How to write a letter of resignation

At some point, you're going to need to resign from and leave a job on your own volition. To avoid burning professional bridges, you'll want to leave gracefully. This is achieved with the resignation letter. To pull off a smooth resignation, use the proper form for business letters. Keep it short, polite and positive--you may need the employer as a reference in the future. Follow these tips for a more effective resignation letter.

Be very certain that you wish to leave your job before tendering a letter of resignation. Once you submit it, it cannot be taken back.

Consider all your options before writing a letter of resignation. Could your employer offer you something that would make you want to stay? Perhaps you should discuss with your employer your dissatisfaction or the better offer that you have received before making a permanent decision.

Type your letter on a computer or typewriter. Handwritten letters are not as professional. Even though you are leaving the job, you should care what the letter looks like because it will stay in your file and may be referenced by other prospective employers.

Use proper business letter format, with your name and address, the date and your employer's name and address at the top.

Address the letter to your supervisor.

State that you are resigning and give the date the resignation is effective. Indicate the date your resignation becomes effective, for example, indicate if you are giving two weeks notice or if you are resigning immediately.

Thank your employer for the opportunities he or she provided and indicate that you are grateful to the company. Although you may not feel that this is the case, you do not want to make enemies. You may need this person to give you a recommendation at a later date. While a statement of thanks to the employer is appropriate in many cases, it may not be in your best interest if you intend on pursuing any sort of claim against your employer. If you intend on pursuing a claim against your employer, your resignation letter need only state the effective date of your resignation.

Refrain from explaining why you are leaving, why you hated your job, where you will be working, how much more they will be paying you, etc. Do say that you are willing to help with the transition your resignation will cause.

Sign your letter "Sincerely" or in some other formal manner and sign your name.

Seal the letter in an envelope addressed to your supervisor, and then give it to him or her or have it delivered. If your employer has a human resources department, copy the human resources department on the letter.

Expect your supervisor to want to talk to you about your decision. Be polite and don't use this as an excuse to vent; try to leave on friendly terms.


Understand that your employer may be angry you are leaving. Try not to become involved in a dispute about the situation.

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Things Needed

  • Bonded Paper
  • Envelopes
  • Computers
  • Printers

About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.

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