So, you’re resigning, huh? Could be for a multitude of reasons…Maybe you’ve found a better job, maybe you need to change locations, maybe you’re starting your own business. Maybe you’re finally going to listen to that voice in your head that whispers “go and weave mats by the sea”, or something like that. And you know what, maybe you just can’t stand going into work each day any longer and all you know is that you need to leave, asap. If this is you, check out our post on “Should you leave a job without another one lined up?”
Just as there are many reasons for resigning, there are also many ways to write a resignation letter. There are a few things to take into account. What is the intended purpose of your letter? Do you want to stay in contact with your boss and colleagues and keep your bridges (and networks) nice and strong? Do you want to go all Edward Snowden and whistle-blow your way out the front door? Have you been treated terribly and just want to stick it to your meanie boss? Are you in that particularly awkward scenario of needing to leave without serving out your notice period?
Whatever the circumstances of your departure, the samples below will help you craft an effective and appropriate resignation letter. We’ll give you the lowdown on what to include, what to leave out, and when and how to do the deed.
Tip: Even if you’re convinced your boss has ruined your life, and there’s a part of you that wants to tell them you’re leaving in the most public and unprofessional, “stick it to ‘em” kinda way, we would recommend you reign in those instincts just a little, because you never know who your boss knows…and it would be totally awkward if your little outburst was relayed to anyone at your next place of work. Make a voodoo doll if you must, just keep your resignation classy, ok?
Use these examples as a guide:
If you are changing location:
Dear Mr Jones,
I am writing to formally notify you of my resignation from my position at Smith Industries. I was recently offered a new opportunity with a company located much closer to home, and have decided to take their offer.
Currently, I spend two hours a day commuting and this new opportunity will allow me more quality time with my spouse/children/elderly parents. My last day of employment with Smith Industries will be 20 April.
My years at Smith Industries have been some of the best of my life. I will miss my job and the wonderful colleagues I have had the pleasure of working with over this time. I cannot thank you enough for all of the opportunities and experiences you have provided me during my time with the company.
I appreciate your support and understanding, and I wish you all the very best. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance during the last few weeks of my time here.
If you need to leave for personal reasons you don’t want to disclose:
Dear Mr Jones,
I am writing to formally notify you of my resignation from my position at Smith Industries. Due to unforeseen personal problems, I am no longer able to fulfill the responsibilities of my role and I feel it is in the best interests of the company that I vacate the position. My last day of employment with Smith Industries will be the 20th April.
I do hope that my leaving will not cause you or Smith Industries any inconvenience. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you think there is any way I can assist with finding a replacement, or if there is anything I can do to make the transition easier.
I really appreciate your understanding. Despite the personal issues I am dealing with, I truly enjoyed working here. I hope we will be able to stay in touch and I look forward to seeing how Smith Industries grows in the future.
If you’re an independent contractor:
Dear Mr Jones,
I really appreciate the opportunities for freelance work that you have provided me. While I am thankful for the projects, I am resigning from work as an independent contractor to pursue full-time salaried employment.
I will be available for the next two weeks if you have assignments you would like my assistance with.
Also, if you have any follow-up questions on the projects I have completed, don’t hesitate to contact me at (phone number and email address).
If you’re undertaking a career change
Dear Mr Jones,
I am writing to formally notify you of my resignation from my position at Smith Industries. I will be working for a local marketing company and look forward to the new direction of my career, even though I will miss my work with you.
Thank you for the support and the opportunities that you have provided me during the last several years. I have enjoyed my time with the company very much. If I can do anything to help ease the transition for my colleagues, please let me know.
I wish you and the company all the best. I do hope our paths cross again in the future.
Please let me know if I can be of any assistance during the last few weeks of my time here.
When you can’t serve out your notice period:
Dear Mr Jones,
I regret to inform you that I am resigning from my position here immediately as a Marketing Assistant for personal reasons. My last day will be tomorrow. I know this is unexpected, but I am happy to assist you in the replacement process to help smooth the transition period. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities Smith Industries has provided me. Working here for the last three years has been very important for my personal growth, and I will always remember the colleagues and friends I have made here.
If there is anything I can do to help make this transition easier, please let me know. I do not intend to inconvenience you with this news, and I hope you will accept my most sincere apologies in making the 20th of April my final day here. If required, I will make myself available for phone and email inquiries from home over the next few weeks.
I really appreciate your understanding in this matter. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here.
(1) Speak to your boss first. If possible, tell your boss about your plan to resign in person first. Then, follow up with an official letter, ensuring you are clear about your finish date. If you choose to email, choose your subject line wisely. Something like “Thank you” usually works well.
(2) Keep your reasons brief. You do not have to go into detail as to your reason for leaving.
You can simply say, “I was recently offered a new position.” You may choose to provide a bit more information (for example, the name of the company or the position, or the reason you are taking this new job). However, keep the letter brief.
(3) Stay positive. You might need to ask your employer for a recommendation in the future.
Therefore, stay positive when you talk about your current company. Don’t go into detail about how this new job is so much better than your current job. Express gratitude for the time you spent with the company.
