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Written by Paul DruryPaul Drury

How to write a resignation email 2024

7 min read
How to write a resignation email 2024
Artwork by:Lizabeth Zaft
Remote working may mean resigning via email. Here's how to write one that helps get the job done.

Resigning, when done correctly, is typically a formal process. While a resignation email isn't usually as formal as a letter, it’s important that your resignation email follows all contractual necessities and that the process is followed with care. 

In this blog, we’ll explore how to pair a resignation email with a resignation letter. We'll cover:

  • Why you need a resignation email
  • Giving your two week’s notice by email
  • What to include in your email
  • Our top writing tips
  • Resignation letter examples

Our guide offers a deep dive into how to leave a job gracefully. Let’s begin!

Why you need one

You'll likely email your resignation letter as an attachment rather than hand over a physical copy.

A short email asking them to see the attached letter is fine, but a disappointed manager may not open it immediately, forgetting to read it altogether.

The email communicates your resignation's key points in a less formal way. As long as you reference the more comprehensive formal letter, both should be read!

Can you resign by email?

While more people communicate formally by email, best practice is to email your resignation letter.

If your priority is resigning politely - which we recommend, regardless of circumstances - it’s best to complete your resignation with a formal resignation letter. 

If you're asking whether resigning by email is possible, then yes. Unless your organisation or industry has a set resignation process, emailing your resignation letter and outlining the key points is a great idea. 

Professional tip

What is the difference between a resignation email and a resignation letter?  

In terms of the content, the resignation email doesn’t have to be as comprehensive, but it should still cover the basics. 

What to include

While a resignation letter follows cover letter format, resignation emails have three unique paragraphs:

First paragraph: Resignation details

Second paragraph: Gratitude for professional development

Third paragraph: Next steps and assistance offers

You can also add any questions in the final paragraph.

Professional tip

Is 2 weeks' notice 14 or 10 days? Normally it's 10 working days from the day you resign. Check your contract and any holiday you may be owed. It’s important to be organised, in case you're put on immediate leave.

Writing tips

A carefully considered email makes those last weeks a little less awkward. Here’s our top tips and ideas:

Include a relevant and appropriate subject line: Usually, this should be your name followed by the word ‘resignation.’ 

State your notice period clearly: State your notice period clearly as your manager may not know it. If in doubt, you can refer to your contract.

Include your leaving date: After checking your notice period, list the date you'll leave. You may agree to work longer, but state this first. It’s also a great idea to review your contract before you start the formal resignation process. 

Only mention relevant details: Avoid conveying emotions or irrelevant reasons about leaving. Keep it formal and speak to people separately if needed.

Communicate gratitude effectively: Thank your managers and colleagues for professional development, no matter how things ended. It's simple courtesy, and makes you look like a professional employee (or ex-employee, really!) 

Offer help: Your manager's first thought will be how they'll cope without you. Offer to assist a smooth transition.

Include questions: If you have key transition questions, list them to get formal answers. Don't leave important things unsaid, especially if they are relevant to your legal and contractual obligations.

Include contact details: Include your details so colleagues can reach you. Don't just disappear.

Professional tip

Glassdoor's 10 most common reasons people resign:

  • Feeling unappreciated
  • Inadequate pay
  • Insufficient holiday
  • Management revolving doors
  • Outdated tech
  • Unrealistic demands
  • Lack of support
  • Work is unchallenging
  • It's become no fun
  • No career progression

Are any of these relevant to you? 

Examples

Every resignation email is personal, but these templates cover the basics. Feel free to add details.

Standard

No need to overcomplicate things. This email communicates the essential points.

Standard resignation email sample
 

Today’s Date

Dear [SUPERVISOR’S NAME]:

I’m leaving my [JOB TITLE] role at [COMPANY] in two weeks. My last day is [DATE].

Although I’ve enjoyed my [XX] years at [COMPANY], I'm leaving to [REASON].

Working at [COMPANY] has been an honor and pleasure. I’ve learned so much and formed valued friendships with colleagues.

I’m happy to train my replacement before I go. Thank you for the opportunity to work at [COMPANY].

My resignation letter is attached.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME AND CONTACT DETAILS]

Copied!

Formal

Some workplaces expect formality. This template uses formal language, but feel free to tailor the template to your company and workplace culture.

Formal resignation email sample

Today’s Date

Dear [SUPERVISOR’S NAME]:

Please accept this email and enclosed letter as formal notice I'm leaving my [JOB TITLE] role at [COMPANY] in two weeks, on [DATE].

I have greatly valued my time at [COMPANY]. I will be [REASON FOR DEPARTURE].

I have found professional and personal fulfillment working at [COMPANY]. The lessons I’ve learned will mark my career, and I’ve enjoyed working with an excellent team.

Please advise the next steps regarding my access to the databases I manage. I'm happy to assist a smooth transition by preparing training materials for my replacement. Thank you again for the opportunity to work with you at [COMPANY].

My resignation letter is attached.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME AND CONTACT DETAILS]

Copied!

Difficult circumstances

When there’s some discomfort around resigning, keeping your email short, sweet and civil is best.

Leaving under difficult circumstances resignation email sample

Today’s Date

Dear [SUPERVISOR’S NAME]:

I hope this email finds you well. Please accept this and the enclosed resignation letter as formal notice I'll be leaving my [JOB TITLE] role at [COMPANY] in two weeks on [DATE].

I have learned a lot at [COMPANY] and thank you for the opportunity to work in this dynamic team.

Please advise next steps from your side ASAP. I remain fully available to help ensure a smooth transition.

My resignation letter is attached.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME AND CONTACT DETAILS]

Copied!

Key takeaways

  • A resignation email should be as professional as possible.
  • Leave emotions aside and write a functional document that answers questions.
  • It's one of your last jobs there, so give it the time it deserves.

Deep breaths: You’ve got this. Karawhiua! We believe in you!

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