Telling your boss that you’re leaving the company can be intimidating, and sometimes a little awkward, especially if it seems to come out of the blue.
But advancing to the next phase of your career or life is a totally normal process, and something any sensible boss would understand.
Parting ways can be made a more pleasant experience for everyone when adequate notice is provided and you give due consideration to the company’s needs.
When to Give Notice
In general, the standard notice period for leaving a job is two weeks. This means you need to let your boss know two weeks before your intended last day on the job.
However, you should always take a look at your contract and see if there are any terms governing the notice period, how you should go about resigning, and what kinds of events might null those requirements.
Once you’ve decided on the right date, you should first have a talk with your boss, face-to-face (if possible). After that conversation, it’s typically expected that the employee will submit a written notice.
How to Write a Resignation Letter
Follow these 5 tips to write a resignation letter that will ensure you leave on positive terms and can smoothly transition to your next venture.
1. Use a formal letter format.
Your letter of resignation should adhere to a formal letter format, as it would for any other professional correspondence, like a letter of recommendation or cover letter.
This means your letter should have a date and be addressed to the proper contact person. In most cases, this will be your boss or immediate supervisor (you don’t need to address your resignation letter to the CEO!).
Open with a professional greeting. Your best bet is probably “Dear,” even if you and your boss are besties.
2. State the position you’re leaving and the effective date.
The first lines of your resignation letter should clearly communicate the position you are resigning from, and your effective end date.
Don’t feel like you have to start explaining your departure in detail. While you probably offered some reason to your boss when you gave your verbal two weeks’ notice, it’s perfectly fine to keep things simple and to the point in your letter.
Dear [Boss’s Name],
Please accept this letter as official notice that I am resigning from my position as [job title] with [company name]. My last day will be [last day you will report to work].
3. Express gratitude.
It’s always a good idea to thank your boss for the opportunity and experience (yes, even if you’re counting down the seconds until you walk out that door for the last time!).
List some of the key things you learned or experiences you gained from the job. Remember that you may need your boss for a reference one day, so try to leave things on a positive note.
4. Address the transition.
Express your willingness to help out with the transition. Naturally, your boss may be a bit stressed following your notice, not just because they might have had a great relationship with you, but because they might have to scramble to fill your position.
Do everything you can to tie up any loose ends during your last two weeks, and help transfer any remaining responsibilities to a colleague. This may mean spending some time training your co-workers to take over your duties until a replacement is hired.
5. Close with a professional sign-off.
Again, even if your boss shows up for your kids’ birthday parties, you should still keep the tone of your letter professional.
Opt for a standard sign-off, such as “Sincerely,” “King regards,” or “Best” before your signature and contact information.
Note: If you truly want to keep in touch with your boss after you’ve left the company, you may want to provide your personal email or phone number.
Letter of Resignation Sample
Below is an example of a letter of resignation. Note its brevity and straightforwardness; there’s no need to write a novel about why you’re leaving.
Please accept this letter as official notice that I am resigning from my position as Financial Aid Assistant at UC Santa Cruz. My last day will be Friday, November 6, 2020.
I truly appreciate the opportunity I’ve had to work in this position for the last two years. I’ve enjoyed working closely with students to make their educational dreams a reality, and it’s been a pleasure to work alongside such dedicated colleagues.
I’ll do everything possible to wrap up my duties and train Julia over the next two weeks. In the meantime, please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to make the transition easier.
I wish the department nothing but success, and I hope to stay in touch in the future.
Is It OK to Resign by Email?
Generally speaking, it is okay to send your letter of resignation via email. However, whenever possible, you should first resign by talking privately with your boss face-to-face before sending written notice. (Of course, if you’re working remotely, “face-to-face” could mean a Zoom or Skype call, which is perfectly acceptable.)
The letter primarily serves as written record of the communication for your personnel file (or for your boss’s records as well).
These days, it probably won’t make much sense for you to mail your resignation letter. Rather, it’s probably best to send your letter via email, once you’ve already had a chat with your boss.
(Or, if you feel it’s more appropriate, you can print a hard copy to hand to your boss, and ask if they’d also like a digital copy emailed to them.)
What Is the Best Day to Resign?
While there’s no scientific formula for the perfect day to resign, Mondays might be the most logical and convenient choice for all parties.
This is because:
- Everyone will have a fresh start and be ready to focus on the new week’s tasks.
- HR will have the rest of the week to manage the transition and start the hiring process.
- Resigning on a Friday means your boss will be stressed about how to replace you all weekend, but unable to start taking action.
Why Your Resignation Letter Matters
While you wouldn’t be the first to storm out of the workplace and alert management to your departure with a few colorful words, burning bridges is rarely the best way to do things.
Whether you’ve had a wonderful experience or can’t wait to get out of there, writing a professional letter of resignation will ensure that you keep the relationship on good terms, maintain your dignity, and preserve your image should you ever need to use that employer as a reference.
Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this post, then you might also like:
- How to Write a Letter of Recommendation: Tips and Examples
- How to Write a Letter of Interest and Bring Your Dream Job to You
- How to Accept a Job Offer: What to Look for and How to Seal the Deal
- How to Decline a Job Offer Gracefully (with Examples)
As a blog writer for TCK Publishing, Kaelyn loves crafting fun and helpful content for writers, readers, and creative minds alike. She has a degree in International Affairs with a minor in Italian Studies, but her true passion has always been writing. Working from home allows her to do even more of the things she loves, like traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family.