How to Write A Professional Letter of Resignation

Publié le 24 August 2020 Par

Writing a letter of resignation can be an anxious and exciting experience. While you will hopefully be moving on to a better job opportunity, leaving a place where you have been employed for a long period of time can be difficult and even emotional. It is common to have difficulty finding the right words to let management know of your decision. However, given that an average of 16% of working Canadians leave their job each year, writing a letter of resignation is an important skill for many. Here are few helpful tips for anyone wondering how to write a professional letter of resignation.

What Is A Letter of Resignation?

A letter of resignation is a document sent to the company management officially announcing that you will be leaving your job role. A majority of job contracts will include a provision specifying that proper termination procedure involves providing a letter of resignation, and at least two weeks notice that you will be leaving your job.

A letter of resignation needs to serve 3 primary purposes:

  1. Inform management you will be leaving
  2. Provide your final date as an employee
  3. Leave on a professional note

It is recommended that you remain polite and professional when tendering your resignation. This will allow you to maintain a good relationship with your former employer and keep them as a quality reference on your resume and CV for the future. Considering that 87% of companies check references of past employers when hiring, you should do your best to ensure that you leave a company on good terms.

What Is The Ideal Length For Your Letter Of Resignation?

When writing your professional letter of resignation, it’s always best to be brief. All that you really need to do is say that you are leaving and specify which day will be your last. This can be accomplished in a couple dozen words at most. Your letter of resignation should not be more than one page in length.

If you choose, you can provide a fuller explanation regarding your decision to leave, but this is certainly not mandatory. If you wish to fully express your reasons for leaving your job, you can schedule a meeting or and exit interview with your boss, and use the occasion to take all the time necessary to explain your decision. This is likely a better option than composing a lengthy letter of resignation that may not be read in its entirety.

Do I Have To Give Two Weeks Notice?

This is a bit complicated. It is standard practice to give your employer two weeks notice that you will be leaving your job role. Contrary to popular belief, there is no blanket law that requires that two weeks notice be given. Different jurisdictions have different requirements, so it is best to familiarize yourself with the legal requirements of your area. It is a feature of most employment contracts, so violating this does have the potential of triggering some form of legal action. Sometimes, there are circumstances where you will need to alter your notice period that are beyond your control. In this case, the most professional thing to do is be honest and try to work out a different arrangement with your manager. Simply not showing up for remaining work days is very unprofessional, and can adversely affect your standing in your industry.

Can I Send A Letter of Resignation By Email?

If it’s possible to hand-deliver a physical copy to your manager, it is a good idea to give them the news in person. However, there is nothing inherently wrong with sending your letter of resignation to your boss, supervisor or manager via email. With many workplaces in 2020 transitioning to remote work, this will be the primary option for many. In this case, be sure to add a request that your manager reply to your email in order to confirm that they have received your notification. This ensures that later there will be no confusion or possible claims about not being notified.

Tips for Writing A Letter of Resignation

If you have received an offer from your dream job, of course you are going to accept. This does mean leaving your old job, and resigning in a professional manner. Ensuring a good transition between employees is a great way to leave on a positive note and build your professional reputation. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you sit down to write a letter of resignation.

  • Start with the basics
  • Be polite and thank your employer
  • Offer to help smooth the transition

Start With The Basics

Do not begin with a long preamble. Simply state the facts. You are leaving your job, and informing management of your last day. For record keeping purposes, always include your full official job title and the name of the company.

Be Polite and Thank Your Employer

When leaving for a great opportunity, you will obviously be excited. It’s still important to remember to stay polite, and show basic respect for your soon-to-be-former employer. Thank your manager, bosses and supervisors for the opportunities to learn and grow in your job role. Your appreciation will help to ensure you leave on a positive note, establishing your former boss as a reliable professional contact and reference.

Offer To Help Smooth The Transition

Hiring and on-boarding a new employee takes a lot of work and effort. If you can help ease the transition and ensure that the office adapts to new people and personalities, say so in your letter of resignation. It’s also the time to acknowledge any ongoing tasks and indicate your plans to hand them off to colleagues or new hires.

