How to Write a Resignation Letter

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If you've decided to resign from your job, it's important to make sure you do it in the right way.

Just like job applications, it's important to be as polite and professional you can be 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".

The amount of notice you have to give may be specified in your employment contract. If you don't have a written employment contract, the general rule is to give the same notice as your pay cycle (e.g., if you get paid every two weeks, you should give two weeks' notice).

Check out our Resigning and quitting page for more information about giving notice.

Write a resignation letter

Once you know how much notice you have to give, the next step is putting your resignation in writing.  

Keep your letter short and stick to the point. Use formal language and try to 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 (e.g., the opportunity to gain experience or develop your skills)
  • An offer to help make your resignation easier for the organisation (e.g., an offer to help train your replacement before you finish up)

Make sure you get the dates right in your resignation letter, and keep a copy for your records. That way you'll have proof of the date you submitted it, and proof of the day that will be your last day at work. 

Sample resignation letters

Here are some sample resignation letters you can use as the basis for your own resignation letter.

Sample resignation letter - Notice period known

Use this sample resignation letter as a starting point 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)

Sample resignation letter - Notice period not known

Use this sample resignation letter as a starting point if 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)

More about resigning and quitting

For more information about leaving your job, including how much notice to give, why it's important to be polite, and who to talk to if you run into any problems, visit our Resigning and quitting page.

What to do after you've resigned

Once you've handed in your resignation, if you haven't already got a new job lined up, you may be in the market for one.

If you've had a good working relationship with your old boss, find some time before your last day to ask about using them as a referee, or getting a written reference or testimonial from them. For more about referees, check out our Who can be my referee? page.

You should also visit our How to find a job and Applying for jobs sections for advice on finding and applying for a brand new job.

Links

JobWatch
Statewide community legal centre offering fact sheets about common work problems as well as a phone advice service.

Fair Work Ombudsman
Provideing advice about employee rights in Australia,.

Australian Council of Trade Unions
Get some general advice on employment rights and find out which union you can join.