So, you've accepted a new job, and it's time to type out that resignation email. But what do you say in your email resignation letter?
A great resignation email will set the tone for your departure. Send a professional resignation letter, and your last few weeks will be a pleasure. Get it wrong, and it could damage relationships, references, and even your future career. It'll also make working your notice period a little weird.
Here, we break down the fundamentals of a functional email resignation, showing you the building blocks for better messages.
Don't worry. We also provide 10 resignation email samples and show how to write a resignation letter with Flowrite's resignation email template.
Flowrite writes your emails for you using AI. Here's how it can help you nail the proper resignation email:
Should I resign in person or by email?
Nobody likes breaking bad news in person, so we should all send emails, right? Wrong. If you're quitting a job, you'll want to do it properly – and that means speaking to your boss or HR team in person (if possible).
In the past, when leaving a job, you'd do it in two stages:
• Sit down and speak to your boss in-person
• Send a formal email to your boss and HR team to tell them of your decision
But now, with more of us working at home or remotely, sitting your boss down or even speaking on the phone isn't always possible.
Email is easy and quick, but it's impersonal. Sending an email without speaking to your boss could be considered rude and harm your relationship. This can matter, particularly if you want your boss to provide a reference.
So, should you resign in person or by email? You should do both.
If you can't speak to your manager in person, the next best thing is a video call or phone call. Then, once you've broken the news, follow up with a formal resignation email to set the wheels in motion with your HR team.
We're all about the written word, but if you need some help communicating clearly, Forbes has created a nice list of things you should never say to your boss when quitting.
What is a resignation letter?
What is a resignation letter? It's a formal piece of written correspondence that terminates your employment.
At the most basic level, your resignation email sets out your intention to leave and the date you want to go.
In most cases, your HR team will use the date of your resignation letter to calculate your departure date. Most of us will have to work a notice period, so the sooner your resignation letter is in, the quicker you'll be starting your new job.
If you've followed our advice and spoken to your boss first, that's a great start. Still, many won't consider the process underway until they receive a signed and dated resignation letter.
Is it ok to resign over email?
It's totally fine to quit with a letter, but is it ok to resign over email?
None of us will write a resignation email as public as Greg Smith, who chose to call out the toxic culture at a major US bank. You'll probably only want to take this bold move if you're supremely confident or rich (like Smith).
Even if your experience at a company hasn't been great, you should resign gracefully, says HR expert Priscilla Claman. Why? "You need your current boss or HR department to be able to provide at least a neutral reference if future employers contact them," she says.
An email resignation may be acceptable, but it's not professional and could harm your career. Your boss could take it personally and choose to provide a less than complimentary reference, or refuse to give one at all.
However, there are some rare cases where an email resignation is acceptable, such as when you're experiencing problems with your employer or in conflict.
What is a 2-week notice email?
In Europe and the rest of the world, most employees need to give their employers a month's notice before leaving. In the US, they only need to provide two-weeks notice.
Employment laws in the States are lower, with employers and employees free to chop and change. So while there's no legal duty to send a two-weeks notice email, it's polite and professional to do so.
Like any resignation email or letter, it should typically only be sent after you've spoken to your boss in person.
Is resignation the same as 2 weeks' notice?
Loads of people ask: Is resignation the same as 2 weeks' notice? And the answer is yes.
They're both a form of resignation email that terminates your employment. In the US, you'd generally say that you're offering two weeks' notice from the day the resignation email was sent. Elsewhere in the world, your resignation letter starts a negotiation process to decide on your official leaving date.
Make sense? Then let's get started on how to write a resignation email.
How to write a resignation email
A resignation email is a formal email that follows a standard format. The best resignation email format we've found is one that keeps things simple.
There are five essential parts to any resignation email:
3. Opening lines & Body
The great news is that once you've mastered how to write a resignation email using the correct format, you can use it anytime you need to. You can check out 10 examples of resignation email format samples later in this blog to see how we put this into practice.
Before we get to the resignation email samples, let's dig into the details further into what makes a great email.
Resignation email subject line
Selecting an appropriate resignation email subject can be a challenge, so we recommend keeping it as simple as possible. You want to ensure the subject line for the resignation email is clear. Why? Suppose the recipient doesn't know it's a resignation email. In that case, they might ignore it, delaying your new start date and affecting your plans.
Here are ten resignation email subject lines you could use:
- Resignation email – Your name
- Official resignation Notice – Your name
- Resignation date – Insert date
- Formal resignation notice – Your name
- I'm resigning today – Your name
- My resignation – Your name
- My last say is (Insert date)
- Two-weeks' notice
- Today is my last day
- Formal resignation request – Your name
Resignation email structure
Each resignation email has a greeting, opening, the meat of the message (body copy), and a sign-off.
