duties.

Stating Your Last Day of Work

Clearly state your last working day to prevent any misunderstandings. This way, your employer can make the necessary arrangements.

State it plainly like this:

“My last day of employment will be [date], two weeks from today.”

Or:

“As per my employment contract, I am providing four weeks’ notice. My last day will be [date].”

Ensure the date you provide aligns with the amount of notice you’re giving. And if you can, try to time your departure to wrap up at the end of a workweek or the end of a month. This can help with the transition and with things like payroll and benefits.

Expressing Gratitude for the Opportunity

As I mentioned earlier, expressing gratitude is essential in any resignation letter. But it’s worth calling out again as a key element.

Think about everything you’ve picked up along the way, all the connections you’ve made with others, and the chances that have come your way. Then, take a moment to thank those involved in a heartfelt and specific manner.

For instance, let’s take the paragraph above and make it sound more human. I’ll keep the same tone and tense but change sentence structure and word choice for a natural flow. I won’t use any of those obvious AI phrases or words either. This will help you better relate to what I’m saying without giving away that an AI wrote it.

“I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had at [company] to learn about [specific skills or areas], work on [specific projects or initiatives], and grow as a [your role]. I especially appreciate the mentorship and support provided by [specific individuals].”

Even if you’re leaving because you’re unhappy, find something positive to say. It might be about the relationships you’ve built with colleagues, a particular skill you’ve developed, or an achievement you’re proud of.

Offering to Assist with the Transition

Offering to help with the transition in your resignation letter shows you’re dedicated to a smooth handoff and that you care about the company’s future even after you’ve left.

You might say:

“During my remaining time at [company], I will do everything possible to wrap up my projects and train my replacement. Please let me know how else I can assist with the transition.”

Or:

“I am committed to ensuring a smooth transition of my responsibilities. I am happy to work with you to develop a transition plan and to train my successor. Please let me know how I can be of assistance.”

Be specific about how you can help. This might mean writing down processes, putting together a handover document, or meeting with your replacement to go over daily tasks. The clearer you are, the better.

Remember, while these key elements can elevate your resignation letter, the most important thing is to be clear, professional, and gracious. Keep it concise, positive, and focused on the practical details of your departure.

Resignation Letter Etiquette and Best Practices

Crafting a resignation letter doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Follow simple rules of courtesy and best practices, and you’ll write a polished, respectful resignation letter that allows for an amicable departure.

Addressing Your Resignation Letter to the Right Person

Your resignation letter should be addressed to your immediate supervisor. If you report to more than one person, address it to your primary manager or the person you interact with most.

If your company has a specific protocol for resignations (like notifying HR first), be sure to follow that. But in most cases, your direct supervisor should be the recipient of your letter.

Keeping Your Reasons for Leaving Professional

You don’t need to go into extensive detail about why you’re leaving in your resignation letter. If you’re leaving for a new opportunity, you can say something brief like:

“I have accepted a position at another company that aligns with my long-term career goals.”

If you’re leaving for personal reasons, you can keep it even simpler:

“After much consideration, I have decided to leave [company] to focus on personal matters.”

The key is to be honest but tactful. Even if you’re leaving because you’re unhappy, resist the urge to air grievances in your resignation letter. Focus on the facts of your departure, not the emotions surrounding it.

Avoiding Burning Bridges

Your resignation letter isn’t the place to vent frustrations or settle scores. Remember, this document will stay in your employee file, and you never know when you might need a reference or a professional connection from this company.

So, keep your letter polite and professional even if you had a negative experience. Focus on the positives, express gratitude, and resist the urge to get negative.

Here’s an example of what not to do:

“I’m leaving because I’m tired of the toxic work environment and the lack of recognition for my contributions. My talents were wasted here.”

Instead, you might say:

“While I’ve decided to move in a different direction, I appreciate the opportunities I’ve had at [company] and the support of my colleagues.”

Always keep your bridges intact, even if you think you’ll never need to cross them again. The future is unpredictable, so staying professional and graceful in all interactions is wise.

Providing Sufficient Notice

Saying it again because it’s essential: providing enough notice matters. It’s a courtesy to both your boss and team members and is usually part of the deal in your employment contract.

Aim to give at least two weeks’ notice. If you have a more senior role or complex responsibilities, consider giving even more time to ensure a smooth transition.

If you absolutely can’t give two weeks (for example, if you’ve been offered a job that needs you to start immediately), apologize for the short notice and offer to do what you can to help with the transition in the time you have.

Adapting Your Resignation Letter to Your Situation

While the basic elements of a resignation letter remain the same, you may need to adapt your letter slightly depending on your specific situation. Let’s look at a few common scenarios.

Resigning for Career Advancement

You can mention this in your resignation letter if you’re leaving for a new job that’s a step up in your career. Just keep it brief and positive.

Picture this: you have some robotic-sounding text, but with my help as a linguistic whiz, it’s about to get a complete makeover into something that feels natural and lively. I specialize in refining sentences to ensure they flow smoothly, avoiding overused terms such as “ensure” or “meticulously.” By focusing on active voice and varied sentence lengths, the end result becomes much more relatable.

“I have accepted a position at [new company] as [new job title], which represents an exciting next step in my career journey.”

I’m grateful for my current role, as it has given me a wealth of skills and experiences that are perfect for this next step. My hands-on work aligns directly with the new position’s responsibilities, making me feel confident about tackling new challenges.

“My experiences at [current company] have been invaluable in preparing me for this new challenge, and I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve ha

Key Takeaway:

Crafting a resignation letter is your next step after deciding to leave or take a break from work. Whether you need a simple, short notice, new opportunity, or retirement template, I’ve got examples to help guide you.

Conclusion

A resignation letter template is more than just a formality. It’s an opportunity to showcase your professionalism, express your gratitude, and leave a positive lasting impression. By following these tips and using the templates provided, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a resignation letter that’s both polished and personal.

Think of your resignation letter as a snapshot of who you are. Personalize it with details relevant to your situation, emphasize what you’ve accomplished during your time there, and thank them for the opportunities they provided. You’ll be glad you did down the road.

So take a deep breath, and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). You’ve got this. And with a stellar resignation letter in hand, you’ll be ready to take on your next adventure with confidence and grace.

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Author

Lomit is a marketing and growth leader with experience scaling hyper-growth startups like Tynker, Roku, TrustedID, Texture, and IMVU. He is also a renowned public speaker, advisor, Forbes and HackerNoon contributor, and author of "Lean AI," part of the bestselling "The Lean Startup" series by Eric Ries.