I Quit! How to Write the Perfect Resignation Letter

JobNow Contributor
May 26, 2021

Resignation letter


A recent survey has found that one in three Kiwi professionals plan to leave their job in the next year. If you, like these people, find yourself unsatisfied with your current job, it might be time to move on. Maybe there's a better job on the horizon. Maybe you want to change fields or go back to school. Whatever the reason is, it's important to leave your job with grace and tact. Your employer can be a good reference for you or a bridge to new opportunities. Writing a respectful resignation letter is the best way to ensure that you don't burn bridges and keep a professional relationship with your old company. It's a valuable skill to learn whether or not you're considering quitting soon.


If you're considering giving your two-week notice and you want to know how to write a letter of resignation, read on. 


What Is a Resignation Letter?

A resignation letter is a formal, official document that ends your employment with an organisation. This document is kept on file as the written record of your departure. It would help to discuss your resignation with your boss via email or in-person before writing your letter. This is a sign of respect and professional courtesy, so they will know your departure is coming before it's given in writing. 


The Essentials

Your resignation letter is a professional document, so it doesn't need to be long or flowery. However, it should always include a few features:

We'll go through each step in detail below.


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Beginning Your Letter

At the top of the paper, include your name and contact information. This isn't essential if you're writing a resignation letter in an email, but hard copies should use standard business formatting. Use a formal address to the appropriate party. Then include your intention to resign and your last day.


For example:

Dear Alexander, 

Please accept my resignation from my position as a marketing assistant. My final day will be Friday, February 10th. 


Be Grateful

Respectful resignation letters always include a statement of gratitude, even if you didn't enjoy your job. To avoid burning bridges when quitting your job, show gratitude for the opportunity you were given. At the very least, your employment there was a stepping stone to future opportunities. The average cost of hire is almost $19,000, and the cost is rising annually. Your employer spent time and money on you as an employee, and they will be spending both again to hire your replacement. So thank them!


For example:

I want to thank you for the opportunity to work here. I'm very grateful for learning from some of the best in the marketing industry. I will carry these skills with me throughout my professional career


Offer Your Services

It's recommended that you offer your support or services during your transition, especially if you're a key member of the team. This is the best way how to quit respectfully. Most likely, you will have had this conversation with your boss in person before sending the letter, but it's still good to put it in writing. You should always say you'll finish your current tasks and contracts and that you are willing to train your replacement if applicable. If you took on a large project, either finish it before you quit or delegate it to other team members, so there are no gaping holes when you leave.

Furthermore, if your job is technical and takes time to get up to speed, be sure to offer your services and experience in training your replacement. Someone trained you when you started your position, so give back and offer to do the same. This puts it on record that you were mindful and supportive during your transition, a good trait for future recommendations.


For example: 

I intend to finish my final marketing project by February 9th. I will discuss and delegate my additional projects with my team to cover all my responsibilities during this transition. I am also willing to train my replacement to ensure my team is well prepared for my exit.


Optional: Reason for Resignation 

You don't have to include why you're quitting your job, especially if it's due to workplace issues or dissatisfaction with your job. You might still be interviewing for your next job. but you can give more information if you know what your next job is. If you want to explain that you're returning to school, it is best to focus on the skills that you developed at your job and how they will help you in the future.


For example:

Next month, I will be enrolling in graduate school. The skills that I have developed here have created a great basis for my return to graduate school and have made a foundation for the next stage of my career. 


You might enjoy your job but have to move locations or address a family situation. You can state this too while remaining grateful.


For example: 

Family circumstances require my full attention, and I'm unable to continue in my current position. I will be relocating to Wellington to be closer to family. I will be available in the coming weeks to assist with the transition.


This is an optional step; if you wish to keep your reasons for leaving vague, you can do so. Just make sure to be grateful for this job as a stepping stone to future opportunities, whatever they may be.


What to Avoid

Always avoid complaining about your company or coworkers in this document. This is a professional document only intended to convey the facts about your departure, so keep it positive and respectful. Make sure not to brag about your future opportunities. Keep it grateful. Always proofread your document and keep it less than one page. Additional specific discussions can be done outside of the resignation letter. 


Make the Most Of Your Professional Life

You'll go through several job changes in your lifetime. Very few people stay in the same position and company their whole lifetime. A career change is an opportunity to grow and build more skills. However, every time you change jobs, it's as important to exit gracefully as it is to make a good first impression. Close the door gently and respectfully with a good resignation letter.