How To Write a Resignation Letter the Right Way

There are a few simple guidelines to writing a resignation letter that is respectful, professional, and offer just enough information.

Once you’ve chosen to leave your current job, another big decision will be whether or not to write a formal notice.

A resignation letter is almost always appreciated and can help your final days go a lot smoother. A well-written letter of resignation should be straightforward and professional and offer important details such as your final day of employment.

Follow these simple guidelines to write a notice letter the right way.

How To Write a Resignation Letter: Three Steps

  • Step One: Start With the Introduction and Resignation
  • Step Two: Include a Gratitude Statement
  • Step Three: Discuss Transition, Other Information, and Conclusion

Step One: Start With the Introduction and Resignation

A standard business letter format with your contact information at the top of the page is recommended if you’ll be submitting a hard copy to the company. If you’re sending your letter by email, that information isn’t necessary.

Either way, introduce your letter with a formal salutation, address the recipient by name whenever possible, and use a standard greeting such as “Dear Mr./Mrs. [last name] or “Hello [first name].”

Keep it simple and clearly state that you’re writing to submit a formal letter of resignation from your position, along with when your last day of work will be. The standard is typically two weeks' notice; however, your company may have a specific policy on when your last day should be. 

Step Two: Include a Gratitude Statement

It’s always a good career move to leave your current employer on a positive note. If you can include one or two sentences explaining what you’re thankful for and what you gained from your experience with the company, it can help to foster a more peaceful transition.

Be sure that what you’re saying is nice and true. You could include a few details on specific projects that were exciting to work on as well as any accomplishments you’re proud of during your time with the company. 

Step Three: Discuss Transition, Other Information, and Conclusion

The next important topic to address is your next steps regarding the transition of your position. Your current employer's main concern will be that the business can operate efficiently.

It’s not necessary to go into too much detail, but you should include a statement ensuring your commitment to a smooth hand-off of your assignments and responsibilities. If you’re not sure about the best way to handle the transition of your current position, simply include a line stating that you’ll do whatever you can to keep things running smoothly through your notice period. 

Do You Even Need To Write a Resignation Letter?

Although most companies do not usually require it, you can’t really go wrong by submitting a resignation letter. It certainly protects you should there be any conflict about how or why you left the company. 

The most respectful thing to do is give notice face-to-face, but you may want to follow up with a formal notice to keep it as professional as possible and document the process. It may not be necessary for certain industries or entry-level positions to take the extra step.

Reasons To Write a Resignation Letter

  • Industry or Company Norms
  • Lets You Retain Control of Discourse
  • Record Keeping

Industry or Company Norms

Writing a professional resignation letter may be required for specific industries or large corporations. Company policies will vary by region and industry, so you will need to ask other team members or check with someone you trust in the HR department.

If you know someone who has already left the company, you could ask if they submitted a formal resignation letter and how the sign-off was handled for them. That way, you can be prepared if the company is known not to respond well. 

Lets You Retain Control of Discourse

Submitting a formal notification allows you to maintain control of when and why you’re departing. Unfortunately, some bosses might try to spin the narrative or leave out pertinent details that benefit them. If you copy the HR department and possibly your boss’s boss, you can retain some control of what they think of you and the possibility for a future reference. 

In a work environment that is less than ideal, you may want to submit your notice letter prior to speaking in person to give them a chance to process the situation and cool down. 

Record Keeping

In some cases, management may require that you submit a resignation letter as a way of internal record-keeping. In that case, it’s simply a matter of formality, and you only need to include the basic information required.

Even if your manager doesn’t request one, you can turn one in for your own documentation purposes. That way, there is no discrepancy on whether you gave notice, the amount of time you gave, and the details of your last paycheck. 

What To Avoid in a Resignation Letter

It’s recommended to avoid providing a lot of feedback or criticism in your resignation letter. It’s hardly ever a good idea to list a company’s shortcomings in print if you want to leave on a good note. 

That doesn’t mean you have to stay silent about any complaints you have, but it’s better to save those for the exit interview. If you’re leaving because of mistreatment or a major issue, file a complaint with the HR department but avoid airing grievances in your notice letter.

Recap: What You Should Include in a Resignation Letter

Keep your resignation letter short and sweet so that it only covers the basics. You can browse different sample resignation letters online, but every template includes the same key elements.

  • Contact information, date, and professional salutation
  • Notice the period or date of your last day
  • Brief reason for leaving
  • Compliments and gratitude
  • Steps for the transition of job title
  • Signature

Tips for Writing a Resignation Letter

Writing a resignation letter aims to leave the company on good terms. No matter why you’re resigning, give proper notice to increase your odds of having a positive reference during a job search.

Speak in Person First

In most cases, it’s best to speak with your boss and let them know your plan to resign before submitting a formal notice, especially if you have a good relationship, because you don’t want to blindside them. 

Keep It Positive

You never know what the future holds and whether you’ll need a recommendation in the future or even apply at the same company some time. Stay positive about your experience with the company, so you don’t burn bridges.

Edit and Proofread

A resignation letter is your last impression, so it’s critical to be free of mistakes and convey the right tone. You might consider having someone else proofread it to verify it reads the way you intend it to.


Writing a resignation letter is not as complicated as some people think. The key to a professional notice letter is to keep it simple and only cover the basics your employer will need to know.

If you’re unsure whether you need to write one or not, you really can’t go wrong submitting a formal letter of resignation. It shows extra respect and keeps you in charge of the narrative of when and why you left the company.

If you’re looking for a new opportunity, Hoist can help you launch your own business in as little as 30 days.


How to Write a Resignation Letter | Harvard Business Review

How To Write a Resignation Letter (With Samples and Tips) | Indeed

Resignation Letters for Personal Reasons | the balance careers

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