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How to Resign: Resignation Email Template 

 September 3, 2020

By  Marie

Resigning from a job is a stressful time. You are trying to manage a huge transition. But writing a resignation email is quite simple. Use the following tips and resignation email template to resign professionally.

Let’s go!


resignation email template outline

How do you write a resignation email?

frustrated without a resignation email template?

You should write your resignation email prior to speaking to anyone about the resignation.

A common question that arises when writing a resignation email is “Is it OK to send a resignation letter by email prior to speaking with my manager?”

For the vast majority of situations, you should provide your resignation verbally to your manager before emailing a resignation letter.

You have invested significant time to your employer, but they have as well. It is courteous to have a private conversation with your manager to let them know your intentions to resign. 

The only time you should email a resignation letter prior to discussing it with your manager is in extremely toxic work environments. These are overall very rare. 

Remember, if there is any remote chance that you will be working with your colleagues again- you want to have a courteous and smooth departure. Speak with your manager first.

When writing your resignation email, take time to reflect on your tenure with the organization.

  • Did you grow professionally?
  • Did you develop meaningful professional relationships?
  • How likely are you to work with your colleagues again?
  • Would you want to work with them again?

Answers to these questions should drive the tone of your resignation email.

The tone of your resignation email should always be professional. It should also be representative of your experience with the organization, and how grateful you are for the opportunities provided to you.

So, let’s go over a resignation email template for you to use.


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Resignation Email Templates

writing resignation email template

There are items in your resignation email that always need to be present

These include:

  • Date the resignation is provided (if you are sending as an email rather than a word document, the date stamp on the email is sufficient)
  • Statement that the letter serves as your resignation
  • Your last date of employment (you should always provide 2 weeks notice at a minimum)

So if you use a resignation email template, it should contain these items.

Additional sentiments beyond these basics will depend on your experience with your employer.

If you had an overall positive experience with the employer, you want to express your gratitude for the opportunities provided to you.

Be genuine. If you truly had a great experience, say so. 

If not, do not exaggerate. It is better to say nothing at all than to make statements that are untrue. 

Likely, your employer has an understanding of your feelings on the company and team.

Below are two resignation email templates. The first expresses gratitude and appreciation to a larger extent than the second.

Take a look, and see which use the resignation email template feels more appropriate for your experience.

Resignation Email Template #1

Subject: Resignation Letter - [Full Name]


[Date]


Dear Mr./Ms. [name of manager],


This letter serves as my formal resignation as a [position] with [organization].


I would like to thank [organization] for the opportunities and support I have received over the past [tenure]. I have grown professionally over my tenure as a [position]. I deeply appreciate all the valuable experiences.


[Optional additions] I hope to have the opportunity to work with yourself or other team members at [organization] again in the future.


My last day will be [date].


Please let me know anything I can do to ensure a smooth transition. I wish you and the team the very best.


Thank you,

[name]

Resignation Email Template #2

Subject: Resignation Letter - [Full Name]


[Date]


Dear Mr./Ms. [name of manager],


I am writing to notify you of my resignation from [position] at [organization]. My last day will be [date]. 


I am appreciative of the opportunity to work at [organization]. If there is anything I can do to ensure a smooth transition, please let me know.


Thank you,

[name]

On very rare occasions, you may have had a very negative experience at an employer.

The work environment may have been toxic. You may have severe strains in your relationship with your manager and team members.

So much so, you may be considering not even providing 2 weeks notice as the environment is severely impacting your mental and/or physical health.

Again, these situations are very rare. But unfortunately, they do happen.

If you are in this situation, you may consider providing your resignation via email without speaking to your manager. You may even consider not providing two weeks notice.

I will strongly caution against doing so. Make sure your situation is truly severe, as taking this approach will effectively burn bridges.

The company will not have an opportunity to transition any of your responsibilities or work.

Your former co-workers will have reason to claim you are unprofessional. And if you are staying in the same industry, word travels. 

So always do your best to take a more standard approach including speaking to your manager first and using one of the two templates above.

