What do you say in a letter of resignation?

by Pranav Ramesh
February 12, 2021

Leaving a job is rarely comfortable. No matter the situation, trading the known for the unknown can be stressful and awkward. The last thing you want to do is make it more uncomfortable during your final days. Even worse, by not resigning the right way you could hurt your reputation and job prospects in the future.

A simple, professional, resignation letter is the best way to ensure that you leave on good terms.

Topics Covered:

  • The basics of a resignation letter
  • What to include in a resignation letter
  • What not to include in a resignation letter

The basics of a resignation letter

The goal of your resignation letter should be to give your employer the practical information they need while (hopefully) leaving them with a positive impression of you. You want to put it in writing so that there is no confusion about whether you are leaving or when. You also want to leave on good terms. This means describing positive things about the company you are thankful for while overlooking the negative bits.

While the company may be large, the community of industry professionals is very small. People from different organizations know each other, talk frequently, are a part of similar groups and attend the same events. You also never know who you will work with, or for, again in the future. The bottom line is, when you leave an organization, ensure that everything is civil and amicable.

What to include in a resignation letter

Your resignation letter should be concise and to the point, but there are a few things it must include.

1. Header

Like any other letter, your resignation should include the practical details on the top/left hand side of the letter. Be sure to include:

  • The Current Date
  • Company/Employer Name
  • Company/Employer Address
  • City, State, Zip Code

2. Resignation Statement

Address the person who will be reading the letter (your boss) by name. Then, in 1 – 3 sentences, state that you are resigning, the position and company you are resigning from, and the date of the last day you will be available to work.

For example:

“[First name],

This notice is to inform you that I will be resigning from my position as [title] with [company]. This resignation will be effective two weeks from today, making my last day available to work [date].

3. Show Gratitude

After your statement, your resignation letter should include 1 – 3 short paragraphs thanking your current employer. Regardless of your reasons for leaving, there are always positives you can pull from. Think about the opportunities you were given, projects you helped complete, relationships you built, etc. This statement may very well form the last impression about you, on not just your immediate boss, but on others in the company as well. Be sure to leave a great one.

4. Offer Assistance

Leaving your job will cause your boss to think about many different things. The first, most likely, is who will be able to replace you. You can make your final weeks at the company a bit less awkward, and have an even better chance at leaving on good terms, by offering to help them solve that problem. Offer to help interview possible replacements, train new employees, and (most importantly) reassure them that you will tie up any loose ends.

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What not to include in a resignation letter

It can’t be stressed enough that the purpose of your resignation letter is twofold; to give your boss the necessary details and to leave them with the best possible impression of you. Therefore, now is not the time to bring up anything that has been frustrating you.

Don’t vent, don’t share how you think the team should change, and definitely don’t call out any individuals by name in a negative way. As much as you may want to get it off your chest, that time has passed. It does nothing to help you but will leave your manager, and anyone else at the company who reads your resignation letter, with a bad taste in their mouth.

There is also no need to share any more details about your situation than what is stated above. You may be excited about your new job, title, or free time, but there is no reason to add that to a resignation letter. You may feel obligated to explain the extenuating circumstance you currently face but, again, now is not the time. If you have a close, personal relationship with your boss and want to share those things in person, you can. But leave them off your resignation letter.


Your resignation letter is your last opportunity to leave your bosses, peers, and people you never even meet, with a great last impression of you. Don’t tarnish your reputation or burn any bridges on the way out. Negativity has no place in a resignation letter. Instead, keep it simple, to the point, be thankful, and offer to help. This simple professional courtesy will go a long way towards building your legacy.

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About the Company:

Peterson Technology Partners (PTP) has been Chicago’s premier Information Technology (IT) staffing, consulting, and recruiting firm for over 22+ years. Named after Chicago’s historic Peterson Avenue, PTP has built its reputation by developing lasting relationships, leading digital transformation, and inspiring technical innovation throughout Chicagoland.

Based in Park Ridge, IL, PTP’s 250+ employees have a narrow focus on a single market (Chicago) and expertise in 4 innovative technical areas;

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