How To Write a Resignation Letter & Leave on a High Note

Remote Job Hunting

How To Write a Letter of Resignation

Harness the power of our resignation letter guide to learn why you need one + what to include. Score our best tips + template too! 

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Ever feel like your current role is a lukewarm cup of stale coffee — sure, it gets the job done, but there's no spark, no excitement?

Maybe you're ready for a steaming mug of handcrafted, single-origin espresso, i.e., a new remote opportunity that actually ignites your passion.

That remote job is out there — if you're brave enough to leave the land of “comfortable misery” where even the best employee benefits aren't enough.

But before you grab your metaphorical (or literal) travel mug and dash, there's one crucial step you must tackle first: crafting a stellar resignation letter.

So this guide will take resignation letter writing from a daunting task to your victory lap! 🏁

We'll explain what a resignation letter is, why you need one, and what it should include. We'll also provide a handy resignation letter template to get you started.

First, Do You Really Need a Letter of Resignation? 🤔

Let's be honest: sometimes resigning feels like breaking up. You know it's for the best, but there's a nagging voice whispering, “Do I really need to go through this awkward goodbye?

The answer, in most cases, is yes. Your resignation letter is more than just paperwork. It serves several essential purposes:

It Provides Official Notification That You're Quitting

Your resignation letter officially informs your employer that you're leaving your position and sets your last day of work.

A well-crafted letter should provide a clear, documented record of your departure, protecting both you and your employer and ensuring a smooth transition.

Resignation tip: Don't blindside your manager with your resignation letter.

As we discussed in our guide on How To Quit Your Job Like a Boss (Without Burning Bridges), we recommend scheduling a virtual or in-person meeting to discuss your resignation before they see it in writing.

Then, you should follow up that conversation with an in-person delivery or a formal email with your resignation letter attached.

It Shows Professionalism (To Avoid Burning Bridges)

Here's the thing: the world is a much smaller place than you think, especially in today's remote work landscape

Burning bridges at your current job might seem tempting in the heat of the moment, but trust us, bridges are expensive to rebuild.

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A well-written resignation letter showcases your professionalism and keeps those bridges nice and sturdy, empowering you to resign with grace and your head held high.

Your Positivity Might Open Doors for Future Opportunities

Respect for your company and colleagues helps you maintain a positive relationship and (bonus points!) might open doors for future opportunities.

Leaving a positive impression — even if the job itself wasn't sunshine and rainbows — can help you:

After all, it's not uncommon for a higher-up to job hop and take their best employees with them. Leave a memorable, trustworthy impression, and they won't think twice about recommending you for an opportunity wherever they land.

It Closes the Door So You Can Look Forward

In that guide on How To Quit Your Job, we debated the pros and cons of leaving your current role without a new one lined up.

While most career coaches will advise against it, you don't need a new job lined up to resign.

It's perfectly okay to take some time off to recharge and explore your options — especially if you're considering a career change, relocation, life as a digital nomad, or other major life changes.

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Job seeking can be noisy and tedious, and it's easy for it to feel like working a second job after a long day at your current one.

A resignation letter solidifies your plan to go after something better. It can inspire you with the confidence to leave and chase what truly sparks your passion.

💡 Required reading: Don't Quit Your Job Without a Plan: Do This Instead

So Here's What To Include in a Resignation Letter  ✅

Now, let's unpack the framework of a perfect resignation letter. Imagine your resignation letter like that perfectly brewed java — it should leave a pleasant, not bitter, aftertaste. 

Here are the key ingredients to brew perfection and resign gracefully:

Your Contact Information

Start with your name, current address, phone number, and email. This makes it easy for your employer to keep in touch, especially for things like returning formal paperwork or getting that coveted reference letter.

The Date

Include the date you're writing the letter. This helps establish a clear timeline for your departure.

Recipient Information

Address the letter to your direct supervisor or manager. Double-check your company directory or ask HR if you're unsure who this is.

Your Resignation Statement

This is the heart of the letter. Start with a clear, brief sentence stating your intention to resign from your position upfront. 

For example: “Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position as [Your Job Title] at [Company Name].”

Your Last Day of Work

Clearly state your last day of employment. This gives them ample time to figure out the handover process.

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The standard practice is to give two weeks' resignation notice, but check your employment contract or company policy for specific guidelines regarding notice periods.

A Brief Reason for Leaving

You don't have to delve into your deepest, darkest reasons for leaving a job, but a brief, professional explanation can be a nice touch.   

For example, you could say: “I have accepted a new opportunity that aligns more closely with my long-term career goals.”

An Offer to Help with the Transition

Offer to assist with the transition period and help with the handover process in any way you can. This may involve training your replacement or documenting your work.

This shows your commitment to leaving things in good shape and not sabotaging the team.

