Whether you need to quit your job because you are going back to school or have found a better opportunity somewhere else, it’s a common courtesy to hand in a Resignation Letter to tell your employer that you are leaving your position. Generally, you want the outcome of your resignation to result in the least amount of animosity possible between you and your former boss or supervisor.

Taking the time to write a Resignation Letter that is polite and straightforward is a good idea, especially if you plan to ask for a professional reference down the road. In this post, we’ll discuss some common do’s and don’ts for you to consider before you start writing your notice letter.

Do: Give Notice That You Are Leaving

Although there are probably no actual laws in your state requiring that you tell your employer you are leaving your job since most states have adopted at-will employment standards, it is good practice to give notice anyway. You should include your notice time frame in your Resignation Letter.

Keep in mind that some employment contracts specify requirements for termination, which means that you might be obligated to give a certain amount of notice that you are leaving in order to maintain a good reputation with that employer or within your industry.

How much notice should I give when I quit my job?

Typically, people give their employer two weeks’ notice that they are quitting their job. The two weeks normally starts from the day you deliver your Resignation Letter. However, the amount of notice that you need to give may vary depending on the terms set out in your Employment Contract.

Don’t: Include Emotional Language in Your Resignation Letter

When you’re writing your Resignation Letter, it’s important to remember that positivity is always the best policy—even if you don’t actually feel that way about your job or boss.

What should I say in my Resignation Letter?

Your Resignation Letter should include only the details you absolutely need it to—so leave out anything too specific. For example, instead of saying, “I strongly dislike so and so and that’s why I decided to get a different job.” say, “I found a new opportunity” and leave it at that.

For more examples of reasons you are leaving your job, you could say that you:

  • Are going back to school
  • Have found a different opportunity elsewhere
  • Want to make a career change to a different industry
  • Are exploring new opportunities for career growth
  • Are moving
  • Are retiring

Do: Give Your Resignation Notice to Your Manager

Best practice for handing in your Resignation Letter is to give it directly to your manager or supervisor, in person. If this isn’t possible, for example, if you work remotely or your manager is away, it might be appropriate to send your resignation via email or even letter mail. The way you choose to submit your resignation will likely depend on how quickly you want your notice to be received.

Don’t: Give Your Resignation Notice by Text or Social Media

It’s not typically appropriate to give your notice through text message or social media. They are considered informal forms of communication and can contribute to making the message seem more negative and unprofessional to the recipient.

Resigning Professionally

Making the choice to leave your job can bring a variety of emotions from sadness to excitement. The best thing you can do for yourself professionally is to take the time to be mindful of what to include in your Resignation Letter so that you are only saying what you need to, and not allowing your thoughts about leaving to take away from the professionalism of your letter.


Do you have tips for writing a Resignation Letter? Share them in the comments!

Posted by Lisa Hoffart

Lisa is an experienced writer interested in technology and law. She's been writing for LawDepot since 2017.