Ask the Admin: Writing a Resignation Letter

By | Sep 16, 2009

Regardless of why you’re quitting your job, you always want to leave on a good note.  Even if your boss is the worst in the world and has made your life a living hell, remember to always, always, always leave a good impression behind you.  You never know when you’ll need a reference or perhaps even need to return to that company.  So never burn your bridges.

You should always provide a written resignation letter whenever you quit a job.  Even if you tell your boss verbally that you are quitting, you should always follow it up with a written letter to go in your personnel file.  I usually write my letter before I go to my boss, so I can hand it to him immediately.

How much notice should you give?

You always want to give as much notice as possible when you resign from a job.  Two weeks is usually considered absolutely minimum, but higher level positions will usually want at least a month.  Give as much notice as possible without risking your new job.  Be sure to check company policies, as length of notice may be tied to receiving accrued vacation benefits.

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What should your letter say?

  1. Your resignation letter should always contain a two important details: the fact that you are resigning and your last day of work.  Outside of this, what you say is up to you.
  2. It is not necessary to give a reason for quitting.  It’s up to you if you want to share that or not.
  3. Always say something nice about your time with the company.  If necessary, make something up, but end the letter on a positive note.

Sample Resignation Letter

September 16, 2009

Joe Boss
Acme Corporation
123 Work Street
Anywhere, WA 12345

Dear Mr. Boss,

Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my position as Administrative Assistant from Acme Corporation.  My final day will be on Friday, October 2, 2009.  This is in excess of the two weeks required by company policy.

Thank you for all of the opportunities you have given to me during my tenure at Acme.  I’ve learned a great deal here and will take that knowledge with me as I progress in my career.

I wish you all the best.  Please let me know how I can help during this transition.


Jane Assistant

Depending on your relationship with your boss, your letter may be more or less formal.  It’s up to you how you handle the letter.  Just remember to keep it professional and upbeat.

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5 Comments so far
  1. Jenny Tang (2 comments) October 7, 2009 11:17 pm

    Hi, Jodith,

    Thank you for this. I hope I can apply this article to make my resignation letter soon and submit it before 31 Dec 2009.


  2. Jodith (189 comments) October 23, 2009 1:14 pm

    Great! Are you moving to a new job?

  3. Travis Sampson (1 comments) October 29, 2009 8:28 am

    I recently resigned from a job since I have been hired by another employer on a full-time. I was hesitant at first since I felt I have to reciprocate the employment opportunity he gave me by staying around for the long-term. However, I was learning a lot more and felt that I have a better chance to grow at my then part-time employer (my current employer). I was getting stressed out for days, not sure how I would break the news. Then I just decided to write a formal letter with all the guidelines here.

    I really thought my former boss would react emotionally since he has already invested some resources in me. Turns out, he was cool about it though he tried to make a counter-offer. But within the day, he immediately found a replacement and I was then tasked to train her. I was gone within a week and Im glad we both handled the situation professionally.

  4. Jodith (189 comments) October 31, 2009 5:14 pm

    Good for you! Like I said, it’s always best to leave on a good note, and bosses remember little things like that.

    Most bosses understand that employees sometimes need to move on to further their own career. It’s just the way business works these days. Most people don’t stay in the same job for their whole career the way they did 50 years ago.

  5. Jim (2 comments) July 19, 2010 7:56 pm

    Yeah. I really believe that when you leave a company regardless of whatever your reason is. Always leave a good impression or have a good relationship with them. You don’t know that maybe someday you will need there recommendation. And thank them for the years you spent on their company because you still learned something from them 🙂

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