How to Write an Effective Resignation Letter

When an employee wants to leave his or her job, a well-written resignation letter will make the process go more smoothly. It is always a good idea to maintain a good relationship with an employer even if the employee is moving on to another job or staying at home with their children. 

A previous employer could be asked to write a letter of recommendation, so it makes sense to be as professional as possible when resigning. The letter will also provide official notice that the employee is resigning.

Unless it is otherwise stipulated by company rules, an employee should give notice of resignation at least two weeks in advance of the time they plan to leave. They should give the date of departure. 

However, there are many ways and reasons for resigning including giving no notice, short notice, extended notice or for retirement. Even if the employee has spoken face-to-face with their employer about their resignation, they still need to send a formal letter.

Tone of Letter

The tone of the letter should be pleasant and friendly even if the employee is angry about leaving or doesn’t like their employer. Sounding ungrateful, complaining or criticizing the employer, another employee or the company is not professional.

 A copy of this letter will most likely go in the file of the resigning employee, so it should leave a good parting impression. The letter should be written in formal business-style. This is an opportunity to maintain a good relationship with your employer and leave on a positive note.

If the employee is leaving on good terms with their employer, they can give more information about why they are resigning. If the employee hates the job and just wants out, it is recommended that they wait to resign until they have another job offer in writing. 

It is also acceptable to write two or three lines just stating the facts which are:

• I am resigning
• This letter is my two-week notice
• My last working day is DATE
• Thank you for the experience of working for your company

The most common type of letter should state that the employee will:

• Work their full notice period
• Help with training a new employee
• Finish on-going projects

It may not be possible to work the full time required by a contract before resigning because of health reason, an emergency in the family or a new job that won’t wait. Some companies require several months’ notice, so a new employee can be trained. The reasons for leaving early should be clearly stated in the letter.

The main reasons people resign from a job are:

• They found a better job or higher position
• They need to accompany their spouse to another location
• They are starting their own business
• They are becoming a freelancer
• They want to stay at home with their children

Here is a sample of a resignation letter. It should be sent by certified mail, so the employee has proof of the time and date the letter was sent and received.

Sample Resignation letter

Employee’s Name
Employee’s Address
City, State, Zip Code
Employee’s Position in the Business

DATE

Manager’s Name
Name of Company
Address of Company
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Manager’s Name,

This letter is to formally give notice that I am resigning from my job as POSITION in NAME OF COMPANY. My last day of work will be DATE.

I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience by being part of your team and appreciate the time and attention you gave me during my training period. With the skills I have gained working with you, I am confident I could be a project head for an environmental awareness program, and in my future career, I will always remember the support you gave me.

I will do my best to complete on time all the pending work I have and would be happy to help train a new employee. I am fortunate to have been part of NAME OF COMPANY for the past three years and wish you success in the future. Kindly acknowledge this letter, and if you have any questions, I can be reached at 555-123-4567 or at Name@email.com.

Sincerely,

Employee’s Signature
Employee’s Name Printed