How to write a notice of resignation

How to write a notice of resignation
SEEK content teamupdated on 29 February, 2024

You’ve decided it’s time to move on from your job and need to hand in a resignation notice. While it’s a fairly straightforward process, there are some important guidelines you should follow if you want to leave your employer on good terms. 

A good resignation letter will not only give notice, but also keep your professional relationships in tact, so you’re not burning any bridges that may come in handy in the future. If you’re planning on resigning soon, read our guide on writing a notice of resignation, with tips for crafting a professional letter and examples of different types of resignation letters to help you out. 

What is a resignation letter?

A resignation letter is a document that announces your intention to end your employment with an organisation. It’s an official letter that your empoyer will keep on file, so it needs to have all the relevant details about you and your last day of work. It’s important to keep a letter of resignation professional, no matter your relationship with your employer.

Though it can be a daunting task, writing a letter of resignation is an essential step in wrapping up your job. Even if you discuss your resignation with your supervisor, providing written notice ensures there’s a clear and documented record of your decision. You’ll need to submit one if you would like an Employment Separation Certificate in return. 

Your resignation letter also provides an opportunity to express your gratitude and detail your willingness to help with training your replacement. 

Can you resign while on annual leave?

Yes, you can resign while on annual leave. However, you’ll need to make sure you provide your employer with enough notice before your final intended day. Generally, if you provide notice while on leave, part of the notice period will be absorbed by your annual leave. 

While there’s no law that says you can’t resign while on annual leave, if you want to maintain a positive relationship with your previous employer, it might be best to resign before you go on leave or after you come back. 

Types of resignation letters

There are a range of reasons why someone might decide to resign. With that in mind, there are a variety of resignation letters to suit specific situations. Some of the common types of resignation letters include:

  • Resignation letter due to career change
  • Resignation letter due to relocation
  • Resignation letter due to returning to education
  • Resignation letter due to retirement
  • Resignation due to company restructuring or changes
  • Resignation letter with two weeks’ notice
  • Resignation letter with immediate effect
  • Resignation letter due to personal reasons
  • Resignation letter due to maternity/paternity leave

Often, the reason behind your resignation will determine the content of your resignation notice, especially if you choose to provide a reason for your resignation. 

How to write a resignation notice

When you’re writing a resignation letter, include:

  • Date: your resignation letter should start with the date that you’re planning on submitting your notice. This will often be referred to as the beginning of the notice period
  • Your contact information: include your name, email address, phone number and home address so your previous employer can contact you once you leave.
  • Your manager’s contact information: it can also be worth including your manager’s contact information in your resignation letter.
  • Note of address: use a formal salutation, such as Dear Jerry.
  • Notice of resignation: clearly state that the purpose of the letter is to inform your employer of your resignation. Don’t forget to include the date of your last day on the job.
  • Expression of gratitude: thank your boss for the opportunity and express appreciation for the experience and growth you gained.
  • Note about transition: offer to help with the transition and specify how you can assist with the handover. This could be by documenting projects, training your replacement or recommending potential candidates.
  • Closing and signature: use a professional closing, such as Best, Yours sincerely, or Thank you, and sign the printed copy or include a digital signature in the emailed letter.

Tips for writing a great letter of resignation

Writing a good resignation letter is an essential step in maintaining positive relationships with your previous employer and colleagues. Beyond including the information above, here are a few tips to help you craft a professional resignation notice:

  • Include dates: clearly state your last day of employment, typically giving at least two weeks’ notice. Also include the date you write the letter. 
  • Keep it brief: keep the resignation letter concise. Focus on the necessary details and avoid unnecessary information.
  • Proofread your letter: it’s important you get the details right,  so be sure to proofread and double-check your letter has all the information it needs before submitting it. 
  • Write a separate document: if you’re emailing your resignation, best practice is to write it in an attached letter, rather than in the body of the email. This makes it easier for your HR department to file. 
  • Show gratitude: don’t forget to be thankful for the opportunity and experience.

What not to include in a resignation letter

When crafting an effective resignation letter, the key is to keep it polite and professional. If you want to leave on the best terms possible, avoid things like:

  • Complaints about your manager or the company
  • Gossip about coworkers
  • Inappropriate language

Delivering the letter of resignation

While the content of your letter of resignation is important, so is the way you choose to turn it in. The way you deliver your letter of resignation can go a long way when it comes to leaving your previous company on good terms. Here are some tips to guide you through the process:

