How to Write a Resignation Letter (Template + Tips)

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Submitting a resignation letter to your employer is a common practice when you go through the process of leaving a job. Here's where you can begin.

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Submitting a resignation letter to your employer is a common practice when you go through the process of leaving a job. Typically, the letter won’t be the first communication you’ve had regarding your plans to leave, but it will formalize your decision by putting it in writing.

By the time you submit your resignation letter, oftentimes you will have already:

  • Decided to leave your job

  • Had a conversation with your manager informing them of your intention to leave

  • Determined your final date at your job, usually at least two weeks from when you announce your intention to leave

You’ll likely want to touch upon similar points during both the conversation with your manager and in your resignation letter, so you may find it helpful to pre-write portions of your letter before initiating the conversation in order to organize your thoughts. Here’s where you can begin.

How to write a formal resignation letter

Your resignation letter is simply putting your pre-announced plans into writing, so write it with the mindset that you’ve already done the hard parts—you’ve made the decision to leave and you told your manager.

Approaching this letter with the confidence that you’re making the best choice for yourself can help you stay focused on your main goal in writing the letter: to announce your growth.

Part 1: Opening

Address the first part of your letter to your manager, and clearly state that you are resigning from your position and when your last day with the company will be. There is no need to get creative with your wording here—you don’t want any room for confusion regarding your intention with this letter. Be clear and direct.

Dear [manager],

Please accept this letter as a formal notification of my resignation as [your position] at [company name]. My last day will be [date].

Part 2: Gratitude

In the second part of your letter, thank your manager for their role in your growth. Think about the aspects of your role where you were able to tap into and expand your greatest skills, and, whenever possible, try to reflect your manager’s influence in your success.

Lead this paragraph with an indication of thanks—such as “Thank you for…” “I am grateful for…” or “I appreciate your…”—and then move into the accomplishments you’re most proud of from your time with the company.

Thank you for your [manager’s contribution to your success] over these past [number of years you were with this company]. With your guidance, I was able to hone my [list your major skills], and I will always remember the pride I felt when [list your biggest accomplishment].

Sometimes it can be tricky to tap into gratitude, particularly if you are leaving under contentious reasons. Expressing thanks for the lessons you learned about yourself through those harsh circumstances can be one way to keep your letter honest and positive. For example:

*Thank you for sharing your high standards with me. You’ve taught me new ways to value my contributions.

*I am grateful for the opportunities to practice resilience in a fast-paced environment.

*Thank you for trusting me with your ever-evolving schedule. I’ll take with me lessons in organization and prioritization.

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Part 3: Next steps

Before closing your letter, offer to assist with any transitions as your current responsibilities are redistributed. If you have any outstanding projects, note whether you will be completing them or delegating them to someone else. Your goal here is to show that even though you are exiting the company, you are determined to maintain a positive relationship.

Over my final [remaining amount of time] with the company, I plan to continue my daily tasks and complete outstanding projects. I will make myself available to train other team members as needed. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to ease this transition.

Thank you, again, for your support. Please stay in touch.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Resignation letter template

[Your header]

[Today’s date]

[Manager’s name]

[Company name]

[Company address]

Dear [manager],

Please accept this letter as a formal notification of my resignation as [your position] at [company name]. My last day will be [date].

Thank you for your [manager’s contribution to your success] over these past [number of years you were with this company]. With your guidance, I was able to hone my [list your major skills], and I will always remember the pride I felt when [list your biggest accomplishment].

Over my final [remaining amount of time] with the company, I plan to continue my daily tasks and complete outstanding projects. I will make myself available to train other team members as needed. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to ease this transition.

Thank you, again, for your support. Please stay in touch.

Sincerely,

[Your signature]

[Your name]

Resignation letter examples

The following examples of resignation letters offer two variations of the above template. You can adjust the template to suit your relationship, company culture, and company practices.

Example 1

Dear Jane Smith,

Please accept this letter as a formal notification of my resignation as Executive Assistant at ABC Marketing. My final day will be Friday, April 8, 2022.

Thank you for your hands-on approach over these past three years. With your guidance and trust, I was able to hone my negotiation skills and gain confidence in building creative marketing strategies. I will always remember the pride I felt when we closed my first campaign deal.

Over my final two weeks with the company, I plan to continue my daily tasks and complete outstanding projects. I will make myself available to train other team members as needed. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to ease this transition.

Thank you, again, for your support. Please stay in touch.

Sincerely,

Sam Beck

Example 2

Dear John Doe,

Please accept this letter as a formal notification of my resignation as Project Manager at XYZ Firm. My final day will be Tuesday, March 7, 2022.

I am grateful to have witnessed your sharp business perspective and steady focus on the company’s bottom line. Over my past year with the company, I have learned valuable lessons in budgeting and consolidation that I will surely take with me.

Over my final two weeks with the company, I plan to prepare team members to take over my ongoing projects. I will also make myself available to train additional team members at your request. Please let me know if there is anything additional that I can do to ease this transition.

Thank you for your support. I wish the best for you and the company moving forward.

Sincerely,

Dean White

Sometimes people face circumstances requiring their immediate resignation from their job. In these situations, you can generally follow the same resignation process. While you never owe an explanation regarding your resignation, if you hope to preserve your relationship with your employer, it may be courteous to explain your situation when you talk to your manager about your resignation. 

In your resignation letter, you’ll want to make clear that your resignation is effective immediately. You also may want to add a line acknowledging your sudden timeline or apologizing for any inconvenience. If you choose to, you can also mention that you are resigning for personal or family reasons.

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