How to Write a Resignation Letter

By Kacey Kroh, Abshier House

Writing a resignation letter really isn’t as hard as it sounds. No matter how you quit your job, or what your reason is for leaving, your exit should be treated like a business transaction. Keeping your resignation and your resignation letter professional will make the leap to your dream career more successful.

how to write a resignation letter
Image credit: Frankhuang/Getty Images

All resignation letters should be written in block style (no indentations) and should follow these steps:

  1. Compose the heading.The heading of your letter will be your first and last name [press Enter/Return], address [press Enter/Return], city, state, zip [press Enter/Return], phone number [press Enter/Return] and date written [press Enter/Return twice]. This heading of the letter is usually right-justified, meaning the text will be found in the top right corner of the document.For example:

    John Smith
    1234 Main Street
    Chicago, IL 12345
    123-456-7890
    January 1, 2020

     

    Keep in mind, formal resignation letters are never handwritten.

  2. Add the inside address.

    The inside address is the formal name of your boss/supervisor (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Dr.) [press Enter/Return], the address of your employer [press Enter/Return], and the company phone and fax numbers [press Enter/Return twice]. The inside address is always left-justified, meaning it will be found just above the greeting on the left-hand side of the document.

    For example, it might look like this:

    Mr. Smith
    1234 Left Street
    Chicago Il, 12345
    987-654-3210
    567-000-1234

  3. Next, include the greeting (salutation).The greeting normally begins with the words “Dear” or “To” followed by the full name of your supervisor/boss and ending with a coma [press Enter/Return twice].For example,

    Dear Mr. John Doe,
    To Mrs. Jane Doe,

     

    Avoid cliché words or phrases such as “To whom it may concern.”

  4. Write the body of the letter.The body of the document is where you would explain the details of why you’re leaving. Include information such as:
    • Your intention for leaving: “I hereby submit,” “Please accept,” “It is with great regret…” followed by the words “resignation” and your position or job title.
    • Your expected end date: The end date must be at least two weeks after the date indicated at the top on of the letter.
    • The reason you are leaving: The reason can be personal, or to accept a better opportunity. You might explain how it is time to move or offer a reason for accepting a different job.
    • Gratitude: This part of the letter is positive and explains how you are sad to leave and how the company has benefited you. Thank your employer for the experience and offer to help find your replacement.
  5. Add the close (valediction).The close is a complimentary short phrase that closes the resignation letter. Usually the words “Sincerely,” “Thank you,” or “Best regards” are used, ended with a coma [press Enter/Return twice].
  6. Include your signature.The signature area has both your typed name typed and signed in ink at the bottom of the letter, making the final document legal and binding.

Be professional! Do not use overly emotional or inappropriate words or statements anywhere in your letter. Letters of resignation go into your personal file. If you leave a negative impression by writing a nasty letter, it may come back to haunt you later.

When your letter of resignation is complete, personally deliver it to your supervisor or boss and ask him/her for a letter of recommendation. Remember to be positive.

Good luck with your next employment adventure!

If you need more help, tons of sample resignation letters can be found online.