How to Write the Perfect Resignation Letter

Larry Barkdull
Award-Winning, Nationally Recognized Writer

We tend to equate career success with performance on the job, but first and last impressions are just as important. Resigning from a job can be a very difficult task, and one that seldom receives proper attention. A good resignation letter can help you resign on a positive note and smooth the transition to your next job. Furthermore, a well-written resignation letter can help you to maintain a network of friendly coworkers and managers. Keep the letter short and to the point—one page is usually enough. Say goodbye gracefully.

A resignation letter announces or confirms your resignation and should consist of several parts:

Additional Tips for Resignation Letters

Write a positive letter. Do not use your resignation letter to list grievances or to make negative comments. A resignation letter should focus only on the positive side of your work experience. The content of your resignation letter should then be the content of your announcement meeting.

Schedule an announcement meeting. Ask your employer or appropriate supervisor for a meeting in his/her office. Mornings are usually best. Announce or confirm your resignation. Offer your resignation letter at the conclusion of the meeting.

Behave in a professional manner. Keep your announcement meeting brief. Try to remain positive, calm, and resolute. Beyond resigning with dignity, your goal is to leave a positive image of yourself to help you retain important professional contacts that may be helpful in future employment searches. The announcement meeting, your resignation letter, and how you function in the company from the time of your official announcement to the time you leave will form lasting impressions. Avoid any negative comments during the transition.

Be prepared for emotional reactions. Your employer may be surprised by your announcement. He/she may react emotionally or even take your leaving personally. Be cooperative and cheerful with your supervisor and coworkers. These people may experience anxiety concerning your unfinished projects and the sudden need to train someone to replace you. Try to anticipate these situations and calm their fears with positive communication as well as your cooperative nature and sound work ethic. Don't forget, no matter how emotionally charged your present circumstances may be, these days will pass and you will soon move on to your new situation.

Will you accept a counteroffer? Your boss may ask you to remain with the company and offer you a better offer. In advance of your decision, you should ask yourself why you sought a new position in the first place. If you receive a counteroffer, does it address all your concerns and will it move you toward your career goals? If you were to accept the counteroffer, would you have to resign again in order to accomplish your goals? Would your relationship with this company be damaged because you had wanted to leave? Would your employer now be suspicious of your loyalty if you stayed? Thinking through these questions and answering them in advance provides a valuable exercise that can prevent you from being caught off guard, and enable you to decide in advance if you would accept or reject a possible counteroffer.

Still can't find the right words for your resignation letter?

4,001 Business, Sales & Personal Letters

You will with our 500 letter-writing tutorials!

  1. Find the resignation letter that fits your needs and copy it directly into Microsoft Word or your favorite word processor.
  2. Or let our 500 letter-writing tutorials guide you step-by-step through the writing process, suggesting sample phrases and sentences for each writing step. In minutes, you can write an effective resignation letter.
  3. Print your resignation letter and send it!

Try our letter-template software risk free when you buy at

If after 30 days you are not satisfied, return it for a full refund



Easy Letters

$19.99 / Download


3,001 Business & Sales Letters

3,001 Business & Sales Letters

$29.99 / Download


1 $19.99 value free with purchase of our software for Windows (not Macintosh)

2 Free with purchase of our software for Windows (not Macintosh)