How to Write a Short and Simple Resignation Letter (Examples Included)

By Mike Simpson

Knowing how to write a short and simple resignation letter is essential. Why? Because during your career, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to resign from a job eventually.

Practically no one stays with the same employer during their entire professional life. In fact, leaving at some point is so common that millions of people do it on a monthly basis. In fact, in September 2021, 4.4 million people quit, setting a new record.

Being able to write a short resignation letter lets you leave gracefully. Plus, there’s a good chance you’re soon-to-be-former employer may require one as part of your exit. If you want to make sure you can craft an effective, simple, short resignation letter, here’s what you need to know.

What Is a Short Resignation Letter?

Okay, before we get into the simple resignation letter template and an example or two, let’s talk about what a short resignation letter even is in the first place.

Generally speaking, a resignation letter is a document that tells your employer that you plan to end your employment with the company. Additionally, it lets your employer know when your last day is (or, at least, when you want it to be).

But do you really need to provide a short resignation letter? Can’t you simply tell your hiring manager that you quit and call it good?

Well, resignation letters are the professional way to handle an exit. In most cases, a resignation is a planned event. You aren’t just running for the door in the middle of a shift, never to return. Instead, you know in advance that you’re going, and you lose this kind of notification to inform your employer of your decision.

People may resign for a variety of reasons. Maybe you got a new job elsewhere, or you’re moving to a new city. Perhaps you are leaving the workforce for a time to care for yourself or someone else, or you could just be mentally and emotionally done with this particular employer but want to be polite.

Not only is the letter serving as official notice to your employer, but it creates an official record that they can add to your employment file. In some situations, that matters. It ensures there’s no question about how you handled your exit, and that can work in your favor.

Plus, with a resignation letter, you’re aligning your strategy for announcing your last day with company expectations. Employers prefer the professional approach, so you’re less likely to burn bridges or hurt your reputation if you use this type of notification.

It’s important to note that submitting a resignation letter – or resigning at all – does come with some risks. Even if you’re planning on sticking around for another two weeks, some companies may terminate your employment immediately once they receive your notice, leaving you without work. Additionally, changing your mind after you turn the letter in may not be an option.

Ultimately, you only want to create and hand over a short resignation letter if leaving is legitimately what you want to do. You shouldn’t use one as an attempt to pull something else off – like getting them to offer you a raise to keep you onboard – because it might not work out that way.

Additionally, even if colleagues aren’t providing a letter, that doesn’t mean you should follow suit. Many people are reevaluating their careers post-COVID and are making quick decisions about their exits, leading them to suddenly quit instead of using a typical resignation process. That isn’t ideal.

When you’re leaving an employer, notice and formality are always better. That way, you can make the best impression possible on your way out of the door.

Finally, since a lot of people are quitting their jobs right now, you may wonder if resigning at this particular moment is a good idea. After all, many companies are struggling with being shorthanded today.

You may hesitate to make a difficult situation worse for a number of reasons. You might not want to unduly harm the company or may fear that your resignation will seem harsher since you aren’t the only one leaving the company at that particular moment.

In the end, you might wonder if you should wait for a “better” time. The problem is, no one knows when that time could arrive. As a result, it isn’t a bad idea to focus on your needs while making this decision. That way, you can keep your career – and life – on track.

MIKE'S TIP: If you’re worried about leaving your employer too shorthanded and your resignation isn’t time-dependent (such as being tied to a start date with a new employer), you do have options. One would be to provide more than the two weeks’ notice. By offering one- or two-months’ notice, you give them a chance to fill your position before you leave. You can even let them know that you’re willing to exit early when they make a hire, ensuring they aren’t overstaffed once they find the right candidate.

Common Short Resignation Letter Mistakes

You might be wondering, “Is it possible to make mistakes with a simple, short resignation letter? Do I even need to worry about that?” Well, the answer to both of those questions is “yes.”

Ultimately, when you resign, you want to make a good impression. And some mistakes can harm your reputation or make it harder to get positive references from the company.