  • Schedule a face-to-face meeting: don’t hand in your resignation letter without warning. It’s a good idea to schedule a face-to-face meeting to tell your manager in person that you’re planning to leave the company. That way they’ll be prepared when you submit your resignation notice.
  • Resign professionally even if you work remotely: if you work remotely, it might not be possible to schedule an in-person meeting, so the next best thing would be to organise a video conference or phone call. Once again, it’s better to break the news to your manager before handing in your resignation.
  • Make sure your boss is first to know: while it can be tempting to tell close colleagues that you’re planning on leaving, it’s not worth the risk of your boss finding out the news from someone else. Instead, make sure to give your manager or supervisor the news first. 
  • Know before you go: before you sit down to write your notice of resignation, it’s important to take time to reflect on your decision, to make sure you’re happy with your choice. The last thing you want to do is submit your notice and then regret your decision.
  • Be prepared for a counter-offer: most employers don’t want to lose valuable employees, so there’s a chance they might provide a counter-offer if you’re resigning to move to another company. It can be worth considering their counter-offer and whether it’s worth staying with your company. 

Letter of resignation examples

Now that we’ve covered the dos and don’ts of writing your notice of resignation, here’s a template that you can tailor to suit your needs. And for a little more inspiration, here are a few examples you can use to help you write your own resignation letter.

Example 1: Resignation letter with fewer than two weeks’ notice

There may be times when you have to resign from your position with short notice. In this instance, you can use the example below to guide your letter of resignation:

Dear [name of boss],

I am writing to formally resign from my position as [job title] at [company name], effective one week from today. My last day of employment will be [day, date].

I have had to resign on short notice due to [reason]. Please accept my apologies for providing you with limited notice of my resignation. Besides wrapping up my existing projects and compiling handover notes, please let me know if there is anything I can do to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Thank you,

[Your name]

Example 2: Short resignation letter template

Even if you’re struggling to find anything positive to say about your previous employer, it’s important to remain civil and professional. In this case, you might prefer to keep your notice of resignation short and sweet. Here’s an example that may help:

Dear [name of boss],

I am writing to formally resign from my position at [company name], effective two weeks from today, [last day – typically two weeks from the date of the letter].

I appreciate the opportunities for growth and development that I've had during my time here and I’m grateful for the experience.

Thank you for your support,

[Your name]

Example 3: Resignation letter due to career change

Throughout your career, it’s not uncommon to switch career paths. If you’re resigning due to a career change, you can use the following example to help craft your resignation letter:

Dear [name of boss],

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to formally resign from my position at [company name], effective four weeks from today. My final day will be [day, date].

After careful consideration, I have decided to pursue a new career path that aligns more closely with my long-term professional goals. This decision has not come easy as I have greatly valued my time at [company name].

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]

Example 4: Resignation letter due to relocation

If you’re leaving your job because you’re moving to a different place, it can be worth touching on that in your resignation letter. Here’s an example to guide you:

Dear [name of boss],

It is with mixed emotions that I write to formally resign from my position as [job title] at [company name]. My last day of employment will be [day, date].

Due to personal reasons, I am relocating to [new location] and will be looking for local employment there. I have greatly enjoyed my time here and am happy to help out where I can in handing over my duties to the team.

Kind regards,

[Your name]

Writing an effective resignation letter will help you maintain a positive relationship with your previous employer, which is especially important if you plan to ask themto be a resumé reference. Whether you’ve accepted a new position elsewhere, you’re moving cities, or you’re resigning on short notice, a professional letter of resignation can help you leave on a positive note.


How do I write a simple resignation letter?

When writing a simple notice of resignation, the key is to be clear, concise and professional. Here is some important information you may want to include:

  • The date you’re submitting your resignation
  • Your personal contact information
  • Your manager’s contact information
  • A professional salutation, like Dear…
  • A statement of intent that clearly communicates that you’re resigning from your position
  • How many weeks’ notice you’re providing and your last date of work
  • A brief reason for your resignation (optional)
  • An expression of gratitude for your time with the company (optional)
  • An offer of assistance to help with the transition period (optional)
  • A closing remark, like Best Regards, 
  • Your name in full and your signature

How do I write a valid resignation letter?

Writing a valid resignation letter involves covering essential details, including your notice period and specifying your final day at work. It can also be worth checking your employment contract and company policies to see if you need to follow any specific practices for submitting a valid letter of resignation. 

How do I give notice to resign from a job?

When resigning from a job, the best way to give notice is to tell your supervisor or manager in person before formalising your resignation with a written letter. This can help to prepare them for the news, so they’re not caught off guard. Once you’ve told them you plan to resign, it’s important to then provide a letter of resignation that details the key information, like your notice period and your final day of work. 

Is it okay to resign effective immediately?

Although it’s not ideal to resign ‘effective immediately’, there may be times in your career when you’re not able to see out your notice period. In this instance, it’s important to remain professional and courteous and communicate clearly with your employer. It’s also essential to weigh up the risks that come with resigning immediately (potentially not getting a positive reference), to make sure it’s the best possible course of action for you given the circumstances. 

More from this category: Resigning

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