• A resignation letter is one of the first steps to quit your job.
  • A letter of resignation gives you a paper trail to indicate your last day and how you'll help the transition.
  • The letter also provides a way to thank your boss and maintain positive relations with your old company. 

You've found a killer new job and it's time to bid farewell to your current gig.

First, sit down with your boss and let him or her know that you're leaving. (Here's how to do that.)

Then it's time to put your departure in writing. Whether it was an awesome company or one that you're totally dying to leave, you'll need to write a resignation letter. 

But how do you write a resignation letter? It doesn't need to be a summary of your entire employment history, job coach Lea McLeod told Business Insider's Áine Cain in 2017. "It needs to be simple, straightforward, and to the point," McLeod said. 

It's really just a "formality" after you've had the initial conversation with your boss, Tim Vipond, CEO of the Corporate Finance Institute, told Business Insider.

"It would be quite awkward if you just emailed them or gave them a letter without talking to them first," Vipond said.  So, keep the letter brief. You can provide feedback on the company in a one-on-one with your boss or coworkers.

You'll need to include the following for a stress-free offboarding process: 

  • Your name
  • Your job title
  • A notice of resignation
  • Your end date (usually two weeks from the date of the letter)
The following are optional, but good to include if you want to maintain the relationship with your old employer:

  • Information on how you'll train or help recruit your replacement
  • A thank you to your boss and the team

1. Start with the basic, legal requirements of resigning

This is the only required portion of the resignation letter, Vipond said.

It's also the most important. It will establish your final day on the job to human resources and your boss.

If you have a contract with stipulations on your end date, reference that in this initial part of the letter.

Dear (boss' name),

Please accept this letter as a notice of my resignation from (your position). Per my employment contract, I am giving two weeks notice. My last day will be (two weeks from today).

2. Say how you'll help the transition

"The transition section is very helpful" to demonstrate your value to the company even as you're leaving, Vipond said.  I will spend the next two weeks of my time at (company) completing all outstanding projects and ensuring that my replacement will be able to hit the ground running on day one. I'm available to aid in the transition in any other way before (last day of work).

3. End with saying thanks

While you certainly don't need to explore your entire time at the company, saying thanks and listing some of your accomplishments in the written notice is a good idea.

It has been a pleasure working with you and your team the past (amount of time you've been at the company). This was an incredible opportunity to build my career, and I will always cherish (two or three things you accomplished during this role). The lessons I've learned at (company), including (some skills you've learned at the job), have been valuable. Thank you very much for the opportunities and support during my time at (company). I wish you and the team success and the best of luck, and hope we can keep in touch.

(Your name)

Depending on your industry, the letter may be even shorter

A resignation letter should be quick and clear.

For some industries where employees are required to leave right away, like banking and law, Vipond said notice and, optionally, a brief thanks may be the only part of the letter.

This is all the letter needs:

Dear (boss' name),

Please accept this as a notice of resignation, effective immediately.

Thank you for all of the opportunities you've given to me in my (amount of time) here.


(Your name)

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