Internship programs provide students and recent graduates with invaluable work experience and skill-building opportunities. However, despite the benefits of internships, some individuals may need to end their internship before the designated date due to getting a job offer or having to join the academic program sooner than expected. Notifying the employer of the decision through a letter is a polite and professional way for an intern to exit an organization.
This article will help you understand how to approach resignation letters in the context of an internship program and how to leave an organization professionally and respectfully. Sample letters and free pre-made templates will also be provided for your ease.
What is a Resignation Letter for an Internship?
A resignation letter is a formal document to announce and confirm the decision to leave employment or an internship position before the intended date. Normally, this letter is presented to the employer or human resource management.
If you are working as an intern, notifying your employer of your decision to leave through a formal letter is crucial as it portrays professionalism and respect towards your employer. Furthermore, it helps you to maintain a good and healthy relationship with your employer; this may be advantageous for your professional network and provide you with a recommendation in the future.
Note: If you include the internship in your resume, the previous employer might be contacted by prospective employers as they conduct a background check.
Reasons for Using a Resignation Letter
Although an internship is a good opportunity, you might have reasons to resign from your position before the intended date. Here are some of the reasons that may cause you to write and send a resignation letter:
Lack of learning opportunities
Interns often seek valuable learning experiences and professional growth. If they feel that the internship does not provide adequate opportunities to learn and develop new skills, they may decide to resign.
Sometimes, interns may need to resign due to personal circumstances such as health issues, family emergencies, or unexpected changes in their personal lives that prevent them from continuing the internship. However, you do not need to mention the reasons explicitly in your letter.
Dissatisfaction with supervision or mentorship
If the intern feels that they are not receiving adequate guidance, mentorship, or feedback from their supervisor or mentors, it can hinder their learning and professional development, prompting them to resign.
It is important to maintain a balance between work and personal life. Therefore, if you cannot manage the responsibilities of the program, you might get overwhelmed and decide to end the internship program prematurely.
Unsafe or unsupportive work environment
An intern may choose to resign if they face a toxic or unsupportive work environment, such as harassment, discrimination, or disrespectful behavior from colleagues or supervisors.
Resumption of academic programs
If your internship is part of your academic program, you will need to return to school if the academic session starts sooner than intended. Overwhelming academic workloads or schedule clashes may also lead to the decision to resign.
Due to a medical condition
Any unexpected medical situation can cause you to cease your work as an intern. An accident or a sudden illness can prevent you from continuing your internship program and be a reason for quitting the position.
If interns receive a more promising opportunity, such as a job offer or another internship that better aligns with their career aspirations, they may opt to resign from their current internship.
If the internship is unpaid and the intern is unable to sustain themselves financially during the internship period, they may choose to resign and seek a paid opportunity.
How to Format an Internship Resignation Letter
Before writing your resignation letter, you must understand its format to ensure you prepare a formal and detailed one. Start by creating a personal business letterhead. Then, briefly list all the information you intend to include in the letter.
Ensure that you have all the details that should be included in your letter. This may include your contact details, information about the internship position, and details about your experience during the tenure. Always have a copy for you, your manager, and the HR department.
Below is a step-by-step guide with examples to assist you in writing an effective letter to resign from your internship position:
Step 1: Greetings
A resignation letter is an official document and should adhere to the required formal format. That means that you should include proper greetings or salutations to address the recipient
Dear [Mr. /Mrs. /Ms. (Last name)]
Dear Mr. Richards or Dear Ms. Angel
Tip: If you are emailing this document, ensure that you include a subject line (Your name – Resignation). Also, include your contact details after the signatures and not in the header.
Step 2: Opening paragraph
The opening paragraph of a letter, including a resignation letter, typically serves to introduce the purpose of the letter and establish a polite and professional tone. It is usually brief and concise, providing an initial statement of your intention to resign and expressing gratitude or appreciation. Clearly mention the date of leaving the position. By doing this, you can get the employer to consider this document your final notice.
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign from my internship position at ABC Company, effective April 1, 2023. It has been an honor and a valuable learning experience to be a part of the ABC Company team, and I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunities and support I have received during my time here.
Step 3: Body paragraphs
In the body paragraphs of the letter, clearly state the reason for your decision to resign from the internship. This could be due to personal circumstances, academic commitments, or the pursuit of other career opportunities. Be concise and professional in explaining your rationale. Express your gratitude for the internship experience and the opportunities it provided. Highlight specific skills you have developed, projects you have worked on, or mentors who have guided you. Acknowledge the valuable lessons you have learned and how they have contributed to your professional growth.
Assure your supervisor that you are committed to facilitating a smooth transition. Express your willingness to support the team during this transition period to ensure minimal disruption to ongoing projects.
