How to Write a Formal Resignation Letter (with Samples)

You may have decided to leave your current employer to work in your dream company, start your own business or switch to a new career. Regardless of why you are leaving your current job, it is critical that you consider the next step as it is key to ensuring that you and your employer end things on a positive note. In most organizations, you will be required to hand in a formal resignation letter.

Writing a formal resignation letter in an upbeat and diplomatic tone will have a positive impact on your last few days at the company. It will also help ensure that you can return to the company if things don’t work out in your new job, obtain a reference letter, or work together with your current boss on a professional basis in the future.

This begs the question of what a resignation letter is? How can you write one? And what are the do’s and don’ts? This article will help you answer all these questions to help make the writing process more manageable.

A formal resignation letter is an official document used to notify your employer of your decision to leave your current position. It explains why you are leaving and indicates your last day on the job. Your formal resignation letter is a record of proof that notice was provided to the employer. It is usually submitted after you verbally inform your employers of your decision to resign to avoid catching them off guard.

Free Samples

Professional Resignation Letter Sample

Editable Resignation Letter Template

Formal Resignation Letter Format

Free Resignation Letter Example

Sample Resignation Letter Word

Template for Formal Resignation

Editable Letter of Resignation

Professional Resignation Example

Free Resignation Letter Template

Sample Resignation Letter Format

Formal Resignation Letter Word

Editable Resignation Letter Sample

    Reasons to Write a Formal Resignation Letter

    Writing a formal resignation letter will help you maintain good relations with your employer even after your employment ends.   This can come in handy when you need a reference letter from your soon-to-be-ex employer. The employer may also refer to the letter when deciding whether a counteroffer should be made to keep you from leaving or if you can return to the company. The resignation letter enables you to ensure that you do not say something that can spread and affect how others in the field perceive you.

    Information to be Included

    The elements of a formal resignation letter help to effectively communicate your decision to resign from the current job. They also help ease the writing process by narrowing down the information you are required to provide. Therefore, you must clearly understand what should be included in your formal resignation letter.

    The information required includes the following:

    Employer’s information

    It would be best if you began by indicating the date of writing. You should state the employer’s name, title, department, and company name and address. These details help identify who is the recipient of the letter.

    For example:

    May 5, 20xx

    Susan Wolf
    Huma resource department
    ABC Company
    56Pligrms Road
    New York, NY 7779


    Secondly, you should greet the recipient directly by their last name. Depending on the position you occupy and the organization’s setup, you may be required to address the letter to your supervisor, an HR representative, team department, or the company. Therefore, you should use a formal greeting when addressing the recipient:

    For example:

    Dear Mr. Wolf

    Subject line

    Thirdly, you should indicate the letter’s purpose in a simple subject line. The subject line is an easy way of informing the recipient of what the letter is about. It should contain your full name.

    For example:

    Subject line: Alice Green Resignation Letter

    Your intention to resign

    Your introductory statement should outline your intention to resign from the organization. It should contain the title of the position you are leaving. When indicating these details, you should ensure that you go straight to the point to avoid wasting the employer’s time with unnecessary information.

     For example:

    This letter is to notify you that I am resigning from my position as the lead graphic designer at ABC company.

    Departure date

    Next, you should indicate the departure date to ensure that the employer knows when your last day of work will be. Indicating the date allows the employer to prepare for your departure, such as preparing your last paycheck and the expiry of your benefits, among others. The date indicated also provides the employer with time to find your replacement. You can provide a two-week, 24 hours, or immediate notice. If you cannot provide an early notice, indicate an apology to show that you acknowledge that it is on short notice. You should also indicate any tasks you need to complete before leaving, like a project.

    For example:

    March 22 will be my last day. I only have one remaining project that will need to be reassigned to someone else.

    A brief note on reason for leaving

    You should then indicate a clear reason as to why you are resigning from the company. Writing a brief civil explanation that does not contain personal details will help you maintain professionalism. You may state that you are resigning due to health concerns, financial benefits, relocation, among others.

    For example:

    I have received a job offer at a new company.

    A thank you

    It would be best to express your appreciation for the opportunity and experience gained while working at the company. Mention specific experiences, lessons, or opportunities you are thankful for. It helps show that you acknowledge the time and effort invested in you.

     For example:

    Thank you for the opportunity you have given me. Working at ABC company has enabled me to hone my skills as a graphic designer. Though my departure saddens me, I believe that this is the start of a bigger and better thing for myself and the company.

