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Crafting a Resignation Email That Keeps Doors Open

Make your last impression as strong as your first. Use this guide to write a resignation email that maintains relationships and reflects your professionalism.

Are you sitting down to write that resignation email but feeling a bit uneasy about how it might come across? It’s a common worry. Quitting a job is a big step, and when you’re giving notice by email, you don’t want to seem cold or too negative.

The trick lies in how you write your resignation letter. With the right words and a clear format, you can say goodbye without any hard feelings. This ensures you leave on good terms and maintain positive professional connections.

Ready to learn how to make that happen? You’re in the right place. This guide will offer tips and templates you can use to craft a resignation email that eases the transition process.

Why take the time to write a professional resignation letter

A resignation letter is a formal way to tell your employer you’re leaving your job. Although you can hand in a paper copy, emailing works just as well. Either way, this letter makes your leaving official and tells your employer when your last day will be.

Writing a resignation email is important for a few reasons. It’s a chance to say thank you for the experience and the things you’ve learned, helping you leave your job on a positive note. Plus, it makes the transition smoother for everyone because it gives your boss time to plan for someone else to take over your work.

A well-crafted resignation letter also helps you maintain a good relationship with your old company and coworkers. This can be helpful later, maybe if you need a reference or end up working with them again. It’s a small world and being considerate as you leave can help you maintain valuable professional connections.

Things to do before beginning your resignation email

Your resignation email is a big step toward a new chapter in your career. However, before taking that leap, there are some things you need to do to ensure you’re ready for what comes next. 

Look over your employment contract for any rules about resigning. Some jobs ask for a certain amount of notice, usually 2 weeks, but it could be longer. Your contract might also outline other conditions, like needing to do exit interviews or filling out transition checklists. Closely follow these terms to avoid breaking the contract. Otherwise, you could end up in legal trouble or harm your reputation. 

Obtain letters of recommendation from colleagues

It’s smart to ask for letters of recommendation from your boss and colleagues now while your work is fresh in their minds. These letters can speak to your skills, work ethic, and contributions, helping you land future jobs and advance your career. Remember to keep copies of each letter in both digital and physical formats for easy access in the future.  

Prepare for an immediate end to your employment

Sometimes, when you tell your job you’re resigning, they might ask you to leave straight away. To avoid any awkwardness, be sure you’re prepared for that. Take the time to gather your personal items and any necessary work-related documents from your email and computer. Just make sure you don’t take anything that includes company assets or proprietary data.  

Reflect on what could change your mind about leaving

Before you decide to leave for sure, take some time to think about any changes at your current job that could make you want to stay. This might include a pay raise, increased flexibility, or other improvements that would address your reasons for quitting. If something might change your mind, consider talking about it with your boss.

Deliver formal notice to your Supervisor in person

Arrange a meeting with your Supervisor to inform them about your resignation face-to-face. If you’re working remotely, a video call or phone conversation also works. This gives you a chance to thank them directly for the opportunity and explain why you’re leaving.

The anatomy of well-crafted resignation letters  

When writing your letter of resignation, try to keep it short and clear, but don’t forget to cover all the important points about your departure. Also, make sure it’s easy to read by using simple formatting. Here’s a handy guide on all the key details you should cover in this official document.

Concise subject line

Keep your subject line short and to the point. Start with something direct like “Letter of Resignation,” then put a dash and write your full name and position title. This might look like “Letter of Resignation—Jane Smith, Financial Analyst.” This format ensures your boss understands the email’s purpose at a glance and encourages prompt opening.

Cordial greeting

Kick off your resignation email with a friendly and respectful greeting. Use phrases like “Dear” and “Hello” followed by your Supervisor’s name or title to start your message. This polite opening sets the tone for your email and fosters a professional interaction with your boss.  

Resignation statement

Go directly into writing your resignation statement next. Clearly and candidly state your intention to resign from your position. Avoid lengthy explanations and emotionally fueled language.

A straightforward statement like, “I am writing to formally notify you that I’m resigning from my position,” works quite well. If you want to give a reason, just stick to the facts. State that you’re ready for a career change, plan to relocate to a new area, or have accepted an offer that aligns more closely with your goals.

Effective end date

Immediately after your statement, share your planned resignation date. You might write, “My last day of work will be January 15, 2024.” If applicable, briefly mention that your chosen date aligns with the terms of your contract.

Expression of gratitude

Take a moment to thank your employer for all the support they’ve provided. Reflect on the teamwork and shared experiences you’ve enjoyed while with the company. If possible, provide specific examples to make your gratitude more heartfelt.

Transition assistance offer

To ease concerns, let your boss know you’re ready to help with the transition. Offer to train your replacement and get your coworkers prepared for your exit. Also, reassure your boss that you’ll finish any remaining tasks before you go. This could be, “I’m happy to finalize my pending projects, train my replacement, and support my team during this transition period.”  

Closing with your name and job title

To complete your resignation letter, sign off with a professional closing, such as “Thank you,” “Best regards,” or “Sincerely.” Under that, write your full name, job title, and any contact information you’d like to share with your Supervisor.

Customizable resignation letter template and examples  

As you get ready to resign, try not to overthink your formal notification letter. If you’re unsure how to begin, feel free to personalize the 2 weeks’ notice letter provided below. Or consider taking inspiration from career growth and relocation examples when drafting your email.  

‘Two weeks’ notice letter template

Whether you’re leaving to change careers or for a better job, use this ‘2 weeks’ notice template to craft your resignation letter.