Types of Resignation Letters

A letter of resignation can take several different formats, all depending on your reasons for leaving and the amount of detail you wish to communicate.

Below you will find several examples of different types of resignation letters. The purpose is to find a format that suits your needs which you can adapt to your own situation. This will let you write a professional letter of resignation quickly and simply.

Common Letter of Resignation Types:

  • Minimum Letter of Resignation
  • Standard Letter of Resignation
  • Detailed Letter of Resignation
  • Letter of Resignation with Ongoing Projects
  • Letter of Resignation with Modified Leave Date

Minimum Letter of Resignation

This is a short letter that only conveys the basic facts that are necessary. This should be the absolute minimum letter of resignation that you send to management. Anything less would be unprofessional and could adversely affect your reputation within your industry.


Please accept my resignation from the position of [JOB TITLE] with [COMPANY NAME]. This constitutes my two weeks notice, and my final day as an employee will be [DATE].

Thank you,


Standard Letter of Resignation

Below is an example of a standard letter of resignation. It is short, to the point and professional. It conveys the basic facts, thanks your boss and allows you to leave on good terms.


Please accept my resignation from the position of [JOB TITLE] with [COMPANY NAME]. This constitutes my two weeks notice, and my final day as an employee will be [DATE].

I am grateful for the opportunities I have had during my time with the company. I wish you and the entire team all the best with future endeavours.

Thank you,


Detailed Letter of Resignation

A longer resignation that goes into greater detail regarding your time with the company and your reasons for accepting a new role. This template assumes that your time with the company has been positive and your choice to leave is for career reasons.


Please accept my resignation from the position of [JOB TITLE] with [COMPANY NAME]. My final date as an employee will be on [DATE].

In my [LENGTH OF EMPLOYMENT PERIOD] with the company, I have had the chance to grow, learn and develop my professional skills. I was hired for the role of [INITIAL JOB TITLE] and have been promoted to [CURRENT JOB TITLE], playing a significant role in the company’s development. I will remain very grateful for these opportunities. Choosing to leave was a difficult decision, but I was offered a position where I can move my career forward and take on a new professional challenge.

I wish the entire team at [COMPANY] nothing but the best.

Thank you,


Letter of Resignation with Ongoing Projects

It is often not possible to wrap up all existing projects when you decide to leave a company. In this case, a good way to be professional and help out your colleagues is to acknowledge this fact and offer to help reassign your existing projects. This may involve training your colleagues to take over your responsibilities, or possibly even working with HR to teach a new hire who will be your replacement in the job role. Working to ensure that projects continue in your absence demonstrates leadership and forward thinking, and will help to leave a positive impression on your colleagues and coworkers.


Please accept my resignation from the position of [JOB TITLE] with [COMPANY NAME]. My final date as an employee will be on [DATE].

At this moment, there are several ongoing projects that I am responsible for overseeing and completing. I am committed to continuing to work my hardest in my remaining time with the company, and working with my colleagues to delegate these projects and provide detailed instructions and records in order to ensure that they will still be completed correctly and on-time. If possible, I am willing to work with my successor in order to bring them up to speed and allow them to excel in my role as quickly as possible.

Please do not hesitate to discuss further details of the transition, I am more than willing to help as much as possible.

Thank you,


Letter of Resignation with Modified Leave Date

While giving two weeks notice that you will be leaving your job is standard practice, it is sometimes not possible for a variety of reasons. In this case, the best option to be straightforward with this important information. If you still have time to assist with the rapid transition, acknowledging this will help to lower the negative impact your sudden leave may have. Remain polite and courteous, even if your final day in the office will be sooner than expected it is still always a good idea to maintain professional relationships.


Please accept my resignation from the position of [JOB TITLE] with [COMPANY NAME]. Due to circumstances beyond my control, my final day as an employee will be [DATE]. I regret that I am not able to give two weeks notice, and but there is not another option.

I understand the issues that this change may cause, and I am committed to doing everything possible during my remaining time with the company to ensure a smooth transition, with no negative consequences for any ongoing projects or work. 

I am very appreciative of all the opportunities I have had during my time with [COMPANY]. Thank you for understanding.



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