How to Write a Resignation Letter | Top Tips & Templates

Moving on? Our resignation letter guide will help you to handle the resignation process like a pro.

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So, you’ve been interviewing for a new role and have accepted the job offer. It’s an exciting time for you and it might be tempting to just pick up the phone and tell your current employer that you’re moving on. But it’s important to remain professional until your last day on the job – aside from good etiquette, you never know when you might cross paths again with old managers or colleagues, so it’s worth keeping it professional.

Read on for our top tips on how to handle the resignation process like a pro and leave your job on a positive note.

What to do before you hand in your resignation

The first thing to do is to review your employee contract or handbook and see how long a notice period your firm requires. Depending on the company’s policies, how long you’ve been there, and the seniority of your role, it could be anything from a week to a couple of months. Next, have a polite conversation with your manager to inform them that you are planning on handing in your resignation. It’s always good for them to hear the news from you in person, before they hear it from HR or on the grapevine. Have an end date in mind when you have this conversation.

If you’re worried about having the conversation, remember you’re not the first person in the world to quit their job – nor are you likely to be the last. Depending on your reasons for leaving, such as a lack of progression available in your current role, your manager may even have been expecting that you would be looking to move on at some point.

Make sure your affairs are in order and understand that you may lose access to your company email etc. sooner than you think.

Writing your resignation letter

The next step is to put your resignation in writing. Draft a formal letter addressed to your manager - keep it simple; it doesn’t need to be wordy and nor does it need to include the negative factors for leaving your job.

What to include in your resignation letter:

  • The date you are handing the letter in. This is important so that there is a formal record of your notice period
  • Address the letter to the appropriate person – this is usually your line manager or supervisor but check your company handbook to make sure
  • A short paragraph that includes your name, current position, and intention to resign
  • The date of the last day you will be working with the company
  • Your signature
  • Contact information for any communication after your departure

Your resignation letter is also a great place to show that you are willing to make the transition period as smooth as possible for the company. Explain that you’re committed to helping prepare your team for your exit, completing your remaining tasks as well as training your replacement. Try not to over-promise – only commit to what you can realistically support with before you leave.

Say Thank You:

Even if not all your experiences at the company have been positive, it is polite and professional to thank your employer for the opportunities that you have been given in your time there. You can even include a line or two that describe a couple of key take-aways from your learning, such as the development of new skills, any shadowing opportunities or being given the chance to lead on a certain project. Giving your resignation in a polite and professional manner will not only help when it comes to employment references, it can also make your notice period easier and more enjoyable.

What not to include in your resignation letter

Avoid any negativity - your HR department will probably keep your resignation letter on file in case they are asked for a recommendation in the future and airing your grievances on the letter can mean that any bad feelings are kept on record too. Save any issues or challenges you want to raise for your exit interview. Other things to avoid in your resignation letter include:

  • Poor spelling and grammar
  • Mentioning money (i.e. your new salary) and personal feelings about leaving
  • Any issues that you have had with colleagues, co-workers, or management
Resignation letter template

A resignation letter should be short and sweet – it doesn’t not need to be longer than a page. Here’s a sample resignation letter to get you started:


Date

Manager’s name

Company name

Dear XYZ,

Please accept this letter as my formal notification that I am resigning from my position as [your position] at [company name]. In accordance with the notice period agreed within my contract, my last day with the company will be [day and date].

Rest assured that I will attempt to make the transition as smooth as possible. I will complete my projects as far as possible and will be happy to help train any employees during the handover period.

I would like to thank you for the opportunities I have been given at (company name) during my (number) of years of service here. It has been great to accomplish [state accomplishment] with my team.

While I am excited about what the future has in store for me, I will remember my time here fondly. I wish you and [company name] all the best for the future. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require further information after I leave, and do keep in touch.

Kind regards,

[signature]

[your name]

[contact information]


Now that you know how to write that all-important resignation letter, why not have a look at some of our other career advice:

If you need help looking for your next big adventure, contact your local Adecco branch and connect with a recruiter today! Or view all jobs here.

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