How to Write a Professional Resignation Email (With Templates & Examples)
The way you decide to leave a company can be a powerful reflection of your character. And knowing how to write a professional resignation email is a key step in the process—setting the tone for a positive transition out of your role.
Leaving a company doesn't have to be a negative experience. It's an opportunity for new beginnings! And whether you're moving to a new job or taking a break from working, approach the resignation process with confidence and gratitude.
Remember, you are in control of your career. Your decision to leave a position should be empowering. With the right attitude and approach, you can use the resignation process to showcase your professionalism and character and set the stage for an exciting new chapter.
What is a resignation email?
A resignation email is a formal notice an employee sends to their employer, informing them of a decision to leave the company. It's a professional way to communicate your intent to resign. And you should send a copy to your direct supervisor and human resources (HR) department.
In addition to details like your name and exit date, you should give at least a two weeks' notice letter of resignation. It should also thank the company for the time spent and the experiences gained. You want your coworkers and managers to view your decision to leave positively.
Why is it important to write a professional resignation email?
Your resignation email isn't just information for the company you intend to leave. It's also timely communication to managers and human resources so they can find a replacement for your position.
Before submitting your resignation email, it's important to schedule some time with your manager to inform them personally. In fact, CNBC highlights that it’s essential to remove the element of surprise from the resignation process to remain in good standing with your manager and the company as a whole.
How should I address my resignation email?
The way you address your resignation email is very similar to a hard-copy resignation letter. Your resignation email should include:
- Contact information
- Date you're submitting the email
- Employer contact details, including full name, title, company name, and address.
Finally, your subject line is one of the most necessary parts of your message. You want to convey the contents of the email in a simple and clear way using one of the examples below:
- Resignation – Your Name
- Notice of Resignation – Your Name
- Resignation Effective Immediately – Your Name
- Resignation Announcement – Your Name
What should I state as my reason for leaving?
The reason for leaving a job is personal. And especially in your written resignation, keeping unnecessary details to yourself is important.
Maybe your motivations are private and related to your family. Perhaps you’re just stuck and looking to find your career passion again. Whatever the case may be, it’s perfectly fine to write you’re leaving for personal reasons or a new opportunity. You don’t need to include the reason behind that decision, for example, higher pay, a sick partner, or a culture that better aligns with your values.
7 tips for writing a resignation email
Your resignation letter is an important step in your career development. So let’s explore some of the best tips to help you write a resignation email that’s direct and professional that also captures your gratitude and willingness to make the transition as easy as possible for your team and organization.
1. Keep it confidential
If you're excited about the next step in your career growth, resisting the impulse to share a decision to leave your current company might be challenging. But, especially before you've had a conversation with your manager, it's crucial to handle this sensitive matter tactfully and cautiously—keeping your decision to yourself.
2. Revisit your employment contract
Before you draft your letter of resignation, revisit your contract to make sure you understand the terms or conditions related to the end of your employment. Details like a two weeks notice period, final pay, and non-compete clauses may impact your resignation. Research them first. Following any requirements outlined in your agreement is critical—helping you leave on good terms and avoid potential legal action.
3. Give details of your departure
The primary reason for submitting a formal resignation letter to your employer is so they have written notification of your intention to leave. Because of this, it's crucial to include specific details such as your name, the date of your last day of work, and of course, the fact that you're resigning.
4. Don’t be too brief
Of course, a resignation email should be to the point. But it doesn’t need to be too brief. Following the business format and covering all the required information is fundamental, but you should also write a resignation letter in a way that expresses positivity and gratitude. Ending your relationship with a company on a positive note can help you maintain a good professional reputation. It can also keep the door open for future opportunities.
5. Express gratitude
Take a moment in your resignation email to say, “Thank you.” If you’re uncomfortable being specific, a simple “I want to genuinely thank you for the opportunity.” will suffice.
According to Harvard Medical School, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive, relish the good, improve health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” So not only will expressing gratitude for your time with a company demonstrate your appreciation and leave a lasting impression, but you’ll reap the benefits, too.
6. Offer transition assistance
At the end of the day, as an employee, you're part of something bigger than yourself. And while it's necessary to notify your soon-to-be former employer of the details of your departure, offering assistance as you shift from your role is gracious. And it will also help ensure a smooth transition.
Of course, your contribution depends on your specific job. But your help can involve anything from dividing projects to helping recruit and train your replacement. Only you know what's most appropriate for your job. As a bonus, offering to help will keep you in good standing with your employer and make those last few days a bit more seamless.
7. Offer best wishes
If you’re looking to end your resignation email with a bang, pass on best wishes for the future of your team and the company. So what are a few ways you can do that?
- “I wish the team and company success in reaching their goals. Thank you for your support and camaraderie throughout my time here.”
- “I have truly enjoyed my time here and am grateful for the opportunities this company has provided me. I wish you all continued success in the future."
- “On a personal note, I will always treasure the experiences I gained while working with this fantastic team. I wish you all the very best in your future endeavors.”
Want to save time and let Teal take the reins? No problem. Teal has a resignation letter example template built directly into the Job Application Tracker to make giving your two weeks' notice a breeze.
