Everything You Need to Know About Writing a Resignation Email

FT Contributor
A woman sitting at her desk, typing out an email.
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Quitting a job

 can be an awkward situation. If you’re planning to quit your job, it’s always best to do so verbally and then follow up with a formal resignation letter. In certain circumstances, such as if you are a remote worker or you are traveling for a family emergency, you may have no other choice than to send your resignation via email. Regardless of your situation, your resignation should always be courteous and professional. Learn more about crafting the perfect resignation email below.

When to Write a Resignation Email

People quit their jobs for many reasons. In most cases, people resign to go on to a bigger and better opportunity that will allow them to grow professionally or earn more money. In other cases, people resign because they’ve been offered better benefits elsewhere. Still, in other cases, people resign from their jobs because they have to move, their health has declined, or they must tend to other personal obligations. Regardless of why someone is resigning from their job, it’s important that they do so in a professional manner.

You can resign from your job in person, by writing a formal letter, or sending an email. A physical letter is a more formal way of resigning, and it serves as something human resources can file away with the rest of your records. In today’s digital world, resignations are sent via email more often than not. An email can still be kept for record, but it is more professional to speak with your manager directly and hand them a physical copy of your resignation.

However, there are several occasions in which writing a resignation email is appropriate. For one, a resignation email may be a good follow-up opportunity to reach out to other departments or people who need to know you’re leaving the company. To ensure you’re not leaving anyone out, compile a list of people who will be directly affected by your resignation. This can include people you have worked directly with, friends, and even clients. This email should only be sent to relevant parties and only after you have had a one-on-one discussion with your manager.

Tips for Writing a Resignation Email

Writing a resignation email is your opportunity to leave on a positive and professional note. Doing so maintains your relationship with your previous employer, which could be beneficial in the future when it comes to things like networking or referral letters. There are a few important things to consider and include in your resignation email.

  • Provide two weeks notice: It’s standard to give your employer two weeks notice when you submit your resignation email. If possible, let your employer know even further in advance. This will help you maintain a positive relationship with your employer. Plus, it gives them more time to scout out a replacement for your role.
  • Use a clear subject line: Your email’s subject line should be direct, such as “Resignation — [Your Name].” Upon receipt, your manager will understand exactly what to expect in your email.
  • Record the date and time: Standard business letters include the date and time to keep a record of timestamps. With email, that information is recorded automatically, but if you’re planning to type a physical letter, manually include that information at the top of the page.
  • Declare a statement of resignation: It’s important to clearly state your formal resignation from the company. Include details like your position title to make it clear who is resigning.
  • List your last day of work: Include the date and weekday of your last day with the company.
  • Ask questions: If you’re unsure about certain aspects of your resignation, such as when you can expect your final paycheck, ask about them in your resignation email. This email should be sent to your manager and the human resource office, who will be able to answer any questions you have regarding benefits or compensation.
  • Express gratitude: Include a sentence or two explaining why you’re thankful for the time you’ve been with the company. This will help you maintain a good relationship. If you’re unhappy with the company when you resign, don’t include anything negative in your email. Regardless of your feelings, you want to maintain a positive relationship in the event that your paths ever cross again.
  • Offer to aid in the transition: If you can, offer to help with the transition period. Whether it’s training your replacement or formulating a document that outlines your duties, offering your assistance will benefit the long-term relationship between you and your former employer.
  • Provide contact information: Include contact information where your employer can get in touch with you, such as a personal email or cell phone number. When your employment ends, you lose access to your professional email. Providing your contact information allows your ex-employer to reach you if necessary.
  • Proofread the email: As with any formal document, it’s a good idea to look it over prior to sending it. Keep an eye out for any grammar or spelling errors. Ensure your tone is friendly and neutral and that you haven’t included anything negative or combative. Have a friend or family member review it as well to double-check for errors and tone.
  • Signature: Complete the letter by signing your name after a closing statement like “Sincerely,” “Respectfully,” or “Thank you.”

Resignation Email Example and Template

Resignation Email Example

Email Subject Line: Resignation — David Halls

Dear Mr. Kennedy,

Please accept this as my formal resignation from Clark Computers. My last day will be Monday, November 7, 2019, two weeks from today. I am grateful for all of your support during my time here as well as the valuable industry experience I have gained. It has been my pleasure working with you and the team.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to assist during this time of transition. I can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at (222) 555-5656.  

Thank you again for everything.


David Halls

Resignation Email Template

Email Subject Line: Resignation — [Your Name.]

Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name],

I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my position as [Name of Role]. My last day will be [Date].

Thank you for all of the opportunities [Name of Company] has provided me. I have learned so much over the past [Time with Company] and will never forget the kindness of my colleagues.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make this transition easier. You can always contact me at [Email] or [Phone Number].

Thank you again for your years of support and encouragement.


[Your Name.]

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