But for those very rare circumstances, you can consider using a very simple, immediate resignation email such as the one below.

Resignation Email Template #3

Subject: Resignation Letter - [Full Name]


[Date]


Dear Mr./Ms. [name of manager],


This letter serves as my notice of resignation from [position] at [organization], effective immediately.


Due to extenuating circumstances, I am unable to offer a transition period. 


Sincerely,

[name]


What to say when you resign?

resignation discussion

Once you have drafted your resignation email, it is time to resign.

It goes without saying, resigning is a final decision. Make sure resigning is the best decision for you at the time.

The first thing you need to do is have a private conversation with your manager. It is important that you do not discuss your resignation with anyone before your manager. 

You will want to either set up a 1:1 meeting with your manager on their calendar or simply ask for 5 minutes when they are available in their office.

Be direct in your conversation and don’t dance around the issue.

Start off by simply saying 

“I wanted to speak with you in order to let you know that I am resigning and providing my two weeks notice”

Then simply provide a few sentences regarding the reason for your resignation. Remember, stay courteous and professional.

Never bad-mouth your employer or criticize them when notifying them of your resignation.

If your resignation is because you took a better job, simply state that you have decided to pursue a new and exciting opportunity.

"I have decided to pursue a new opportunity which I am very excited about"

If you are resigning for personal reasons, you can state so. If you have a good relationship with your manager, you may even share some additional details behind your decision.

Remember to express your gratitude to your manager as an individual as well as the company, verbally.

Your manager may be shocked and begin asking many questions.

You don’t have to answer any of them. You certainly do not need to share any details about your new employer. I would advise against doing so.

You can politely deflect questions by saying something like:

"I am not comfortable sharing those details at this time"

Depending on your relationship with your manager, you may answer questions at your discretion. Providing additional insight into your decision may help leave you with strong relationships for the future.

End the conversation by letting your manager know that you will compile a list of your current responsibilities and projects so you can meet together in the next day or two and discuss the transition.

Also, let them know that you will email them your resignation letter.

After your verbal conversation, you can email your resignation letter to your manager and CC your HR representative. HR will need a copy of your formal resignation letter.

You can now start sharing the news with colleagues.

If you feel a lot of anxiety about speaking with your manager, practice.

Rehearse your points out loud in front of a mirror. Remember to speak at a moderate pace (not too fast), and to leave time for short pauses so your manager can absorb the information.

You want to sound natural and confident during your conversation.


Your Last Two Weeks

resignation email template goodbye

Make sure you spend your last two weeks productively. Do your best to hand over all of your work as discussed with your manager. 

Take extra care to train team members and share information with them regarding your responsibilities.

It is difficult to stay focused and committed to your current employer in those last two weeks but do your very best.

It is important that your demeanor stays positive and collaborative during these two weeks. Even if you had some rough times with your employer, you want to leave on a high note.

Offering a smooth and seamless transition will only strengthen your professional network, allowing you to leverage these relationships in the future.

It is also a courteous thing to do.

Your HR department may schedule an exit interview in your last days of employment. In this exit interview, they will ask you questions about your experience with the employer and the reasons for resigning.

This information is used by HR in order for them to improve their processes to keep employees engaged. 

I recommend you are honest but professional during an exit interview. Do not criticize your employer or bad mouth any team members. 

If you have constructive feedback to provide on how they can improve employees’ job satisfaction, certainly share it in a polite manner.

You will also want to make sure to have a conversation with HR regarding your final paycheck, any benefits (e.g. 401k accounts, health benefits), etc.

On your last day, if you have a good relationship with your team members, I recommend sending a farewell email. Include individuals that you have worked with closely, that you would like to stay connected with.

In the email, reiterate your appreciation to your colleagues. Include your personal email or another form of contact to stay in touch.

Take a trip around the office and say goodbye in person to those you worked closely with.

Now you are ready for your new adventure.

Did you find the resignation email template useful? 

Let me know down below!

Check out these additional tips for navigating the workplace:

How to Resign: Resignation Email Template


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