how to write a resignation letter.

One of the final things to do when you have finally decided to resign is to write a formal resignation letter. This letter serves as a formal notice to your employer, so it is important that you keep it straightforward and short. The critical information you should include will be your intention to resign as well as your last working day.

don’t let your emotions take over

One thing to be mindful about is to not use your resignation letter as a channel to air your grievances. Even if you can’t stand the place any second longer, you should never list your complaints or vent your negative thoughts in the letter.

A nasty resignation letter speaks volumes about your negative personality traits. Not parting ways amicably could also hinder potential job opportunities especially if your future employers contact your old company as part of their mandatory vetting process. As the old saying goes, “Don’t burn bridges because you might have to walk over it one day”.  It’s a small world, and you are bound to run into the same people again, especially if you work in the same industry or live in the same city. Therefore, it is important to know how to resign with grace and be respectful of your colleagues in the process.

Blindsiding your boss with a letter of resignation on their desk is never a good idea. Employers need time to understand your reasons for leaving and how much time they have to find someone to replace you to relieve the team of additional work. Therefore, it is wise to have a conversation with your direct manager about your plans to move on before you submit your formal resignation letter.

how to tell your boss you're quitting

Take a deep breath and focus on the facts: You’re leaving your employer for another company that is able to meet your salary expectations, has great employee benefits and could offer you the development opportunities you desire. Are you ready to write it now?

4 elements to include in your resignation letter:

1. your intent to resign

Your letter should start with the most crucial detail - your intention to resign. Do not leave any room for interpretation. Being ambiguous about the message may give your boss the wrong impression that you are not sure about your next move. They will think that with a little bit of convincing, you may actually stay.

resignation letter format

A letter of resignation should never be used as a negotiation tool for better pay or career prospects. Not only would you come across as highly unprofessional, but you would also seem manipulative when you hold your company ransom to your demands. Any negotiations you are open to should be done in prior conversations or performance reviews with your manager, and not at the point of resignation.

2. your last day of employment

Employees would typically need to serve a period of notice that starts from the day they tender their resignation. Your last working day should have already been agreed upon between you and your employer before you start writing the letter. The notice period should also take into account any balance annual leave that the employee is entitled to unless it is previously agreed between the employer and employee to encash it.

This key detail should not be missed as it provides greater clarity of your departure for your boss and colleagues. You are not the only one that needs to make plans and adjustments. Your boss and colleagues would appreciate a definitive timeline not only to manage or reallocate the additional workload but to also find your replacement.

3. your appreciation

Even if you dislike the work, the people and your boss, you should always adopt an appreciative tone in the resignation letter. After all, you did benefit from the network, resources, support and learning and development opportunities during your time with the company. For a touch of nicety, add a couple of sentences to communicate how much you appreciate the opportunities you were given to grow professionally during your time with the firm, or highlight a few colleagues who have made an impact in your work life.

Expressing your appreciation costs you nothing, and the last thing you want is to come across as an ungrateful employee. You may also need your boss to serve as a reference for you when finding your next job, and they are more likely to put in a good word for you if they feel appreciated.

4. an offer to help with the transition

One thing to include in your resignation letter that your boss will surely appreciate is an offer to help them with the work transition. This could take the form of drawing up a transition plan for your team that includes clear and detailed information about your roles and responsibilities to ensure a proper handover. You may even help your boss in the search or training of your replacement.

resign letter

Do not be that person who dropped everything and left the cleaning up for others to do. If you do so, you may burn bridges with your ex-colleagues and bosses, whom you may meet in the future if you stay in the same industry. It will also affect your future job searches should your potential employer call your company as part of their vetting process. Instead, do yourself a favour and offer assistance where possible without taking on more responsibilities during your notice period.

here’s a resignation letter template

Dear [Manager’s name],

Please accept this letter as formal notification of my resignation from [current position title] at [company’s name]. As stated in the employment contract and previously agreed upon, my last working day after clearing my balance annual leave days is [dd/mm/yy].

I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities the company has given me throughout the years. It’s been an amazing experience being part of a wonderful team and I truly appreciate all the valuable skills that I’ve acquired during my time here, all of which I will take with me throughout my career.

During my notice period, I’ll do everything possible to wrap up my duties and hand over my existing projects to my team members. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to ensure a smooth transition.

I wish the company continued success, and I hope to stay in touch in the future.

Sincerely,

[Your signature and name]

are you searching for greener pastures?

Moving on isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but sometimes you need to do so to ensure continued career development and personal growth. By writing your resignation letter, you have already taken the first step. Our specialist recruiters are always on standby to help guide you to the next milestone in your career journey.

Browse our job postings and find out the latest roles in the market. Alternatively, tell us what you are looking for and when an opportunity comes by that matches your career needs, you’ll be the first to know.