How to write a resignation email with tips and a template

How to write a resignation email with tips and a template

When departing from your employment, it is crucial to professionally communicate your decision to your manager. Similar to a resignation letter, a resignation email serves as the ultimate formal gesture in the process of leaving an organisation. Composing a well-crafted email can assist in establishing a long-term relationship with your former employer. Developing the ability to create a concise and professional resignation email is a valuable skill that can benefit your career trajectory.

This article will provide an overview of what a resignation email entails, the appropriate timing for sending one, guidelines for crafting an effective email, and practical examples and tips for optimising its impact.

What is a resignation email?

When an individual decides to terminate their employment with an organisation, they may choose to communicate their decision through a resignation email. This type of email is considered the first formal step in the process of leaving a job. To ensure a smooth transition, it is often recommended to have a prior discussion with the HR department or manager before sending the resignation email. Additionally, it is essential to send the email before the last working day. Depending on the contractual terms, the resignation email may take effect immediately or at a later date. Not only is sending a resignation email a professional courtesy, but it also provides an opportunity to express gratitude for the experience and to end the employment relationship on a positive note.

When to send a resignation email?

Determining the appropriate time to send a resignation email can vary depending on the situation. In some cases, resigning in person may not be feasible, and sending a resignation email may be the only option available. For example, when working remotely or when your manager is located in a different location, face-to-face conversations may not be possible, making a resignation email a practical solution. Additionally, resigning via email may be preferred in instances of family emergencies or when unable to serve the notice period due to time constraints. Despite the circumstances, it is essential to ensure the email is sent promptly and in a professional manner to maintain a positive relationship with the employer.

How to write a resignation email?

Composing a professional resignation email can be a daunting task. However, following these key steps can make it easier:

  1. Begin with a clear subject line The subject line is the first thing that your manager or HR department will notice in your email. It’s important to keep it professional and to the point. Make sure to include the word ‘resignation’ and your name.
  2. Address your manager Start your email with a formal salutation, such as ‘Dear Mr./Ms. [Manager’s Name]’ since you will typically be sending the resignation email to your direct in-line manager.
  3. State your purpose for writing After the salutation, get straight to the point and inform the recipient that you are resigning from your position, and include your last working day. Briefly mention the reason for leaving, if appropriate, but do not delve into too much detail.
  4. Express your gratitude In the second paragraph, express your gratitude to your manager for the opportunities and experience gained while working for the organisation. Showing appreciation can help maintain a positive professional relationship even after you leave the company, and it’s an excellent way to ensure a smooth transition.
  5. Offer assistance for a smooth transition In the final paragraph, offer to help facilitate a smooth transition process for your replacement. Include your non-work contact information to stay in touch. Demonstrating a willingness to help and stay connected after leaving can increase the likelihood of receiving a positive reference for future job opportunities.

Finally, end your email with a professional closing, such as ‘Sincerely’ or ‘Best regards’, followed by your full name.

Keep in mind that a resignation email is an official document that becomes a permanent record in the company’s files. Therefore, it’s essential to keep it polite, professional, and concise. Avoid venting personal frustrations or grievances, as you never know when you may cross paths with former colleagues or managers in the future.

Reminder of key Tips!!

Here are some tips on how to write a resignation email:

  1. Address it to your manager. When writing a resignation email, it’s important to address it to your direct-line manager and carbon copy the human resource department. It’s also a good idea to send a copy to your non-work email address in case your work email account is discontinued.
  2. Keep the subject line simple. Your email subject line should be direct and to the point. Avoid using fancy or complicated phrases and instead focus on crafting a clear and concise subject line.
  3. Keep it brief. Your resignation email should be short and to the point. Avoid going into too much detail about your reasons for leaving or your future plans.
  4. Give at least one week’s notice. In the UK, the statutory minimum notice period is one week if you’ve been on the job for more than a month. Providing a fair notice period helps employers to make necessary adjustments and maintain a positive relationship.
  5. Use a positive tone. Even though you’re leaving the organisation, it’s important to maintain a positive and professional tone in your email. Remember, you may need to contact your former employer for references in the future.
  6. Avoid complaining. No matter how frustrated you were with the organisation, avoid complaining in your resignation email. Keep it simple and avoid criticising your colleagues or manager.
  7. Ask relevant questions. Use this opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your final payment or other pending benefits.
  8. Proofread your email. Before sending your email, make sure to double-check it for any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. A well-written and error-free email shows that you took the time to craft a professional and thoughtful message.

Find below an example of a resignation email which we have used with our members/community when they have required it:

Subject: Resignation Notice – [Your Name]

Dear Mr./Ms. [Manager’s Name],

I am writing to formally announce my resignation from the position of [Your Current Position] at [Company Name]. My last day of work will be [Last Day of Work], which is one week from today.

I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for the valuable opportunities and experiences that I have gained during my time at [Company Name]. Under your guidance, I have developed a deep understanding of the industry, which will undoubtedly serve me well in my future endeavors.

Please let me know how I can assist in the transition process to ensure that all current projects and responsibilities are smoothly handed over. I am happy to offer any support to facilitate a seamless transfer of knowledge to my replacement.

Thank you once again for your support and understanding. I wish you and the entire team all the best in your future endeavours.


[Your Name]

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