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Sample Resignation Letter

Articles > Resignation Tips

Your resignation letter should contain three components:

  • The effective date of your resignation.
  • An explanation for your resignation.
  • A brief mention of the positive aspects of working for your current employer.

One of the most important things to remember when creating your letter is that it may be kept on file for future reference. For example, it may be used when future employers request references, or in evaluating past performance if you re-apply for a job with a previous employer in a different position. Therefore, regardless of your reasons for resignation, NEVER make negative statements about your company, coworkers, supervisors, bosses, owners, or policies within this letter. This letter needs to remain professional and, if not positive, at least polite. It should act as bridge builder, not a bridge burner.

Sample leading statements for a resignation letter include:

  • It is with great reluctance I submit my resignation, effective ________.
  • It is with regret and anticipation that I submit this letter of resignation, effective __________.
  • Circumstances require that I resign my position as _______, effective ___________.

Note: It is normal protocol to allow at least two weeks notice prior to your date of resignation, but check your company's policies and whatever you agreed to when you were hired. Some companies will terminate an employee immediately upon resignation (regardless of what you offer), so be prepared for this.


December 5, 1999
John Doe, CEO of ABC Company
123 North Someplace
Anywhere, USA

Note: include a formal address even if you're hand-delivering this letter.

Dear Mr. Doe:

It is with both regret and anticipation that I submit this letter of resignation, effective December 29, 1999. I have accepted a position with CDE Company, an opportunity to further my current career goals and achieve growth within the new company through a supervisory role.

It has been my genuine pleasure to work for ABC Company during these last four years. I have enjoyed working with ABC Company's fine staff of professionals and colleagues, and will miss my associations here. I wish you and ABC Company continued success in all your endeavors.

Note: If this company is one you may need again, whether in continued work or networking, or you desire continued allegiance, consider offering help in interviewing, hiring, or training of your replacement. For example:

If I may be of any assistance in the hiring process or training of my replacement, please know that I will gladly make myself available to this effort during the next four weeks.

Note: If you're leaving this employment for reasons other than accepting a new position, you may be honest in your response, but, again, avoid negative statements. Always refer to the positive things you are moving toward rather than the negative things you're leaving behind.

Other examples for cause of resignation include:

  • I have decided to take this time to evaluate my current goals and investigate new opportunities....
  • I have decided to further my education in pursuit of (degree or future position)....
  • I have decided to change the course of my current career goals and will be pursuing a new direction in _______....

End your letter without closing the door on the future:

  • Thank you for allowing me to serve ABC Company.
  • Again, I wish ABC Company continued success.

Your Name

Good luck with your job search!
Sue Campbell

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