It’s best to send a resignation email after you’ve informed the organization in person (or through an online meeting if you’re working remotely).
At other times, you can rely on resigning over a well-written resignation email. Still, there are things you should never do unless you don’t mind completely severing your ties with the company.
Save your emotions for the day of your departure—or in person, for that matter.
Getting your resignation email wrong could make your remaining time at the company awkward as hell.
That’s why in this guide, we’ll cover the following:
- How to write a resignation email (full step-by-step guide and a shortcut version using AI)
- Best resignation email format and structure
- What you should never do when resigning via email
- Top resignation email templates and examples
- Worst resignation email examples
First, let’s get to the basics.
What Is a Resignation Email?
A resignation email is a formal message sent online to your manager and HR department, letting them know you’re leaving your job. It’s a professional courtesy to give written notice of your resignation and to quit on a positive note.
Here are the key details to include in your email:
- Full name
- Contact details
- Statement of resignation
- Date of final employment
- Expression of gratitude
- Professional sign-off
Can You Resign Over Email in the First Place?
You could resign purely over email, but it’s not the best option.
It’s better to speak with your manager face-to-face or in an online meeting before emailing them about your resignation. This is more respectful and helps ensure you maintain a good relationship with the company.
There are a few other things to consider:
- Company Policies: Double-check to see if there’s a company policy regarding instructions for resignation.
- NDA: Read through your employment contract and NDAs to prevent any legal ramifications.
- Professional Relationships: Leave on good terms without burning bridges by mentioning your resignation in person or on a video call before sending an email.
- Reason for Resignation: Anything related to in-depth feedback that you would like to share may be better in person or in a formal letter.
Are In-Person Resignations Better?
Yes, because in-person resignations show a lot more thought and respect. This is the standard and traditional way to resign from a company.
Quitting over email could seem cold and make you feel distant.
Informing your managers in person is ideal since it lets you have an upfront, personal conversation. It also makes it clear that you respect and appreciate them, making it more likely to leave on good terms.
If you’re working remotely, let the organization know by scheduling a video meeting. Afterward, you can send a resignation email.
Are Resignation Emails and Resignation Letters the Same Thing?
A resignation email is shorter, slightly less formal, and only sent online. However, a resignation letter tends to be longer and more formal. Resignation letters can be delivered both in person through hard copy or online attached as a PDF via email.
Ultimately, they both have the same purpose: letting the company know you’re leaving.
Now, a letter of resignation is usually longer because it’s where you can express your gratitude and share more context about your departure. On the other hand, resignation emails are shorter since their purpose is to notify the company and get straight to the point about the fact you’re resigning.
Why You Should Send a Resignation Email
Here are the main reasons to send a professional resignation email:
- Document your resignation in case any potential disputes arise
- Keep an online record of your employment history for future reference
- Formally say goodbye while expressing gratitude and appreciation
- Give a formal written notice so it’s evident when your last day of employment is
How to Write a Resignation Email (AI Shortcut)
Skip our entire resignation email writing guide by using an AI Resignation Letter Writer to prepare the perfect message for you within 30 seconds.
Here’s how it works:
- State the name of the person you’re writing to
- Enter the company name
- Include your job position
- Mention the date of your last day of work
- Give a reason for your resignation (optional)
- Press “AI Writer Generate”
Then congrats! You have what you need for your resignation email.
Here’s an example below:
You can copy and paste what’s been generated for your resignation email to managers and HR.
It’s that simple.
If not, feel free to go ahead with the full step-by-step guide discussed below.
How to Write a Resignation Email (Step-by-Step Guide)
State the purpose of your email and last day of work, followed by a closing line expressing your gratitude.
It could even be as simple as this: “I am writing to inform you of my resignation from my position as [Job title] at [Company name]. My last day of employment will be [Date]. Thank you for the opportunity. I wish you and the company all the best.”
Still, here’s exactly how to write a good resignation email:
- Craft an upfront email subject line
- Address the recipient
- State the purpose of your email
- Share further details if you’d like
- Show your appreciation
- End your message gracefully
- Use a professional sign-off
1. Craft an Upfront Email Subject Line
The resignation email subject line needs to be clear and concise. Anyone should be able to tell what the email is going to be about the moment they take a glance after the notification bell rings.
Including the word “resignation” in the subject line is essential. This makes it easy for the company to find and prioritize your message.
Here are some examples:
- Resignation - [Your Name]
- Resignation Notice: [Your Name]
- Notice of Resignation from [Your Name]
- Resignation Effective [Date] - [Your Name]
- Resignation Announcement - [Your Name]
- [Company Name] Resignation - [Your Name]
2. Address the Recipient
Use a formal or friendly greeting to address the recipient of your email:
- Dear John
- Hi John
- Hello John
- To John
Don’t use informal greetings like “hey” or “yo.” The only rare exception is if that’s how you usually greet each other because of the company culture or type of work relationship you have.
