Writing a fail-proof resignation letter is easier than you think. A resignation letter only needs to give two weeks notice to your current employer. An added benefit is it shows that you are a true professional.
What is a Resignation Letter?
A resignation letter is a short formal letter that tells your employer of your intention to quit and when your last day at the company will be.
You’ll also want to include a personal phone number and email for them to contact you if there is an issue. Usually, they won’t. To sound polite, you can also write a sentence that you appreciated working there.
I will show you exactly how to write a short, 3-sentence resignation letter in just a minute. You can also download the template at the end of this article.
Why You Need a Short Resignation Letter
While it might be tempting to not give advanced notice that you are leaving your job, even a short resignation letter allows you to leave on good terms and exit gracefully.
Some employment contracts require written notice. Ghosting your employer can come back to haunt you.
You will not be able to use them as a reference. If the company that wants to hire you verifies your employment, the employer can let them know you quit without notice.
Rest easy, that if you do quit your employer must pay you your last paycheck according to the laws in your state.
In September 2019, 5.8 million people left their jobs, so quitting a job is not the issue. It’s when you leave an employer in a lurch that you create unnecessary problems.
Resignation Letter Format
The basic format includes a header, the body of your letter and a closing.
Other formatting guidelines are:
- Your cover letter should be single-spaced.
- Use a basic font such as Times New Roman or Arial. 10-12 point size.
- Leave a line of space between each paragraph.
- Three lines of space should be between your closing (Sincerely,) and your typed name. This is the space where you’ll sign the letter in ink.
- If emailing the letter, leave one space between the closing and your name.
- Use standard one-inch margins.
Your resignation letter should contain a header with:
- Your name
- Phone number
- A blank line
- The date that you will hand in the letter
- Another blank line
- The name of the person you are giving
- A blank line
- The body of your letter starts here.
What to Write in Your Resignation Letter
Writing a simple resignation letter is the best way to leave your job on a high note. You can write one in three sentences. You might feel the need to explain the reason for your departure but don’t.
So what do you write? Try to keep your emotions out of it. I will go through each sentence of the resignation letter sample.
The First Sentence
The first sentence should state your intention to resign and give them an effective date, or the last date of your employment. Typically, you should make that date at least two weeks from the date you hand in the letter. I will address the benefits of giving notice later in the article.
Please consider this letter as written notice that I, Your Name, am resigning from my position as Your Job Title effective on month date year.
The Second Sentence
This is where you can be polite in your resignation letter. The second sentence is one of gratitude. Even if you hate your boss and she or he is the reason you are leaving, take the attitude of gratitude. You never know when you could cross paths again.
I have truly enjoyed my time at Company Name and appreciate being a member of your Department/Section team.
If you don’t feel that, you can try one of these phrases after the word truly:
- Expanded my knowledge
- Improved my skillset
- Gained valuable experience
Just thank the person you are giving your resignation to for having an influence on your career. For better or worse this person did. Don’t thank them for being a jerk. Or appreciate them for teaching you what a bad boss is truly like.
They don’t need to know your reason for leaving, what your new position will be or any personal reasons for leaving the company. That is your business and is not information you are required to share.
The Third Sentence
It’s straightforward and references your contact information.
I have included my contact information should you have any questions or need to reach me.
Then you close the letter with a blank line then Sincerely, followed by three blank lines and your typed name. Sign the letter in ink.
When it comes to how to quit your job, a short resignation letter is best. You can discuss other details such as cashing out unused vacation time, a transition plan and say goodbye to co-workers in conversations during your last two weeks with the company.
What Not to Write In a Resignation Letter
If it isn’t in the three sentences above, don’t write it in your letter. This includes but is not limited to:
- Details regarding injustices on your team
- Insults to the company
- What your next job is, how much more money you’ll make or the new company you are going to
- Using a job opportunity to get a counteroffer from your current employer
- Go on and on how you love everyone and how this job changed your life.
- Happy hour details
- Why your new job is so great
- When you start your new job
- Memories of when you first got hired
- Snarky remarks about co-workers raiding your cube for supplies
- Who should do your duties and how you will train them
- Your social media handles to stay in touch
- The words I quit
You can gush about how you’ll miss everyone at your going away party. You can give people who are your true friends permission to contact you on social media. There will be time to say your goodbyes, make your resignation short and sweet.
Resignation Letter FAQs
How Do I Write a Resignation Letter When I am not Happy About My Job?
Follow the resignation letter example that I just outlined. It’s crucial to keep feelings out of it and stick to the facts. If you have specific grievances you can cover those in your exit interview or file a complaint with Human Resources. Don’t let emotions keep you from taking the high road.
How Do I Resign Without Notice?
You would use the resignation letter template, but you would make your effective date the same day as when you hand it in. If you do not submit a letter and just quit, you are cutting yourself off from a professional reference and you can jeopardize your future at other companies in the same industry. People talk, don’t give them a reason to talk about you.
Can I Email My Resignation Letter?
Yes. The 3-sentence resignation letter works well as an email. Keep the formatting except for the signature. After Sincerely, leave one blank line and then type your name.
I hope this 3-sentence resignation letter writing tutorial eases your mind about resigning. It’s short, polite and you can leave with your dignity intact. Good luck and keep reaching for the stars.