How to write a resignation letter


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 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:

If you don't know your notice period

Use this sample if you don't know how much notice you're supposed to give:

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.

For more about referees and getting a job, visit these other pages on Youth Central: 

More about resigning and quitting

Visit our Resigning and quitting 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: