How to Write a Resignation Email: A Guide

Resignation letter


Leaving a job can be bittersweet whether you leave on good terms or not. Perhaps you are starting at a different company or pursuing a new career path. Regardless, it is essential to communicate to your employer that you will no longer be working there. This typically happens through a resignation letter or email. And while this may seem like a simple task, there are components that many employees do not know about. Therefore, if you want to learn how to write a resignation email that is concise and virtuous, keep on reading.

The Benefits of Writing a Resignation Email

Before we go over how to write a resignation email, let’s look at why you need to write one. Besides informing your employer that you will no longer work for them, it also gives you the chance to thank them for the opportunity. For example, you can thank them for all they have taught you and for helping you achieve your goals. Regardless of if you are on good terms, this can reflect on you as a person and employee. Therefore, it is essential to thank your employer for your time with them as it can affect your career in the future.

When to Send Your Employee Your Resignation Email

You should inform your employer about your resignation at least two weeks in advance by way of courtesy and employment standards. However, if you feel it is necessary, you can provide your employer with additional time. This ensures they are able to fill your position without it becoming awkward or hostile at work. Yet, if you can resign in person over email, that is the preferred message.

How to Write a Resignation Email

How to write a resignation letter indeed infographic


Now let’s get into how to write a resignation email that will sit well with your employer and convey your intended message.

1. Address Your Boss or HR Department 

One of the first essential aspects of how to write a resignation email is to formally address your boss or HR department. Regardless of the type of relationship you have with your boss, it is best to keep things formal and respectable.

For example, you can say this as simple as “Dear [ your boss’s name].” 

2. The Position and Date of Your Last Day 

There is no need to get creative with this section. Simply let your boss know what position you are resigning from and the date of your last day. If you want, you can also add in the name of the company you are leaving from. However, this is not necessary or required.

For example, you can say, “please accept this email as a formal notice of my resignation from my position as _________. My last day will be __________.”

3. The “Thank You” Section 

Remember, it is always a good show of character to thank your employee. Here you can mention what skills you have learned and things that you enjoyed during your time at the company. You may need to use your boss or HR department as a reference. Therefore, leaving on as much of a good not as possible is key, even if it is hard to do.

4. Offer to Help 

While this is not required, you can offer your services in helping train your replacement. Remember, you need to end off on as good of terms as possible. Therefore, by offering to help, it shows your employer you are passionate about your job. This not only helps you look better as a person, but it can also help you get a stellar recommendation letter.

5. Offer Your Best Wishes to the Company *Optional*

Following the section above, you should then wish success to the company. This indicates to your employer that you respect their initiatives and are thankful to have been a part of them.

Again, while this is optional, it is an excellent way to end your resignation email and adds to your good character.

6. Sign Your Name Formally  

Lastly, to close out the email, you must sign your name and provide your contact information. While you do not need to provide them with your personal information, should they need to contact you for reference information, this may be useful.

Simply write, “sincerely, [your name].” Before sending your email, make sure to proofread to make sure there are no mistakes. You should also ensure to send your email to the correct person and not your entire team.

Resignation Email Don’ts 

Now that you know how to write a resignation email, here are some things to avoid:

  • A detailed explanation of why you are leaving the company.
  • The reasons why you disliked your job position.
  • Negative comments about your boss or about your colleagues
  • The use of inappropriate language.
  • The use of emotional sentiments.
  • Threats of any sort of retribution.
  • Spelling and grammar errors throughout your email.

Quick Reminders 

Here is a quick reminder of the absolute must-haves for your resignation email.

  1. Keep your resignation email short and sweet.
  2. Include the final day of your employment.
  3. Say you are thankful for working at the company.
  4. Offer to train your replacement if necessary.
  5. Give your best wishes
  6. Leave your contact information for future use.
  7. Always resign in person if you can

Remember, resigning from your job can be intimidating, especially if you are leaving on bad terms. Regardless, stick to these tips on how to write a resignation email. It will ensure that your remaining time at your job is manageable. Therefore, before sending your email, make sure to go through the dos and don’ts listed above to help you out.

Professional Leadership Institute (PLI) is an educational website providing professionals from all types of businesses with practical education in entrepreneurial leadership. To keep evolving your leadership toolkit, additional PLI resources below will be helpful:

  1. The Right Way to Quit Your Job
  2. When is it Time to Change Jobs?
  3. Email Etiquette

Recommended Resources:

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