[Today’s date]

Hello [Supervisor’s name],

I am writing to officially resign from my position at [Company name], effective 2 weeks from today on [End date]. I feel grateful to be part of such a dedicated team and have learned a lot from all your guidance.

I am committed to making my departure as smooth as possible and am happy to help during this transition period.

Thank you for the opportunity to work here. I hope we can stay in touch.


[Your name]

[Job title]

[Contact information]

Career growth example

When you get a great chance to move up in your career, it’s wise to go for it. If that’s you, well done. Here’s an example to help you write your resignation letter.


Dear Mr. Jones, 

Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position as Senior Software Engineer. Per my contract, I am giving 30 days’ notice. My end date will be 05/12/2023.

Working at this company has been a significant part of my career. I have sincerely enjoyed the time I spent working on all the projects assigned to my team. These experiences have greatly contributed to my professional growth, and for that, I am truly grateful.

I am committed to ensuring a smooth transition and will do everything possible to hand over my responsibility efficiently. I wish the company continued success and look forward to seeing its achievements.

Thank you,

Jane Smith

Relocation example

If working remotely isn’t possible and you’re relocating, you’ll have to quit your job. This example can help you write your resignation email.


To the Management team,

I am writing to inform you that I have decided to resign from my position due to an upcoming move. Please consider this letter as official notification of my resignation, with my last day being 12/15/2023.

I want to express my sincere gratitude for all the opportunities I’ve been given during my time with the company. It has been a privilege to work alongside such a talented team and contribute to our shared goals.  

Thank you for understanding my decision to move on at this time. Please let me know how I can assist in the transition over the next few weeks.

Best regards,

Sam Johnson

Key missteps to avoid in your resignation email writing process

Mistakes in your resignation email can take away from your message and tarnish your image. That’s why it’s essential to write this letter with care. To do that, you must first know the most common errors to avoid. Let’s explore these missteps so you understand what to watch for as you start writing. 

Using informal language or slang

While resignation emails shouldn’t sound overly formal or stiff, they still require professional wording. It’s best to avoid using casual phrases, slang, or abbreviations that you might use with friends. For instance, saying things like “no hard feelings,” “lol,” and “peace out” is far too informal.

The goal is to find the sweet spot between a friendly and professional tone. You want to sound warm, but not like you’re texting a buddy. This can be difficult when writing in a relaxed email format. To get it right, read through your draft before sending it to pinpoint any wording that should be revised.

Making spelling or grammar mistakes

Typos, grammar issues, or punctuation mistakes can detract from your professionalism. Running a spelling and grammar check can help, but you also want to proofread your email carefully to ensure it’s error free.

Take your time reading through your email slowly while watching for things like:

  • Accidentally repeating words or leaving them out
  • Confusing words that sound alike (such as they’re, their, and there)
  • Disagreements between subjects and verbs

Also, pay attention to using proper capitalization and punctuation.

Since it’s difficult to spot your own mistakes, consider asking a friend to review your email to catch any errors you may have missed. This can help create a polished final draft you’re proud to send.

Including too much personal information

It’s tempting to over explain or add personal details when resigning, especially if you’ve built close relationships at work. However, practicing restraint will help keep things professional.

Ideally, you’ll want to steer clear of talking about your personal reasons for leaving, such as problems with coworkers or health issues. Also, avoid sharing details about your future career plans, especially if you’re joining a competitor for better pay or a promotion.

Being overly negative or critical in your tone

Your resignation letter isn’t the right platform for harsh criticism or negativity about your employer or coworkers. Hostile and resentful remarks can come across as immature and may damage relationships.

Instead, maintain a professional tone in your letter, even if you’re frustrated. Also, focus on the positive aspects of the job, such as managerial support, teamwork, or career growth.

If you have constructive feedback, consider sharing it politely in a separate discussion or exit interview. But first, reflect on whether sharing your insights might benefit the organization and future employees. If it won’t help improve processes or the work environment, it’s probably not worth sharing. 

Discussing confidential or sensitive information

Do not include any company trade secrets or sensitive matters in your resignation letter, such as:

  • Proprietary systems
  • Product research and development
  • Business wins and losses
  • Marketing strategies
  • Mergers and acquisitions

Even if you don’t mean any harm, this oversharing can breach trust and confidentiality agreements. Keep the focus on your transition alone to avoid ethical and legal missteps.

Sending your email to the wrong person

Accidentally sending your resignation letter to the wrong person can cause confusion and send rumors flying. Before hitting send, double-check that only the intended recipients will get a copy.

Typically, this would be your Supervisor and the HR department, not the entire organization. It’s particularly important to avoid sending your letter to clients or people outside the company.  

To ensure your email goes out to the right people, always manually confirm who it’s going to before hitting send. Be careful not to let autofill select an incorrect name or include reply-all recipients from a different email chain.

Failing to follow up to confirm receipt of your email

Don’t assume the job is done once you’ve sent your formal resignation email. It’s crucial to follow up and verify that the appropriate people received your message and are ready to help with your transition.   

Reach out to your direct Manager by phone or in person to politely ask if they saw your email. Also, inquire if they need any clarification or have questions about your transition plans. Following up shows extra care and accountability, which goes a long way in ensuring you leave on good terms.

Ensure a smooth transition with a thoughtful resignation letter

Leaving a job is seldom an easy decision, but writing an excellent resignation email can make the process smoother. When written with care, your letter will show respect, clear up any confusion, and make the transition easier for all involved. It’s also how you can leave a lasting positive impression on your employer and begin the next phase of your career on a high note. So, be bold and make it official by drafting your resignation email. 

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