Resume 101:  How to Write a Letter of Resignation

There are many reasons why someone would resign from their position. Whether it’s due to a move, change in career, better opportunity, company culture, or personal circumstances. If you are looking to resign from your job, there is a professional way to do it.

What is a Letter of Resignation?

A letter of resignation is formal notification that an employee is leaving their current position at an organization. The letter of resignation specifies the last date the employee will be in their position (typically a two-week notice) and thanks the employer for the opportunity. Resignation letters can also include offering to help the employer with the transition.

No matter how you feel about your soon-to-be former employer or job, it is important to be professional and stay positive in your letter of resignation. The world is smaller than you think, and even smaller if you’re staying in the same industry. Maintaining yourself as a class-act throughout the experience could result in a glowing recommendation from your employer. Plus, if things don’t work out at the new place, you may have left the door open to return to your previous position or elsewhere in the company down the road.

Do I Need a Letter of Resignation?

It is a good idea to have a formal letter on record as you prepare to exit your job. This can also leave a good impression on the employer, which may encourage them to give you a good reference should you need one in the future.

How Do I Write a Letter of Resignation?

A letter of resignation should:

  • Clearly state that this is formal notification that you are resigning from your position with the company as of a specific date (typically at least two weeks, but legally you do not need to give two weeks notice)
  • Be gracious and thank the employer for the experience and opportunity (your current employer and experience helped you earn your new job, so even if there are hard feelings, there have also been experiences that have helped you grow personally and professionally)
  • Offer to ensure a smooth transition and finish up any projects

How Do I Submit a Letter of Resignation?

  1. After writing your letter of resignation, make an appointment to see your boss in person to hand in a printed copy of your letter. Your boss should be the person you tell first. They shouldn’t have to hear it through office gossip or from a co-worker
  2. Prepare ahead of time. Wrap up things you need to and be prepared to hand in any company equipment (laptop, cellphone, email and account logins, etc.) should you be asked. It may also be a good idea to have your personal items discretely ready to go in the event you are asked to leave right away
  3. Keep in mind that your boss may give you a counteroffer to entice you to stay. It’s up to you whether to take it or not, ultimately it is your decision and you need to consider what is best
  4. Stay helpful and positive, but know that you don’t owe your employer anything. If they try to get you to stay when you don’t want to or try to make you feel badly about leaving, reiterate that you appreciate the opportunity, but are moving on to a new opportunity
  5. If you are leaving a hostile work environment and need support, visit the Government of Ontario page, Understand the law on workplace violence and harassment
  6. Let your co-workers know after you’ve told your boss, especially any co-workers you’re close with
  7. It may be tempting to vent on social media, but avoid putting anything out there that could come back to haunt you
  8. Show gratitude

Letter of Resignation Templates:


Free Downloadable Resignation Letter Samples by Style (ResumeGenius)

Best Resignation Letter Examples (The Balance Careers)



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