San José State University Writing Center
Written by Jacqueline Goodwin
Writing a Resignation Letter
A resignation letter provides notice that you will leave a company. It follows the verbal notice
you give your supervisor about quitting your job.
Why should I write a resignation letter?
Resignation letters are professional courtesies that extend your professionalism, even in the last
days of current employment. A letter of resignation often secures a favorable letter of
recommendation in the future, and it officially documents your departure.
What should I consider before I submit my resignation letter?
If you choose to leave your current job for an opportunity at another company, be sure
that you have a true offer from your prospective employer, such as written
acknowledgment of the new job offer. Likewise, be sure to accept the offer formally,
preferably through written documentation. Once you understand you have a secure
position at the other company, notify your current employer: first verbally and then with
your resignation letter.
Do not discuss your plan to quit your job with co-workers prior to the verbal notice you
give your employer about quitting. Such unprofessional behavior will undermine the
professionalism of your letter of resignation.
How much notice should I give?
It is standard practice to give at least a two-week notice. If you have a leadership position or a
position that requires your specialized skills, it is important that you provide extra notice.
Managerial jobs and above may require a month or even a six-week notice. In all cases, it is
important to consult employee handbooks or contracts for the specifics on when to give notice.
Who should receive my resignation letter?
You should give your letter of resignation to your immediate supervisor.
How do I format a resignation letter?
A resignation letter is a business letter, so it follows formatting conventions for business letters.
Use single-spacing throughout your resignation letter.
Align all paragraphs to the left.
Leave one space between your heading and opening salutation.
Leave one space between each paragraph.
Leave three spaces between your closing salutation and signature.
Use one-inch margins for all sides of the letter.
Writing a Resignation Letter, Fall 2014.
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