If you're worried about how to start a resignation email, check out our guide on formal email openings. This should provide the insight you need to craft great messages.
Resignation email opening examples
After you've provided an appropriate greeting, it's time to get to business. First, tell someone straight away what the purpose of your email is. Don't worry if this sounds quite formal; that's what this email is – so tell someone you're leaving upfront.
Here are a few acceptable resignation email openings;
- Please accept this email as notice of my resignation
- Please accept this email as my formal resignation
- Please accept this email as my resignation
Resignation email content
The resignation letter email body is where you can go into details. Some essential resignation letter email content includes:
- Advising someone that you intend to leave and that you're starting the notice period from this date forward
- Thanking the person or organization for your employment
- Offering reasons why you're leaving (if you want to)
- Asking for a reference (if required)
- Offering to help recruit your replacement
Many people want to know one question: should they apologize in a resignation email? Leaving a job is part of life, and (unless you've done something wrong) you have nothing to apologize for. In fact, saying sorry when you're not could be pretty annoying, say the experts at Business Insider.
Say so if you're genuinely sorry for something you've done or a situation you're leaving. But, like we tell kids, only ever say sorry if you mean it.
When it comes to ending your email, read our guide on how to close an email for all the inside tips and information.
Email resignation sign-off
Deciding how to sign off a resignation email is up to you. Still, we would recommend being formal in most cases. On the other hand, if you're friendly with your boss and they're already aware you're resigning, feel free to be a little warmer.
Check out our guide on how to end emails before deciding on an appropriate sign-off.
8 resignation email examples
We've explained the principles, and it's time to show you some resignation email examples. We've created 10 resignation letter email examples that illustrate how to say "I quit" politely and professionally.
You're free to cut and paste our sample resignation emails, but we'd always suggest editing them to personalize them. Even though you're leaving, you'll want to show you care about your old job, so always update our sample email resignation letters.
1. Short resignation email
If you've already spoken with your boss and broken the bad news, this short resignation email is for you. A simple resignation email focuses on the fundamentals and ensures that your request is communicated clearly.
Here's our simple resignation email with a notice period sample.
2. Email to an employer for resignation
This is a standard and simple email to an employer for resignation. We follow the format above and provide some thanks for the time spent in employment. This employer resignation email sample has space for you to adjust it to your circumstances.
3. Resignation announcement email to staff
As a manager or leader, you may be required to send a resignation announcement to staff. A resignation email to co-workers is about breaking the news that you're leaving but that they'll be left in safe hands.
4. Resignation email to a manager
When creating a resignation email to your manager, you can introduce more personality. You've been working closely with this person, after all! We assume you've already spoken before sending this resignation email to your manager.
5. Resignation letter email to HR
Your HR team is less likely to know you and be interested in your circumstances, so this resignation letter to HR colleagues is relatively formal. This sample resignation email to HR will start the termination process and discussions about your leaving date, so be clear about what you want.
6. Resignation email example with notice period
If you're leaving your old job for a new one, you'll want to agree to a notice period. However, deciding how to write a resignation email with a notice period can be challenging. You want to be fair to your old employer but leave as soon as possible.
In this resignation email example with the notice period, we suggest when we want to leave. But the door is open for negotiation. So be sure to adjust this sample email for resignation with a notice period to your circumstances.
7. Resignation email sample without notice period
Some roles, such as zero-hours contracts, don't require a notice period, so you could leave straight away if you want to. In this resignation email sample without notice period, we explain why we're leaving and when we're going. Still, we aim to leave things positively.
If you're wondering how to write a resignation email without a notice period, then our sample can help.
8. Resignation email effective immediately
In some cases, you'll want to create a resignation email effective immediately. This could happen if you've experienced issues at work or simply don't need to offer any notice. Our advice on how to write a resignation email effective immediately is to keep it short and to the point – which is what we've done.
Here is our sample email to resign with immediate effect.
Flowrite's resignation email templates
The difference between writing a good and great resignation email can be as simple as our AI writing assistant that takes your instructions and turns them into ready-to-send emails and messages, like this:
Our browser extension and web app take care of the email format, capitalization, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. In other words, you can focus on the message, and Flowrite will take care of the delivery.
Our email template collection features dozens of email templates to help you write professional emails such us resignation letter emails.
Writing a resignation email or email resignation letter should be easy, but we know that it often isn't. Telling someone we're leaving can feel like we're delivering bad news, and who likes doing that?
By breaking down the process of how to write a resignation email, we hope we've made it simpler.
When you need to send a resignation letter email, follow the format, use one of our resignation email samples as a source of inspiration, or rely on Flowrite's resignation email template to do the job for you.
You'll ensure you leave in the most professional way possible, clear and confident to start your new role.
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