An Expression of Gratitude

Thank your employer for the opportunity to work at the company and for the experience you've gained.

Even if the job wasn't your dream come true, express your appreciation for what you enjoyed while at the organization. Mention specific skills you learned, a process you picked up, or advice you'll carry throughout your career.

Here's an example: "I am grateful for the experience of working at [Company Name] and the opportunity to contribute to the launch of [specific project you're proud of]."

🙏 Gratitude goes a long way! Learn how to write a thank-you email after an interview here.

Glowing Positivity ✨

We can't stress this enough: positivity will take you so much further than negativity. So always end on a positive note, wishing the company well.

To write a resignation letter without burning bridges, resist the urge to vent or badmouth your company or colleagues. And don't come across as bitter or resentful.

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Your professional courtesy and positivity will shape your legend.

Formal Closing and Signature

End with a professional closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards.”

If you're submitting a physical letter, include your signature above your typed name. For an email resignation, your typed name usually suffices.

How To Write a Resignation Letter: Follow this Template + Example 📝

Now that you know the essential ingredients, let's write a professional resignation letter you can feel confident about.

Step 1: Master the Resignation Letter Format

Here's the basic outline for your resignation letter template:

[Your Name]
[Your Contact Information]

[Manager's Name]
[Manager's Title]
[Company Name]
[Company Address]

Dear [Manager's Name],

[Resignation statement], effective [Your last day of work].

[Brief reason for leaving]

[Offer to help with the transition]

[Express gratitude]

[Closing and signature]

Step 2: Use This Resignation Letter Example for Inspiration

Let's put all those pieces together with this sample resignation letter:

Luna Lovegood
77 Dirigible Plum Lane
Ottery St. Catchpole, UK
44 1392 XXX XXX (mobile)
[email protected]
February 7, 2024

Everly Whimsy
Crooked Acres Alchemy
1 Toadstool Lane, Whispering Woods

Dear Everly Whimsy,

Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position as Lead Researcher at Crooked Acres Alchemy. My last day of employment will be March 1, 2024.

While I have immensely enjoyed my time at the magazine, I have accepted a Magizoologist position at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I believe this role best aligns with my future career goals and passions.

I am happy to assist with the transition process in any way possible, including training my replacement, wrapping up current projects, and documenting my current processes. Please let me know how I can ensure a smooth handover during this time.

Thank you for the opportunity to work at Crooked Acres Alchemy. I have appreciated your mentorship, the team's supportive collaboration, and the always-curious and inspiring work environment during my time here.

I wish you and the company all the best in the future!

Luna Lovegood

The Best Resignation Letter Tips 🌟

Now that you know how to write a professional resignation letter, use these tips to go from basic to boss level:

  • Maintain a formal, professional tone. This isn't the time for informality, slang, insider jokes, emojis, etc.

  • Add a personal touch. Don't just copy any resignation letter template you find on the interweb. Customize your letter to reflect your unique experience, writing style, and personal branding.

  • Keep it concise. Like a cover letter, aim for a one-page resignation letter. Brevity is your friend!

  • Proofread carefully. Typos and grammatical errors never leave a good impression! Run your letter through a spell checker, have a friend or colleague review it for clarity, and proofread it a few times before submitting it.

  • Follow up with a resignation email to HR. This creates a paper trail and ensures that your manager and HR team both have a digital copy of your resignation for their records.

  • Keep it confidential. You don't need to announce that you're quitting your job to the entire company before officially informing your manager. Let your boss know first, and then you can share the news with colleagues at your own pace.

Most importantly? Embrace the next chapter!

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Leaving your job can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it's also an exciting opportunity for a fresh start. 

Focus on the positive aspects of a new remote job and celebrate your decision to pursue a more fulfilling career path.

Now You Can Resign with Confidence! 💪

Resigning from a job doesn't have to be a stressful experience. By crafting a clear, concise, and professional resignation letter, you can leave your current role on a positive note while paving the way for a fantastic new adventure.

This is your chance to leave a lasting impression and build a bridge (not burn one!) for future opportunities.

So, go forth and write that resignation letter with confidence! You've got this! 🙌

Still Looking for Your Next Remote Opportunity? 👀

Resigning is a positive step, even if you don't have another position currently lined up. You're taking control of your career and actively pursuing the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.

Now that you've conquered this resignation letter guide, it's time to accelerate your remote job search!

We Work Remotely is the #1 destination for the best remote jobs around the world. Create your FREE Job Seeker account or learn the benefits of upgrading to a Pro Job Seeker today!

It's time to ditch the lukewarm coffee and brew yourself that perfect cup of opportunity — your dream remote career awaits!

Psst! Save this read for later: How To Get a Remote Job in 2024: The Ultimate Guide!

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