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Why and How to Write a Resignation Email (With Examples)

Quick Answer:
A resignation email is a professional correspondence that formally presents your intent to terminate your employment. It is best practice to resign in person, but in some cases, a formal, signed, and dated email is required. A resignation email should include your intention to leave and the date you plan to go. Giving at least two weeks' notice, staying positive and grateful, and offering to lend a hand will leave a positive impression. Choose a clear email subject line and proofread the email before hitting send.

Have you decided it’s time to move on from your current job? A professional resignation email will set the right tone for your departure.

It’s always best to resign from your job by telling your boss or manager in person, but in some cases, that’s not possible. For example, if you or your bоss work remotely, you might not be able to.

Sending a professional resignation email will make your last few weeks at your current job much more pleasant. Getting it wrong (or worse, not sending one!) could burn bridges, keep you from getting a good reference, and even hurt your future career prospects.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What a resignation email is
  • Why you’d want to send one
  • Pro tips for the best possible resignation email
  • What to use as a great subject line
  • Plus, we’ve included a template and 5 examples for you to use in different situations!

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At its most basic, it's a piece of professional correspondence that formally presents your intent to terminate your employment. While this is always a good idea for keeping a record of things, in many places and cases it’s required anyway.

There are two critical pieces of information a resignation email has to include:

  1. your intention to leave; and
  2. the date you plan to go.

Ideally, you’ll leave with at least a two-week notice period. So, the sooner you get your resignation letter in, the sooner you can move on.

Why you’d want to send a resignation email

We’ll say again it’s best to speak to your boss first, whether you usually do this in person or virtually - and that's a great start. Still, the exit process often requires a formal, signed and dated resignation letter or email.

Beyond that, it’s professional and respectful to resign in writing. It gives your employer time to process the news and can help maintain a positive relationship with them.

No matter what you think of your manager or the company personally, it’s best to keep in good standing with them. Most importantly because you may need to ask them for a reference in the future.

It’s also a time to thank your employer for the work opportunity, which shows a level of respect and appreciation for them. When you run into them in the future, or again if you need a reference, you’ll be glad you took the high road on this.

Sending a resignation email also gives your employer a chance to respond. Who knows, maybe they’ll come back with a great offer to keep you on board.

It’s also a necessary step before you send a resignation email to any of your team members letting them know of your plans and thanking them for their help. This is always a good move because you’ll likely see them again, especially if you’re in the same social circles.

Finally, it’s a record of your resignation. Both you and your employer can refer back to the same document if needed or if there are any disputes or misunderstandings later on.

Resignation email tips

Once you’ve resigned in person with your boss, you’ll have to follow up with your resignation email. You’ll want it to be as professional and polished as possible to leave a good impression.

Here are some tips for how to do it effectively:

Use a clear email subject line

A simple and direct email subject line, such as “Resignation – Your Name” is the way to go. This way, the person you’re sending it to will know what your message is about: you want them to open and read the email ASAP.

Give two weeks' notice

It’s expected, and you should do your best to give your employer the standard two weeks' notice when you resign. In most cases, the job you’re going to next should be flexible and give you that time as they’d want the same thing in return.

If you can’t give your employer two weeks’ notice, give them as much notice as possible to maintain the best relationship you can with them.

Specify your last day

Include the exact date you plan to leave the company in the email. Being specific will remove any confusion about your timeline.

Be positive and grateful

Again, this is your last chance to make a good impression and leave on a positive note. Don’t say anything negative about the company or people you work with; thank your manager for your experience with them.

Even if you were unhappy with the company, don’t complain or say anything critical in your email. You want to leave knowing they think well of you in the future.

Offer to lend a hand

If you can, offer to help during the hiring and transition period. For example, you might offer to train your replacement in the time you have left or open up the possibility your employer could contact you if they have any questions once you’re gone.

If you really want to lend a hand, it’s a good idea to reinforce the idea by including your contact info in the email too. This little step shows you’re serious about the offer.

Avoid details

You don’t need, and no one expects you to give details on why you are leaving or your plans. If you want to give a short explanation when you’re talking to your boss, go ahead, but leave it out of the email.

If you haven’t spoken to your boss in advance, though, it’s best to briefly explain in the email why you intend to leave. They’ll probably ask when they follow up with you about your resignation anyhow, and it’s courteous to give them a little insight.

Proofread the email

It’s always best practice to proofread your emails before you hit send. Make sure your formatting is spot on, that you’ve used a neutral or friendly tone, and especially that you haven’t written anything that could be taken poorly.

Because tensions could be high and this is a delicate matter, it’s a good idea to ask a friend or family member to read it too, if only to double-check your tone.

Add a subject line

Choosing the right resignation email subject line can be confusing, and you may start overthinking it. We recommend keeping it clear and to the point.

Why? Well, if your boss is busy, they might delay opening their emails, but you want to be sure they get the message ASAP.

How do you do that? Use a simple 2-4 word phrase that clearly indicates it’s a resignation letter and includes your name and/or the date.

Checklist icon
Here are ten straightforward resignation email subject lines to consider:

  • Resignation email – Your name

  • Official notice of resignation – Your name

  • Resignation date – Insert date, Your Name

  • Formal resignation notice – Your name

  • I'm resigning today – Your name

  • My resignation – Your name

  • Last day notice - Your name

  • Two weeks' notice - Insert Date, Your Name

  • Last day – Insert date, Your Name

  • Formal resignation request – Your Name

Resignation email template and examples

Now that we’ve covered all the steps you want to take to write a professional resignation letter, let's pull it together. Here are a few examples of resignation emails that include each of the considerations above that you can use as inspiration or adjust to suit your situation.