(4) Display honest appreciation. Most people are bad liars, but quite good at sensing when others are being fake. There’s no need to spoil a networking opportunity by lying. For example, if you are prodded for further reasons, remain honest yet professional. Even bad jobs usually have some good parts. Work out what they are and offer praise for them. Above all, be genuine.
You got this! All the best for the next stage of your career!
Short Notice Resignation Letter Examples
Letters of Resignation Asking to Leave With Little Notice
When you resign from a job, it is considered standard to give your employer two weeks notice before you depart from your position. It will give your manager time to plan for your departure, begin the hiring process, and make sure that your responsibilities are covered.
It will also allow you to wrap up current projects, or make arrangements to transfer your responsibilities to a colleague or your replacement.
Unfortunately, sometimes it’s just not possible to provide the standard two weeks notice. Perhaps you have a personal emergency, or work conditions are intolerable, and you have to leave immediately. However, make sure you consider the pros and cons of resigning without two weeks notice before deciding to leave.
Your employer will appreciate as much notice as you can give, so do let him or her know as soon as you are sure you will be leaving.
If you need to resign with short notice, review the sample resignation letters below. One is in the form of a business letter. The other is in the form of an email. Also see below for tips on what to include in your letter (and what to leave out).
Resignation Letter Sample – Short Notice
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:
Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position with ABCD Company on Friday, March XX, 20XX.
I understand that two weeks notice is standard; however, personal circumstances require that I leave my position at this company by the end of this week.
I am glad to provide any assistance I can during this transition.
Thank you for the opportunities for professional and personal development that you have provided me during the last five years.
I have enjoyed working for the agency and appreciate the support provided me during my tenure with the company.
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
Your Typed Name
Emailed Resignation Letter Sample – Short Notice
Subject Line: Resignation on October XX, 20XX
Please accept this letter as my resignation from ABC Company. Unfortunately, due to health reasons, I won't be able to provide the standard two weeks notice. My last day at the company will be next Friday, October XX, 20XX.
I apologize for the short notice. I've enjoyed working together tremendously, and have learned so much from your management. Please let me know what I can do in the next few days to help ease the transition.
Thank you for your understanding.
Tips for Writing a Short Notice Resignation Letter
Tell your manager that you are quitting in person, over the phone, or in an email. Telling your manager in person first is ideal. However, whichever way you choose, it's a good idea to then write a formal letter of resignation, which the company can add to your employee file. Here are some strategies to keep in mind when you're writing your letter of resignation:
- Write it in business letter format. Because this is an official letter that will go into your employee file, you should follow business letter formatting rules. In the top left corner of the letter, include your contact information, the date, and your employer’s contact information. End the letter with your handwritten signature, and your typed name below.
- State the date of resignation. In the first paragraph, state the date that you will be leaving your job. This is the most important piece of information in your letter, so you should include it as soon as possible in the letter.
- Keep it short. Don't feel like you need to provide a tremendous amount of detail. The most important thing is to mention your last day in office.
- Explain why you are resigning – if appropriate. Should you tell your boss why you are leaving so quickly? It depends on your reason – if you are providing short notice because you're unhappy at the job or dislike your manager or colleagues, do not share those details. However, if there are outside circumstances, such as a health crisis, sharing your reasons may help your employer feel sympathetic. Remember, whenever possible, it's best to avoid burning bridges in the workplace. However, again, keep your letter short – you do not need to go into all of the little details.
- Say thank you. In the same spirit of ending your relationship with your employer on good terms, express your gratitude for the opportunities you've had in the position. Even if you have not had the greatest experience at the company, a brief “thank you” is often much appreciated.
- Offer to help during the transition (optional). Providing assistance during the transition is not required but is a common courtesy to extend. However, if your personal circumstances will prevent you from helping out in any way, you do not need to include this.
- Edit, edit, edit. Be sure to thoroughly read through your letter before sending it. Look for any spelling or grammar errors. Consider asking a friend or family member to read over the letter as well. Remember that you want to leave a positive impression on the company – a well written, well-edited resignation letter will help you do that.
Tips for Writing a Short Notice Resignation Email
You can also choose to send your resignation notice by email. It is especially a good idea if you have to alert your employer to your resignation as soon as possible. Even if you resign via email, though, you might consider sending a follow-up letter by mail for your employee file.
Read below for some tips on how to send your email message:
Use a clear subject line. The subject line should clearly convey your purpose for writing so that your employer reads it right away. You might include your name as well. For example, your subject line might read “Firstname Lastname – Notice of Resignation,” or “Firstname Lastname – Resignation on March XX, 20XX.”
Keep it short. Just like a resignation letter, you want to keep your email short. Simply state that you are resigning, include the date you are leaving, and add a brief thank you and offer of assistance during the transition (if possible).
Edit, edit, edit. People tend to forget to proofread emails like they would a written letter. Just like a resignation letter, be sure to read through your email for any spelling or grammar errors. Also, make sure the font is large enough and easy to read.
Reasons Not to Give Two Weeks Notice
Should You Give Two Weeks Notice?
More Resignation Letter Samples
Resignation Email Message Examples
Resignation Letter Writing Tips
Resignation Do's and Don'ts
How to Quit a Job