    Offer to assist in the transition

    Continue by offering to help with the transition process. For example, you can offer to help with tasks like finding your replacement and training them before you leave, among others. This offer shows that you are aware of the disruption your departure will cause and that you are willing to help make it seamless.

    For example:

    I would be happy to help find my replacement and anything else you may need during this transition period. My team is well trained and ready to take up some of my tasks and responsibilities if a replacement is not found at my place.

    Your contact information

    Finally, you should end the formal resignation letter by signing off using an appropriate closing word or phrase such as ‘Sincerely’ or “Kind regards.”  When submitting a hard copy letter, you should ensure you indicate a signature above your printed name.  Next, provide your address and contact information if they haven’t been indicated in the header. These details will help you and your employer stay connected even after your departure.

    For example:


    [Your Signature]

    Alice White

    321Main Street
    New York, NY 2782

    Formal Resignation Letter

    Here we have formal resignation letter template and samples you can use to include essential information in your letter:


    [Your Name]
    [City, State, Zip code]
    [Phone number]


    [Employer’s name]
    [Company Name]
    [Company address]
    [City, State, Zip Code]

     Dear Mr., Ms., Mrs. [ Last Name],

    I want to notify you of my decision to resign from my position at [name of the company]. [Departure date] will be my last day. This decision has been brought about by [state a reason for resigning]. Though I am sad about my departure, I am grateful for [indicate why you are thankful]. I am aware that this decision may cause some disruption; however, I will be happy to help with [areas you can assist].

     Thank you again. I wish you and the staff all the best. I hope we can keep in touch.


    [ Your signature]

    [Your Typed Name]


    Sample 01

    Peter Lee
    Production Manager
    56 Calvin Road
    Los Angeles, CA 5693

     November 17, 20xx

    Mary Winter
    Humm resource Officer
    Little Star company
    23Elton Road
    Los Angeles, CA 5637

     Dear Ms. Winter,

    I want to notify you of my decision to resign from my position at Little Star. December 8 will be my last day. An unfortunate health problem has brought about this decision. Though I am sad about my departure, I am grateful for the incredible opportunity to work at the company straight out of college. I understand that this decision may disrupt the company; however, l will be happy to help with anything you need, including reallocating tasks and providing a recommendation for my replacement.

    Thank you again. I wish you and the staff the best. I hope we can keep in touch.


    [Your signature]

    Peter Lee


    Sample 02

    December 05,20xx

    Ms Stacey Kobesch
    CEO, Goldmine Company
    13 Main St.
    Freetown. FA 80080.

    Dear Sir/Madam.

    Kindly find this letter as a notice that I will be resigning from my position as a human resource manager here at Uniliver Group of Companies. My last day of work will be on 4/10/2019, which will be two weeks from now.

    My family and I are planning to locate elsewhere far from here. This will significantly affect my working with you.

    I thank you for providing me with such a wonderful opportunity over the course of the last three years. You, together with your staff, created a conducive working climate that made it pleasurable to work with you each day. This is something I will definitely miss.

    I am ready to offer any assistance necessary to facilitate the seamless transition of duties and responsibilities to my successor.



    David Zapeda

    Sample 03 [Email Format]

    Subject: David Zapeda Resignation Letter

    Dear Mr/Miss,

    Kindly accept this letter as a formal notice of my resignation from Uniliver Group of Companies. My last reporting date will be on 4/10/2019 (two weeks from now).

    I thank you for granting me such a good opportunity to work in your company. Indeed, I have gained a lot, and am grateful.

    Before I depart, I would like to train my predecessor to ensure a smooth and seamless transition of duties.


    David Zapeda

    Do’s and Don’ts

    There are several do’s and don’ts that you should consider when writing a formal resignation letter. These do’s and don’ts will help ensure that your letter communicates your intention to resign more effectively.


    When writing a formal resignation letter, it is vital to consider practices that will help ease the writing process.

     They include the following:

    Keep it positive and short

    You should ensure that your formal resignation letter is positive to help leave a good impression as you depart. It should also be a short letter of 2- 3 paragraphs. Writing a short resignation letter will ensure that only relevant information is captured.

    Provide a formal letter

    Writing a formal resignation letter enables the employer to keep comprehensive documentation of your time at the company by providing closure to your employment records. It will also help ensure that you provide relevant information. You can either opt to send an email or a hard copy letter.