Resignation letter template: the basic letter

This letter would be fine in 99% of job exits; it’s to the point, appreciative, and lets them know they can count on you in your last few days there. Just fill in the details from your job, and you’re ready to go!

Dear [Your Manager’s Name],

Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position as [your job title] with [Company Name]. My last day will be [the date of your last day—usually two weeks from the date you give notice].

I truly appreciate the time I’ve spent in this position for the past [amount of time you’ve been in the role]. I’ve enjoyed working with my colleagues, and you have helped ensure smooth operations during my time here. I’ve learned [one or two specific things you’ve learned on the job], which I will carry forward through my career.

I will, of course, wrap up my duties as expected before I leave, but I’m also more than happy to lend a hand in training other team members or my replacement. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to ensure a smooth transition.

I wish the company continued success, and I hope to stay in touch.

Best regards, [Your Name]

Resignation email example #1

Here’s a great letter for somebody who is leaving with the standard two weeks’ notice and can help with the transition. Sending this letter should leave you in good standing with your boss.

Dear Mrs. Trinh Samanta,

Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position as Marketing Associate with Profound Online Media. My last day will be Thursday, March 2.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to work in this position for the past three years. I appreciate the opportunities I’ve had to develop our capacities and redirect our marketing funnel. I truly enjoyed working with the team here to create the amazing content we put out. I’ve learned so much about marketing strategy and the digital media space, which I will take with me throughout my career.

I’ll do everything possible to wrap up my duties and train other team members over the next two weeks. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help during this transition.

All the best going forward, and I look forward to any future interactions.

Sincerely,

Mellisa Mann

Resignation email example #2

This letter is great because it’s brief and to the point. It gives just a tiny bit of info on your next steps in case you couldn’t get in touch with your boss in person to talk about things before you send it, and it doesn’t promise the moon in terms of extra help on your way out.

Dear Mr. Silverstein,

Please accept this letter as my resignation from my position as Data Analyst at Misger Info Solutions, effective March 26, 2022.

Thank you very much for the opportunity you’ve given me to learn about efficient and effective data analysis practices. My time with the company has been a great learning experience that I will draw on in the future.

I am leaving to take on a related position with greater responsibilities and opportunities for advancement that I cannot turn down. I look forward to speaking with you about next steps and how I can facilitate during the transition period.

Sincerely,

Martin H. Degger

Resignation email example #3

This is a letter to use if you can’t give a full two weeks and have limited capacity to help during the transition. Not a great situation, but this makes the best of it by opening up the door for questions even once you’ve left and including contact info to do that.

Dear Ms. Tanner,

I am writing to notify you that I am resigning as Assistant Manager at Swell Restaurant. My final day of work with the company will be Monday, December 05, 2022. I understand that this is less than the standard two weeks, but my circumstances going forward demand I leave by this date. I apologize for the short notice.

I've enjoyed leading the floor team here, and learned a great deal during my time with the company. I have great respect for you and the way you run the company as well.

I will do what I can in the next few days to help with the transition, and I’m happy to help out once I’m gone too if you or my replacement need to reach out with any questions regarding operations or other needs there (please see my contact info below).

I wish you the greatest success going forward.

Sincerely,

Jason Vislash

J.Vislash@email.com

519-555-1234

Resignation email example #4

This email is perfect for when you have a good rapport with your boss and have the flexibility and time to pick up some responsibilities during the transition. This letter shows that you appreciated working for them and you’re there to help with your replacement.

Dear Chaturi,

Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation from my position as Wellness Manager with Lifecycle Fitness Center. My last day of employment will be Saturday, May 28, 2022.

It has been a pleasure working with you and getting to know you and the team over the last five years. One of the highlights of my career was engaging with the new hires to inspire them toward the goals we share at Lifecycle. You’ve put together such a great team and workplace, I’m sure of your continued success.

I want to help with the transition of my duties in any way I can to ensure things go smoothly after my departure. I’m available to help recruit and train my replacement, and I will ensure that they are familiar with everything they need before my last day of work.

Chaturi, thank you again for the opportunity to work for Lifecycle. I wish you and the team all the best, and I look forward to staying in touch with you. You can email me anytime at Silver@email.com or call me at 535-555-1234 if you have further questions about this or for help with the transition once I’m gone.

Sincerely,

Janice Silver

Resignation email example #5

On the flip side, here’s a great resignation email that keeps things very formal. It’s succinct and to the point, but ticks all the boxes you need in terms of a tactful, professional exit.

Dear Mr. Liu Xie,

I am writing to formally notify you of my resignation from the position of CPA with Lenders Management. As per our contracted notice period, my final day will be January 06, 2023.

I have appreciated working at Lenders for the past two years and six months, during which I have had ample occasion for professional growth. I would like to thank you for your professionalism and for all of the opportunities I have been afforded here.

During my remaining time here, I am fully committed to providing assistance in ensuring a smooth transition.

Sincerely,

Benjamin Wolff

Takeaways

  • Writing a resignation email is a professional courtesy and a good idea for documentation purposes, and in many cases, it’s required.
  • It’s always best to start the exit process by talking to your boss in person.
  • A resignation email should clearly state your intention to leave and your departure date.
  • Short and to the point is the best choice. You don’t need to add any details about your plans.
  • Stay positive, express appreciation, and use a neutral or friendly tone for the best results.

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Kevin Roy
After a successful career in the corporate and non-profit worlds hunting for and hiring great candidates for my and others' teams, I spend my time writing on the subjects I love and know most about.
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