Neil Sedaka once wrote that breaking up is hard to do, and that’s never more true than when it’s time to break up with your job. However, using the proper resignation letter format can make the difference between a fond farewell and an ugly divorce. An improperly formatted letter can result in improperly filed resignations, causing all manner of problems with severance pay, benefits, and legal compliance.
You also don’t want to leave a bad impression in your wake, especially if you rely on former employers for references. With a little guidance, a few handy tips and tricks, and our example resignation letter, you can write a letter that leaves employers sad to see you go but happy to wish you well.
Resignation Letter Format
In the letter below, Matt Sanderson has received a job opportunity from a competitor of his current employer. The opportunity is for a position with a higher rank in a larger company, with better salary and benefits. The company office is also closer to his home and his daughter’s school, allowing a shorter commute and more time with his family. Although Matt has been happy with his current employer, the opportunity for career growth is too great to pass up. Matt needs a resignation letter that allows him to part ways on a positive note.
It is with regret but fondest memories of my time at J&BP that I submit my resignation from my position as Marketing Director, effective two weeks from this date. I have decided to accept a position with a company closer to my residence in the interests of spending more time with my family.
My time with J&BP has been invaluable to my growth as a professional. The many colleagues and mentors I’ve met here have been instrumental in making me who I am. I am certain that any career successes I achieve in the future would not be possible without the opportunities J&BP so graciously granted.
During the next two weeks, I plan to transfer all senior marketing assets to an accessible portal. I would be happy to work with HR to screen and recruit a new candidate or recommend a promotion from within. Several members of my team have demonstrated an outstanding talent for leadership, and I can think of two promising candidates who would thrive in the role.
Thank you for the wonderful years I’ve enjoyed at J&BP. I hope I can call on you for references, and I wish you and the company the best.
Is This a Good Resignation Letter Format? Let’s Check
1. Does the resignation letter clearly state the employee’s intention to resign?
Absolutely. It’s critical that the first sentence of the resignation letter firmly states intention to resign in no uncertain terms, to avoid confusion and prevent wasting the reader’s time soft-pedaling to the point of the letter. In our sample, Matt makes it clear that he’s resigning both from the position and from the company with a direct but professional statement.
2. Is an end date provided with enough notice?
Yes. Matt states that his notice is effective two weeks from the date of sending. You can also provide a specific date, but be sure to give enough notice. Leaving without warning can often put employers in a bad position and leave your teams in the lurch if you drop the ball on open obligations. Be sure to plan in advance and be willing to discuss with your company the time required to close out or transfer open projects and process your resignation.
3. Does the employee state the actions he will take to ease the transition period?
He does! Matt discusses moving senior marketing assets to an accessible portal, making sure that anything he was working on is available for anyone who needs to pick up where he left off. He also offers to help select his replacement from either external recruitment or internal promotion.
4. Does the letter maintain a positive tone that focuses on the benefits of the employee’s time with the company?
Of course! A good resignation letter format maintains professionalism and positivity even in the difficult event of leaving a company. This letter is no different. Matt takes the time to mention that he has fond memories of his time with J&BP and discusses the value he’s gained from the company. He calls out his colleagues and mentors as people who have nurtured his personal growth, and he thanks the company for the opportunities they gave him.
5. Does the letter open with a professional greeting?
Indeed. A proper greeting is the first step to composing any professional letter. Before writing your resignation letter, make sure you have determined the proper staff member to receive it. You may also need to provide a copy to your HR department, so be sure to research your company’s specific policies.
The Most Important Resignation Letter Format Takeaways
Just like a breakup, it’s better if you can maintain positivity when exiting a company. Your last impression is as important as your first, so use the same professionalism and appreciative tone that you would in an application letter. Tie your success to the success of the company that helped make you, and you’re sure to leave behind many fond memories—along with colleagues happy to provide a reference.
With our resignation letter format, you can put a wrap on your old job and move on to the next step in your life or career without worries. Give our sample a thorough review, and then try writing your own.