Just like job applications, it's important to be as polite and professional as you can when you resign.
Give the right amount of notice
When you resign, you usually need to tell your employer the last date you'll be coming in to work. This is called "giving notice".
There are two ways to work out how much notice to give:
- If you have a written contract it may specify the amount of notice you have to give
- If you don't have a written contract the general rule is to base your notice on your pay cycle (for example, if you get paid every two weeks, give two weeks' notice)
Check out our Resigning and quitting your job page for more about giving notice.
Write a resignation letter
Once you know how much notice you have to give you can put your resignation in writing. Some tips for writing it include:
- Keep it short
- Stick to the point
- Use formal language
- Be nice about it
Your resignation letter should include:
- A statement that clearly says you're going to resign
- The date of your last day of work (based on the notice you're giving)
- A short explanation of why you are leaving
- A short, polite thank you at the end of the letter
Other things your resignation letter could include are:
- Something positive about your experience in the job (for example, the chance to gain experience or develop skills)
- An offer to help make things easier for the organisation (for example, helping train other staff before you finish)
When writing the letter it's important to:
- Make sure you get the dates right
- Keep a copy so you have proof you submitted it and proof of your last day
Sample resignation letters
Here are some sample resignation letters you can use as the basis for your own resignation letter.
If you know your notice period
Use this sample if you know how much notice you're supposed to give:
- Sample Resignation Letter - Notice Period Known - Word (59KB)
- Sample Resignation Letter - Notice Period Known - PDF (69KB)
If you don't know your notice period
Use this sample if you don't know how much notice you're supposed to give:
- Sample Resignation Letter - Notice Period Not Known - Word (67KB)
- Sample Resignation Letter - Notice Period Not Known - PDF (63KB)
What to do after you've resigned
Once you've handed in your resignation you may be in the market for a new job. If you can, find some time before your last day to ask your boss about using them as a referee.
More about resigning and quitting
Visit our Resigning and quitting your job page for more information about:
- Leaving your job
- How much notice to give
- Why it's important to be polite
- Who to talk to if you run into any problems
The following organisations can offer more help and advice:
- JobWatch - Statewide community legal centre offering fact sheets and phone advice.
- Fair Work Ombudsman - Get advice from the Federal Government about employee rights.
- Australian Council of Trade Unions - General advice on employment rights and joining a union.