If you’re only sending the email to your manager, use a formal greeting followed by their name. But if you’re going to send your email to HR and your manager by using the carbon copy (CC) email feature, you can simply address them by writing one of the following:
- Good afternoon
With that in mind, here’s who you could include in your email:
- Company executive (if you’re working at a small business or startup)
- HR department
3. State the Purpose of Your Email
The first line and paragraph must make your intention to resign clear. The essential details to include are the following:
- Statement of resignation
- Date of departure
- Professional tone
Here’s an example:
Dear [Manager's name],
I am writing to inform you of my resignation from my position as [Job title] at [Company name]. My last day of employment will be [Date].
This paragraph is more than enough for your email. If you want to share additional details about the context or reason for your resignation, add an extra sentence or expand in the next paragraph.
4. Share Further Details If You’d Like
This isn’t necessary, but you may want to include further details to emphasize the amount of thought you’ve put into your decision.
Besides the essential details, here’s what else you could write about:
- Significant Contributions: Include positive accomplishments during your time at the company.
- Company Highlights: Share one of your biggest highlights, learning points, or favorite memories with the organization.
- Provide a Reason: If appropriate and you feel comfortable sharing, you can briefly include why you decided to leave. This could be a desire for career growth, career change, or simply personal reasons.
- Extend Your Thanks: Give appreciation to your colleagues and managers.
- Highlight Personal Growth: Write about how the company has propelled your personal and professional growth. You could also mention key takeaways from your experience.
5. Show Your Appreciation
Express gratitude by directly thanking the organization for the opportunities and experiences you gained.
Acknowledge the company culture as well as coworkers, managers, and supervisors. You could also mention specific things about your employment with the organization that you’re most grateful for.
The more personalized your message is, the more it emphasizes your thoughtfulness.
Here are some examples that express sincere appreciation:
- Please accept my sincere gratitude for the opportunity to work at [Company Name] for the past [Number] years. I have gained invaluable experience and knowledge during my time here, and I am grateful for the support and mentorship I have received from you and my colleagues.
- I want to express my sincere appreciation for the opportunity to work at [Company Name] for the past [Number] years. I have truly enjoyed my time here and am grateful for the many opportunities I have been given to grow and develop as a professional.
- I would like to give special thanks to my manager, [Manager's Name], for their support and guidance throughout my tenure at [Company Name]. [Manager's Name] has been a true mentor to me, and I will always be grateful for their advice and encouragement.
6. End Your Message Gracefully
Make a final brief and polite statement to reiterate your appreciation.
The main purpose here is to end on a positive note. This could be as simple as wishing your manager and the company well in their future endeavors.
You could also end your email by suggesting the next steps, such as the following:
- Offer support during the transition period to highlight your commitment to leaving the company in good hands
- Share personal contact details to indicate that you’re open to staying in touch
- Mention any final tasks or deadlines that must be taken into consideration
Here are a few examples of ending your resignation email gracefully:
- Thank you for your understanding.
- I wish you and the entire team at [Company Name] continued success in the future.
- Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help with the transition process.
7. Use a Professional Sign-off
Every professional letter or email ends with a formal sign-off followed by your full name.
Use one of the following to sign off professionally:
- Best regards,
- Thank you,
- Best wishes,
- Yours sincerely,
- Kind regards,
The Best Format for a Resignation Email
The best resignation email format is short, simple, and concise. Here’s what the standard structure looks like:
- Opening paragraph
- Extra paragraph (optional)
- Closing line
Before all of this, is your email subject line (as discussed earlier), which should only be a short statement that makes it clear what your email is about.
Every email begins with a greeting to set the tone of your message when addressing the recipient.
An informal greeting can affect your professional reputation.
Keep it formal to show respect and that you take your job seriously. Establish courtesy and a positive rapport. This part is no different from writing a resignation letter.
The opening paragraph is the only paragraph you really need. This is where you state two things:
- Your intent to resign
- The exact date you plan to leave
Expressing gratitude is nice but not essential, though we recommend it to maintain a positive relationship with the company.
No explanation for your resignation is necessary either, especially when you’re leaving on good terms without requiring any further comments or requests.
Extra Paragraph (optional)
Any additional information you wish to share about the context of your resignation could be included in an extra paragraph or two. This could be personal feedback, assistance, or career highlights that you may want to emphasize.
The closing line is where you send your regards to complete your email. It’s your finishing statement to end the message on a positive note.
Here are some of the best closing lines for both a resignation letter and email:
- Thank you again for the opportunity to work at [Company name].
- I wish you and the company all the best.
- Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
This part includes a polite sign-off such as sincerely and best regards, followed by your full name underneath. You could also include any contact information next to your name so the company knows how to contact you.
3 Things to Never Do When Writing a Resignation Email
Never do the following:
- Disclose sensitive information
- Be way too blunt or casual
- Focus purely on the negatives
For the most part, doing one of these things listed can hurt your chances of keeping in touch with the organization.
The best outcome in resigning means securing a positive reference and relationship with your managers or employers. Even if you’re no longer working for them, they can still support you throughout your career. This only happens though when you have a good relationship with them.
Disclose Sensitive Information
You’re not obligated to justify your decision. There’s no need to explain yourself and go into specific details about your personal life.
Most times, it’s perfectly acceptable to keep your reasons for resigning private. Your message is more than enough as long as it informs the company about your intention to leave and when your last working day is.
A resignation email is formal. Not disclosing any sensitive information means protecting your work relationship with the organization as well as your reputation.
Here are some examples of sensitive details to avoid disclosing:
- Personal complaints about a specific person
- Anything to do with legal matters such as ongoing disputes
- Inappropriate personal information
Be Way Too Blunt or Casual
An overly casual tone like you’re out with your friends on a Friday night is certainly not the best tone to project, even if you do have a good relationship with your manager.
Don’t straight up tell your manager that you’ve “had enough of them” or that you’re leaving because you can’t be bothered to work. Be respectful by maintaining your formality and professionalism. Otherwise, you risk cutting off your ties with the organization.
Focus Purely on the Negatives
You’re not the only one who might feel negative about the company you’re quitting.
During the great resignation phenomenon, it became clear that employees felt that their efforts weren’t recognized. Many have left their previous positions because of poor job satisfaction.
That said, never focus solely on negative emotions or feedback.
It puts companies off and can damage your image as a professional. Purely highlighting animosity towards the company reflects poorly on your character and attitude.
The worst outcome is that you’ll always have a bad relationship with the company you’re resigning from. This means you won’t get positive references, which could affect your job search. Or even worse (but highly unlikely), the company could decide to take legal action.
If there’s any negative feedback you want to give, schedule a separate meeting with your manager or HR to discuss.
Top 10 Resignation Email Examples
We’ll go through a few resignation email templates that you can use to send to your manager depending on your situation. However, the templates you might only really need are the following:
- 2-week notice email
- Immediate notice email
- 1-month notice email
- Resignation email with a letter attached
If you’d like further inspiration, feel free to check out our resignation letter templates library.
2-Week Notice Resignation Email
Immediate Resignation Email
1-Month Notice Resignation Email
Resignation Email Notice With Letter Attached
Resignation Email for Personal Reasons
Polite Resignation Email
Resignation Email for New Job Opportunity
Resignation Email for Retirement
Emergency Resignation Email
Short Resignation Email
More Resignation Email Templates
We’ll go through five more resignation email templates to draw inspiration from:
- Resignation email for new employees
- Appreciative resignation email
- Resignation email for managers
- Resignation email for executives
- Resignation email for freelancers
If you’re interested, check out our resignation letter examples guide. In this separate guide, you’ll understand why some resignation letters are written the way they are and why they work well.
Resignation Email for New Employees
Appreciative Resignation Email
Resignation Email for Managers
Resignation Email for Executives
Resignation Email for Freelancers
3 Worst Resignation Email Examples
The resignation email samples below are so bad that they’re pretty hilarious. They’re terrible for the same reasons as we discussed earlier:
- Openly talking about sensitive information that should be held confidential
- Brutally honest by projecting an unprofessional tone
- Focusing purely on the negatives to the point you can feel the rage and anger behind the email
All of which indicate a lack of respect.
Sending a resignation email like any of the examples below will surely burn bridges with the company.
Bad Resignation Email Example 1
Bad Resignation Email Example 2
Bad Resignation Email Example 3
Write Your Resignation Email in Less Than 30 Seconds Using AI
You may overthink what to say, delete a few parts, restart your entire email—and before you know it, it’s been over 30 minutes or even an hour.
Writing a resignation email doesn’t have to take so long.
Our AI Resignation Letter Writer will automatically generate a resignation message for your email so you can easily notify your company. All within 30 seconds, easily with zero pressure.
No need to spend hours thinking about how to write the perfect email.
All a resignation email needs is the following:
- Concise subject line
- Formal greeting
- Statement of your intent to resign
- Date of your final working day
- Positive closing line
- Professional sign-off
Further details can be included in an extra paragraph or, better yet, a formal resignation letter.
Still, the best way to resign is to notify your manager face-to-face in person or through an online meeting for remote workers.
If you need help writing about your resignation or updating your resume as you take the next step in your career, you can speed up the process by using the AI career tools at Rezi for free.