If you want to know how to write a resignation letter, you are likely quitting your job for a whole host of emotionally-charged reasons. Anything from not being paid enough, to having to sit next to a gum-chewer in the new open-concept office space can be to blame.
Writing a resignation letter can feel like a lot.
Remember, however, that the resignation letter is an official document. You will address it to your boss. But your boss will it forwarded to HR, to their boss, and who knows who else.
Little old you probably does a lot more than you realize at your job, and your leaving is going to send some ripples throughout the company.
I’m here to annoyingly remind you to leave on the best footing possible.
You never know who, from this company, you will end up working with again, or need a favor from, or even be managed by. I’ve been in the working world for 15 years and I have worked with a past coworker at EVERY job I’ve had since my first one, across two different cities. I’ve also hired many of the same freelancers from job to job to job.
You are part of an ecosystem now. You may be leaving one small part of it, but you are still connected. Treat the ecosystem with respect and it will provide for you.
If what I’m saying is making you angry because you wanted to throw Sheryl from Marketing under the bus in your resignation letter, find a way to let off steam first:
- Open a Word Doc and write a fantasy resignation letter on your HOME computer.
- Go for a walk.
- Delete your fantasy resignation letter, or save it somewhere SAFE, like on a thumb drive.
What a Resignation Letter Is Not
A letter of resignation is not an opportunity to roast anyone, lampoon the company, piss off your boss, or be scathing in any way. You’re going to want to go the other direction here.
What a Resignation Letter Is
- This is an official notice of your impending absence.
- A way for HR to get all of your paperwork and payroll wrapped up.
- A way to thank your boss and the company.
- A tool for your boss.
How to Write a Resignation Letter
If you are on good terms with your boss (and I hope you are) you can work with them on this, as it will 100% be getting forwarded to their boss. For instance, maybe part of the reason you are leaving is that your department is underfunded and you are doing the work of three people. Then you can say something future-facing like, “While I have learned a lot here I am looking forward to starting in a position where I will have a full staff working under me.”
Resignation Letter Sample
Below is a word-for-word resignation letter sample that you can adjust to your needs. Leave out the parts in italics. Those are just headings to help you think about how to organize your letter of resignation.
Anything in [brackets] is instructive, for you to fill in.
Hi [Your Boss],
Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position with [Company], effective [Date of the day you quit].
Option 1: I’d like to give you the standard two weeks notice, as of today. My last day with the company will be [Date].
Option 2: While I understand that two weeks notice is standard; personal circumstances require that I leave my position at this company by [“the end of next week,” or whatever is appropriate. Side note: I highly recommend giving two weeks notice, as explained in How to Quit a Job with Class].
I am more than happy to provide any assistance I can during this transition. It has been thrilling and satisfying to grow our business together [“from X to Y.” Feel free to include a statistic here like website visitor growth since you started at the company].
What I learned the most from you is how to be a good, transparent, and progressive leader [or insert something you learned from your boss]. However, I feel that it is best for my career to seek a position that [“allows me the freedom to run an influencer network from the ground up.” Feel free to add whatever thing you will have at your new job that you don’t have at your old job].
Thank you so much for the incredible opportunities you have provided me during the last [X years].
Good work! Got any questions or additional tips? Please share them in the comments!