A resignation letter is a written notice and formal statement to announce the author’s intent to relieve themselves of job duties and responsibilities. This letter informs an employer that the author intends to leave a position that’s currently held. A formal resignation letter is a highly professional way of informing an employer about the impending exit situation.
The letter acts as a formal notice to the supervisor, manager, boss, and employer of the impending resignation. This starts the transition period, where the employer transfers duties and responsibilities to a new employee or colleague responsible for replacing the existing employee’s position.
A formal resignation letter includes reasons for resignation. Formal reasons for resignation include:
- Career change or a new job.
- Needing to relocate.
- Family illness or health issues.
- Seeking more upward mobility.
- Better salary or employee benefits.
- For a personal reason.
These reasons for resignation are considered professional, polite, and relieve the employee’s duties on a positive note. Once the HR department receives a resignation letter, it is considered a formal notification of resignation. The final day of employment should be decided between the employee and their boss.
A notice period is usually two weeks. During this time, an employee and their boss will determine the appropriate next steps and goals for transitioning the job duties to another employee. Two weeks help a current employer ensure a smooth transition of job duties, allowing efficient work.
Tip: Providing ample notice period to a supervisor can ensure the position is being departed on a positive note. This can help to maintain a professional relationship between the employee and the supervisor. Allowing for the supervisor to be a resource for career advice at a later date
On the final day of employment, an employer, manager, or boss will normally conduct an exit interview. This provides the employee with an opportunity to provide feedback to their supervisor and employer. A good exit interview should be professional, constructive, and list three to four bullet points on how the current position can be improved to better the business.
Tip: If an employment contract is held, refer to the resignation details in the employment contract. Depending on the agreement, a notice period of longer than two weeks may be required by the senior executive.
Writing a Formal Resignation Letter
When writing a formal resignation letter, consider including the following:
- Include the current job title. In the body of the letter, include the job title being departed.
- Include a good reason for resigning. A professional reason for resigning will ensure the letter is formal in nature.
- Include a shared memory. Mention a positive shared experience.
- Ask to be a resource. In a formal letter, the resigning employee will ask to assist with the transition process and to be a resource to the company for the future.
- Keep the letter short. A 200 to 300 word letter is sufficient. Keep formal language, grammar, and AP punctuation when writing a formal resignation letter.
Resignation Letter Format
The following resignation format should be followed when writing a formal resignation letter.
First Name / Last Name
January 1, 2020
Employer Contact Information
Manager’s Email Address
Salutation / Greeting
Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. Last Name
State the notice of resignation and the date of which the resignation is effective (sometimes referred to as the end of employment date or effective date).
Thank the employer for the opportunities they have provided to you, the resigning employee. Highlight positive experiences with the employer.
End the resignation with a sincere thank you and offer to assist with the transition or train a new employee/colleague.
Sincerely or Respectfully yours.
Typed or Handwritten Signature.
Formal Resignation Letter Example
Below is a sample resignation letter.
123 Road, St., New York NY 11121
June 1st, 2019
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121
Dear Mr. Smith —
This formal resignation letter and formal notice inform you that I am resigning from my position as Product Designer for the ZYX Company effective October 1st, 2020.
I want to thank you for all the mentorship and support you have shown me throughout this experience. I have learned more about design ethics and design principles in this experience than I have in my many years of higher education. There are several experiences that I can refer to that will be valuable to me throughout my career.
I am resigning from my position because I need to relocate for my spouse.
If I can assist in the process of transitioning my duties to another colleague or new employee, please let me know. I would love to be a resource for the next two weeks and ensure this company’s success.
Formal Resignation Letter Template
Download this resignation letter template in Word format. Can be imported as a Google Doc. Instant download. No email required.
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About the author
Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader’s Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.