I have carefully considered my future career path and personal aspirations, leading me to the difficult decision of resigning from my internship position. While the experience at [company name] has been exceptional, I have recently been presented with a unique opportunity that aligns more closely with my long-term goals. After much contemplation, I have decided to pursue this opportunity, as it will provide me with further professional growth and development in my chosen field. I want to emphasize that this decision was not made lightly, and I deeply appreciate the guidance and mentorship I have received from you and the entire team.
Tip: Always thank your colleagues and your employer for the work experience, support, and guidance they provided during your internship.
Step 4: Closing paragraph
In the closing paragraph, you should include your final thoughts and best wishes for the letter’s recipient. If you have any questions or requests, you can include them in this section of the resignation letter for an internship. This is because the format focuses on first informing the recipient of your intentions before including other details.
I would also like to share my resignation plans with my colleagues to prepare them and thank them for their guidance and contribution. I wish you all the best, and once again, thank you for this amazing opportunity.
Step 5: Write your full name
End your letter by writing your full name. Ensure that you first include a complimentary closing, write your name, and then include your signature.
Tip: You can review some samples and examples of this letter online to learn how to apply this guide when writing it. A template is also another excellent tool you can use when writing a letter. It will save time, offer an effective structure, and make your work easier. You can access the free downloadable templates that have been provided on our website for your convenience.
Given below are internship resignation letter templates:
Internship Resignation Letter Samples
If accepting a job
I would like to officially inform you that I am resigning from my internship position. I have been offered an opportunity that aligns with my long-term goals. My last working day will be April 5, 2023.
I am committed to ensuring a smooth transition during this period. I am willing to assist in training a replacement intern and provide any necessary documentation or guidance to ensure a seamless handover of responsibilities. Please let me know how I can be of assistance during this transition process.
Academic Session conflict
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to formally resign from my internship position at [company name], effective [date]. This decision arises from the fact that my academic institution has announced an earlier-than-expected resumption date for the upcoming academic session.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as an intern at [company name] and appreciate the valuable experiences and knowledge I have gained during my tenure. The internship has provided me with invaluable insights into the industry and has significantly contributed to my personal and professional growth.
However, as a dedicated student committed to my academic pursuits, I find it necessary to prioritize my educational responsibilities. The earlier resumption of the academic session requires me to focus on my studies and ensure a smooth transition into the new semester.
When leaving for a personal reason
I have been your intern for the last month, and I am writing this letter as my official resignation from the position, which will take effect on April 4, 2023. This decision is due to personal reasons that require my immediate attention and cannot be further postponed.
I have submitted all my completed projects and am currently handling my pending work and responsibilities. I truly appreciate the opportunity you gave me by accepting me as an intern at your company. I hope to maintain connections with the team and the valuable relationships I have formed during my internship.
If you are leaving due to relocation
I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign from my internship position at [company name], effective [date]. This decision is due to a sudden and unexpected relocation that requires me to move to another city.
I will work to ensure that I complete all my assignments. I am also willing to help in any way I can to train my replacement. I am confident you can find a competent and qualified intern to fill my position. I wish you all the best and thank you for your support.
Consequences of Not Writing a Resignation Letter
If you fail to write a resignation letter when leaving the internship position before the agreed time, there are several consequences that you might face:
Impact on recommendation
If you leave abruptly without properly notifying the employer, you will likely miss the opportunity to receive a valuable reference from your employer. When applying for future opportunities, employers may request references from your previous internships. Failing to provide a resignation letter may make it challenging for your supervisor to provide a positive and complete reference, as it creates ambiguity about the circumstances of your departure.
Without the final notice to your employer, you will not receive your salary or any other pending benefits. This means you will experience financial implications for leaving abruptly without your final salary.
An internship involves a legally binding contract that requires you to work until the agreed-upon date or until you are legally terminated. That means terminating your contract without proper notice might be considered a breach of the agreement, leading to legal disputes or even lawsuits.
You will likely damage your professional reputation by resigning without proper notice. Your employer and colleagues will perceive you as unprofessional and unreliable. It may create a negative impression of you as someone who does not take responsibilities seriously.
- Even though it is an internship program, you should provide the final notice of your departure using a resignation letter.
- Ensure that you maintain a professional tone and remain respectful in your communication even if your reason for leaving is negative.
- Apart from highlighting your intention to resign, mention your departure date, the reason for resigning, and the transition details. Also, thank your employer for the experience and skills that you gained.
- You can use samples and templates as guides when writing your letter.
- It is important to keep in mind that a well-written resignation letter will assist you in keeping good ties with the business contacts you made during your internship.