How To Write A Short Resignation Letter (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 13, 2020

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After months of contemplation, you’ve made the final decision to quit your job. It happens to everyone at one point or another. You get offered a better position elsewhere, decide to go in a new career direction, or simply cannot stand your current job, and decide that moving on is the right choice.

Once you’ve concluded that you’re going to quit your job, you must construct a professional resignation letter to let your employer know what the terms of your departure will be.

Why Write a Resignation Letter?

Writing a letter of resignation is important for leaving a good final impression on your employer. Even if you’re quitting a job you just started. You won’t be working for them after your last day, but they can still have a lasting impact on your career.

Consider when a potential future employer asks for three professional references, which they often will. Knowing how to construct an informative and polite resignation letter increases the chances that your former employer will be willing to write you a positive recommendation when the time comes.

Even if you don’t need your former boss’s reference, it’s always better to leave on a positive note. You may not have enjoyed your time working for their company, but that doesn’t mean you should lower your bar to act unprofessionally.

A resignation letter gives an employer the notice they’ll need to find your replacement and respond to your resignation by coordinating your exit.

When to Give Your Manager the Letter

You had ample time to mull over the decision about leaving your position. Extend this courtesy to your former employer by giving them as much notice as possible about your resignation. Even if you discuss your resignation with your boss in person, writing a formal resignation letter may still be expected to document the specifics of your departure.

Giving at least a two-week notice is customary for most industries. However, providing more notice can never hurt the situation. Letting an employer know ahead of time gives them time to find and train your replacement and, at the very least, gives you time to say goodbye to co-workers.

Never deliver a letter of resignation before you’re absolutely positive about your decision. Retracting your resignation is a sticky situation that will probably still leave you jobless. Be secure in your decision before you give your manager a resignation letter.

Keep Your Letter Short and Simple

When writing any professional document or email, it’s best practice to get straight to the point, and you should do this with your resignation letter, as well. Quitting your job may be a dramatic time in your professional life, but you don’t need to get into that during a resignation letter.

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A letter of resignation doesn’t require you to give an extensive story about why you’re leaving. In fact, you don’t even need to tell your employer what your specific reasons are for going. The purpose of the email is to simply let them know that you’re formally resigning and when your planned final dates at work are.

It’s up to you whether to include a brief appreciation for the opportunity to work for them. If this was a position that you loved but are just ready to move on from, it could be a courteous touch. Don’t feel pressured to say thank you, though.

These basic tenants should add up to a brief and direct resignation letter or email.

7 Tips for Quitting Right Away

While the ideal situation for quitting a job is to give your employer at least a two-week notice, sometimes life gets in the way of being perfectly professional.

If you find yourself needing to resign from your job immediately, review the tips below to cushion the blow of a hasty exit.

  1. Think about your situation. When someone quits a job without notice, there’s usually a reason driving that decision. Whether that reasoning is receiving a better offer with a hard start date, retirement resignation, or unsafe working conditions at your current position. Come to an understanding of what your situation is so that you can better articulate this to your manager when resigning.

  2. Talk to your supervisor first. When you’re resigning from a position without giving much notice, it’s best to speak with your manager before sending a formal notice. It can appear tacky to send a letter of resignation with a last day that’s earlier than two weeks, leaving them to hire in a hurry.

    Schedule a meeting with your supervisor, and come equipped with the reasons for your resignation. While you may not need to give reasons when you’re giving standard notice, you will probably have to explain yourself when quitting abruptly.

    This doesn’t mean that you need to bare every detail of your great new job or how much you despised working for them. Just give them a general idea of the reasoning behind needing to leave so soon.

  3. Be firm with your last day-date. While some employers may try to haggle with you for when your work responsibilities will end if you resign right away, stand your ground. Don’t be rude or dismissive, but explain why that will be your last day and stick to it.

    If you’ve decided you need to leave by that day or a new job requires it, resigning shouldn’t be about changing your mind. State the day it will be, whether it’s tomorrow or a week from the conversation.

  4. Offer positive suggestions. One way to ease the stress of quitting right away for your current employer is offering positive suggestions and proposals for the transition. You shouldn’t offer more than you’re capable of. However, if you can help find your replacement, train them, or offer any suggestions, it could help lessen the burden of finding someone to fill the position last minute.

  5. Be gracious. In a situation where you need to resign immediately, expressing gratitude for the position can soften the blow. It’s the courteous thing to do since your employer took a chance on hiring you in the first place, but there’s no need to go overboard. Thank them for the position and opportunity to work for them, and move on.

  6. Take your chance to ask questions. Your resignation letter may be one of your last opportunities to ask any final questions about the departure process and anything related to your position. This is of the utmost importance when you’re quitting without notice because your employer will probably be less inclined to go out of their way to assist you after the fact. Make sure you ask any lingering questions before your last day.

  7. List all your contact information. While your employer probably knows how to get in touch with you now, including all your contact information in a letter of immediate resignation can be helpful later.

    You never know why a former employer might need to reach you. Perhaps you never got your last paycheck or had unclaimed paid time off that needs to be sent to you in a check.

    Listing your information in your letter can make it easier for your former employer to find you once you’re not in daily contact anymore.

Short Resignation Letter Examples

Example #1- Handwritten Resignation Letter with Two-Weeks Notice

From:
Jason Kollburn
691 Carol Lake Dr.
Portland, OR, 38365

To:
Elena Nichols
This Link Web Design
1128 Weldon St.
Portland, OR, 19223

October 29, 2020

Dear Mrs. Nichols,

Please accept this letter as formal notice of my resignation from my position as a Web Developer for This Link Web Design. As per our hiring agreement, I will continue work until my last day on November 12, 2020.

I’d be happy to help with finding and training my replacement to allow for a smooth transition. Let me know if you need any assistance.

I appreciate the time I’ve worked at This Link, and I’d like to thank you for the incredible learning experience.

Sincerely,

Jason Kollburn (Signature)

Jason Kollburn (Print)

Example #2- Resignation By Email with Two-Weeks Notice

Subject Line: Formal Resignation

Max Barnes
MaxBarnes@PawsTraining.com
(844)-533-8476

Paws Dog Training Center
74 Brick Dr.
New York, NY 27889

October 29, 2020

Dear Max,

I am reaching out to notify you of my resignation from Paws Dog Training Center. My last day as an associate trainer will be on November 12th.

Thank you for the opportunity to enhance my skills in training animals. It has been a pleasure working for the company, and I wish you well in the future.

Please reach out if I can help with anything during my last two weeks.

Sincerely,

Sarah Jackson
SarahJackson@gmail.com
(696)-833-9491

Example #3 – Immediate Resignation Letter by Email

Subject Line: Resignation Effective as of November 5, 2020

Kelsie Thompson
KThompson@LexFinancial.com
(739)-291-4832

Lexington Financial Corporation
561 Rockland Ave.
Sedona, AZ, 17199

October 26, 2020

Dear Mrs. Thompson,

Please accept this formal notice of my resignation from my position as a bank teller at Lexington Financial Corporation. While I understand that our original agreement was to provide the standard two-week notice before the resignation, unfortunately, I will have to leave by the end of the week due to a time-sensitive relocation. My last day will be November 30, 2020.

I’m sorry for the short notice, and please let me know if there’s any way I can help during my last days. Even after I’ve left, I’d be willing to chat with my replacement over Skype to help get them up to speed.

I thoroughly appreciated my time working for Lexington Financial Corporation. Thank you for the opportunity and for being so understanding of my situation.

Sincerely,

Clark Lowes
ClarkLowes@gmail.com
(373)-868-1184

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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