    Proofread and edit

    Once you’re done witting, proofread the letter to help free it of any spelling and grammatical errors. It will help ensure that your letter is polished, and your employer has an easy time reading your letter.

    Maintain a formal tone

    The relationship shared with your employer is formal; hence your resignation letter must maintain a formal tone. It ensures that the contents of the resignation letter are taken seriously. Using a formal tone will also ensure that your employer reacts appropriately to the letter.

    Be gracious

    It would help to be gracious to ensure that things end cordially. This will make future interactions with the employer pleasant. It will also demonstrate your professionalism.


    When writing a formal resignation letter, you must consider the practices that should be avoided during the drafting process. Knowing this information will help you ensure that you do not make these mistakes.

    The following should be avoided when you write a formal resignation letter:

    Don’t brag about your new job

    Do not use the resignation letter to brag about your new job. Remember that you may need a recommendation from the employer. You may also need to return to the company if things in your new job won’t work out.

    Tell the whole truth (Avoid lengthy explanation)

    Lengthy explanations about why you have decided to resign are not required. You can opt to use your exit interview to vent out your frustration rather than doing so in the formal resignation letter.

    Leave without notice

    Do not submit your formal resignation letter without providing prior notice. You should provide the employer with ample notice for adequate preparation for your departure. Companies will usually indicate in their policies and procedures about how much notices you should provide.

    Reasons why you hated your job

    You should avoid providing reasons why you hated your job. This is unnecessary as you did not raise any issues on the matter. Instead, you can provide vague details on what you gained from the position.

    Negative comments about your boss

    Do not use the formal resignation letter to make negative comments about your employer, as it may come back to haunt you in the future, even if there is a new boss. Your comments may gravely impact your career, especially if your new employer is informed of your unprofessional and disrespectful behavior.

    Criticism of your peers

    Criticizing your peers in your resignation letter should be avoided as it shows that you cannot work well with others. It also makes your resignation letter seem overly critical.

    Inappropriate language

    You should avoid using inappropriate language like obscenities. This type of language should not exist in a formal document. Instead, choose your words carefully so as not to offend the employer.

    Unnecessary information

    Do not provide unnecessary details that have nothing to do with the employer. The employer doesn’t need to know where you’re moving to, what your new salary will be or what position you have been offered. It would be best to take adequate time to filter out what is relevant and what is not.


    Indicating threats in your formal resignation letter could land you in serious trouble. Remember that the letter can be used as evidence against you. In addition, it could negatively affect any chances you may have of securing employment.

    Emotional statements

    Do not include emotional statements in your resignation letter regardless of whether they are good or bad. Instead, it would be best to express them in person. Your emotional sentiments do not contribute to the severe nature of the resignation letter.

    Spelling and grammar errors

    Submitting a formal resignation letter with numerous spelling and grammatical errors is unacceptable. It shows a complete lack of motivation. Furthermore, such a letter will easily frustrate and confuse the reader.

    Final Remarks

    A formal resignation letter helps you inform your employer of your decision to quit your current position. It contains information on why you have decided to resign and when your resignation will come into effect. In addition, a well-written resignation letter ensures that you maintain a cordial relationship with your employer even after you leave the company.

    You should write a brief resignation letter to ensure that you only focus on providing relevant information to the employer. Do not brag, criticize or use inappropriate language, as these are clear signs of unprofessionalism. Proofread the letter once it is complete to ensure no spelling and grammatical errors. It would help to consider using a formal resignation letter template and reading a sample to help you understand how it is structured.

    About This Article

    Zhaniece Hill
    Authored by:
    Human Resources Specialist | Masters of Business, MBA, BAS Operations Management and Supervision
    Zhaniece Hill, an accomplished author, and writer, possesses an extensive 9-year journey as a seasoned Human Resources professional. With a Master's degree in Business Administration, Hill's profound insights into human capital management have been shaped by a diverse background spanning public and private sectors. Expertise in talent acquisition, onboarding, employee engagement, and benefits define Hill's remarkable HR acumen. With an unyielding focus on results, Hill's legacy is characterized by innovative HR solutions that elevate employee satisfaction, retention, and overall business performance. Continuously seeking fresh challenges, Zhaniece Hill utilizes her expertise to create a lasting impact in the realm of HR.

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