How to Write a Sample Letter of Resignation

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Sample resignation letters should provide a framework that reminds people to include contact information, a simple resignation announcement and the important dates on all letters that announce they are leaving the company. Writing a sample resignation letter gives people an outline of what to include -- which is not as much information as you may think.

Why to Have One

  • If you're a human resources manager, a recruiter or someone else who helps coach employees, having your own sample resignation letter on hand can help save you time. The people you work with may be tempted to include a lot of background information about why they're leaving -- something that's not really necessary. So spare yourself having to explain the same thing every time and post a sample letter on your business website, or keep an editable file -- such as a Word document -- handy, so you can send it to people as needed. It may even come in handy if you're forced to write your own resignation letter someday.

The Basic Message

  • Resignation letters are typically very short and are really just a formality, reminds Alison Green of the Ask a Manager blog. They need only include the resignation announcement and the date by which the resignation will be effective. While not necessary, it's also common to include a "thank you" to the employer, and some information about how the person plans to help with transitioning himself out of the role. For example, a resigning employee may describe how he'll help train the new person, as recommended in an article on the Forbes website.

Check Company Policies

  • Before you write the sample letter, also check on any company policies that may impact how an employee writes the letter. For example, some company policies dictate that a person must leave the company immediately upon resigning, reminds the global employment agency Kelly Services. If the company policy doesn't state anything like that, it's standard for resigning employees to give two weeks' notice.

    Other company policies may require resignation letters to be directed to a certain person in the company, so including that person's name on the sample letter will save people the time of finding out to whom to address the letter.

Creating the Format

  • Unless you have specific company requirements, sample letters should look something like this:

    Date

    Addressee name
    Addressee title
    Addressee Address
    City, State, Zip Code

    Dear (manager name),

    A sample resignation announcement, such as "This letter serves as my resignation from X position at X company." Then a line such as "My last day at the company will be X."

    A second paragraph with sample text such as "I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to work with you," and "I'd be happy to help train my successor," or something else to indicate how the employee will help with the transition.

    Sincerely,

    Your Signature
    Your name
    Address

    Instead of generic information such as "Your name," you can also provide fake information such as "John Smith" to help avoid confusion and give readers a sense of what a real letter looks like.

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