- Log in to your Teal account and navigate to the Job Application Tracker.
- Select your current job (or if your position isn’t listed, choose a similar role).
- Click on the envelope icon in the far right panel.
- Then, select “Give my resignation” from the drop-down menu.
- Copy the content generated by Teal into your preferred email server, double-check the information to ensure accuracy, and you’re all set!
What not to include in a resignation email
Now that you know what your resignation letter should consist of, let’s go over some details you should leave out.
Negative information or opinions
Not every employment experience is full of fantastic experiences and joy—some jobs are just unpleasant! But, even if your experience was less than stellar, putting negative information or unfavorable opinions about the company or colleagues in your resignation email isn't considered professional.
Your resignation email is not the place to air grievances, list names of people you're displeased with, or complain. Instead, choose to remain positive. Stick to the facts; even if it's challenging, you want to stay professional and unbiased and leave a positive final impression.
Overly specific details of your departure
Leaving for more money? Dislike your boss? Staying home with your kids? Going back to school? Great! But those details aren't critical to your resignation email. Remember, this is a short, professional, informational document.
If you want to share any appropriate details of your departure with your manager and colleagues, opt to discuss your "why" before submitting your resignation email. Still, your disclosure and transparency should depend on the comfort level of your relationship with them.
(Pro Tip: If you don’t have a job lined up, once you’ve submitted your resignation letter, add your availability on your resume and let potential employers know you can start right away.)
Requests for special treatment
If you're leveraging a resignation in an attempt to secure higher pay or a better role, your resignation email isn't the place to do that.
Instead, schedule a separate performance-based conversation with your manager about your career goals and how to work together to achieve them.
Resignation email template
Writing a resignation email that's professional and clear is vital to communicate your departure from a company gracefully. To simplify the resignation process, use the resignation email template below with the right words and tone to convey your message effectively.
Email subject line: Resignation – [Your Name]
Attn: [Manager’s Name]
Dear [Manager's Name],
I'm writing to let you know I've decided to resign from my position as [job title] at [Company Name]. My last day of work will be [date].
This decision has been difficult for me but unavoidable for personal reasons. I've enjoyed [years] at [Company Name] and am grateful for the opportunities you and the company have provided me during my time here. I've learned a great deal about [include two to three things you've learned], and I'm grateful for the experiences and skills I’ve gained.
I will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition and to complete any outstanding projects or tasks before my last day of work. Please let me know if there is anything specific that you would like me to focus on during this transition period.
Thank you again for the support and guidance you have provided me during my time at [Company Name]. I wish you and the team all the best in the future and look forward to staying in touch.
Cc: Human Resources
Resignation email examples
Using the template above, let’s take a look at some examples of email resignation letters that approach the process with confidence and appreciation.
Email subject line: Resignation – Declan O'Hara
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
Attn: Koi Johnson
Chief Marketing Officer
Dear Mr. Johnson,
I'm writing to let you know I've decided to resign from my position as senior marketing manager at Google. My last day of work will be April 30, 2023.
This decision has been difficult for me but unavoidable. I've enjoyed five years at Google and am grateful for the opportunities you and the company have provided me. I've learned a great deal about myself and my abilities as a marketing professional. I've also gained skills in leadership, communication, and collaboration. And I'm confident that these will serve me well in my future endeavors.
I understand that my resignation may cause some challenges for the team. I will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition and complete any outstanding projects before my last day of work. Please let me know if there is anything specific that you would like me to focus on during this transition period.
Thank you again for the support you have provided me during my time at Google. I wish you and the team all the best in the future and look forward to staying in touch.
April 16, 2023
Cc: Human Resources
Here’s a slightly different version. In this resignation email example, the employee is more specific about their reason for leaving while still limiting the details.
Email subject line: Resignation Effective Immediately – Kristen Demos
1 Queen St N
Kitchener, ON N2H 2G8
Attn: Scott Erenburg
Dear Mr. Erenburg,
I'm writing to let you know I've decided to resign from my position as lead software engineer at Vidyard, effective immediately. My last day of work will be today, April 13, 2023.
This decision is difficult for me but unavoidable due to a family emergency. I've enjoyed my two years at Vidyard and am grateful for the opportunities you and the company have provided me. I've learned a great deal about Agile development methodologies and infrastructure management, and I'm grateful for the experiences and skills I gained in collaboration and customer engagement.
I've done everything possible to ensure a smooth transition and complete outstanding projects. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me after my departure if there's anything specific you need to know.
Thank you again for the support and guidance you have provided me during my time at Vidyard. I wish you and the team all the best in the future and look forward to staying in touch.
April 13, 2023
Cc: Human Resources
What to do after you’ve officially resigned
As you prepare to move on, take the time to tie up any loose ends. Remember to schedule an exit interview with your manager or executive leaders. Also, it's important to keep your team in the loop about the status of any projects, ensuring a smooth transition for everyone involved.
Congratulations on taking this exciting new step in your career!
If you're leaving your current position without securing a new role, manage your job search with Teal. With the Teal Job Application Tracker, all your opportunities are stored in one place—simplifying the job search process from start to finish. Try it today and take your job search (and your career!) to the next level.