So, what do you need to avoid? For starters, spelling and grammar mistakes can make your letter look sloppy. After you’re done writing it, make sure to review your letter for errors of any kind.

Additionally, inappropriate language or sentiments are no-gos. This can include non-professional words or terms, as well as badmouthing or other kinds of negativity about your experience. If any of that is in your letter, it makes you seem unprofessional, so keep the language polite.

Ambiguity is another issue you need to avoid. Since a short resignation letter doesn’t have much content, you need to get to the point and be definitive. Let your employer know your exact plans without hedging. Otherwise, the company may not be fully clear on your intentions.

The timing of your letter and who you give it to are also easy to get wrong. In most cases, you want to give two weeks’ notice whenever possible. If your employee handbook asks for more, try to follow that instead.

Additionally, you need to make sure your manager is the first to hear about your planned exit. Don’t talk about your resignation with anyone else with a connection to your workplace until your manager knows what’s up. Otherwise, the rumor mill might tell them before you do, and that’s not good.

Not following the company’s process is also an issue. While not all employers have formal procedures in place for resignations, some do. If you don’t follow the process, it’s possible the right people won’t learn about your plan to exit at the proper time, and that could make it seem like you didn’t give a reasonable amount of notice even if you intended to.

Finally, never, ever badmouth your employer. Regardless of your reason for leaving, remain professional. Complaining and negativity won’t make a good impression on anyone, even if what you have to say is reasonable or understandable. So, it’s better to keep that to yourself.

Top Tips for Writing a Short Resignation Letter

Writing a short resignation letter doesn’t have to be a challenge. Here are some tips that can get you moving in the proper direction.

Use the Right Structure

Resignation letters are professional documents, so you want to follow the correct structure. That way, all of the needed information is there, and it’s presented in the right order.

Here’s a quick overview of the structure that you can use as a simple resignation letter template:

    1. Your contact information
    2. Date you’re handing the letter in
    3. Manager’s contact information
    4. Opening greeting
    5. Statement of resignation
    6. Statement outlining your last day on the job
    7. Statement of appreciation
    8. Offer of assistance and to handle next steps
    9. Closing
    10. Signature

In some cases, you can cover points 3-5 in a single paragraph. However, you can also leave each sentence in a section of its own if you prefer.

Be Blunt

Since your goal is to write a short resignation letter, bluntness actually works in your favor. While you may worry that bluntness will translate to rudeness, in this situation, it typically won’t. Ultimately, this is a formal type of notification that’s much more akin to a memo than a traditional letter. As a result, brevity is okay.

Make sure every sentence is clear and focused on the point of the letter. Avoid hedging phrases like “hope to,” “might want to,” “if it’s okay,” or anything that indicates uncertainty. Instead, tell it like it is, ensuring there are no misunderstandings and that you can convey your point quickly. Additionally, skip over unnecessary information.

Present the Right Details

Even with a short resignation letter, there are a few details you’ll want to include. In your statement of resignation, include your first and last name (as it is in your employee file), official position title, and department. That way, everyone who may need to review your letter knows exactly who’s resigning.

If there is someone else at your company with the same or a similar name – especially if they work in the same department or role – you may want to include your middle name or initial, as well. That way, company leaders or human resources employees who don’t interact with you often aren’t confused about who’s resigning, ensuring there are no mistakes that could harm you and the other employee.

Skip the Reason (or Keep It Very, Very Brief)

Technically, you don’t have to provide your employer with a reason when you resign. Instead, that’s completely optional. If your goal is to write a simple, short resignation letter, skip the reason.

However, if you genuinely can’t imagine not giving them a little insight into your decision, then you can. Just keep it very, very brief.

Express Your Appreciation and Offer to Help

By closing up a simple resignation letter with a positive tone, you’ll make a better impression. Make sure it’s clear that you appreciate the experience and that you’re willing to assist with the transition. That way, you can end strong.

3 Short Resignation Letter Examples

Sometimes, the easiest way to get a grip on what a short resignation letter should look like is with a few examples. That way, you can use them for inspiration or even as a simple resignation letter template.

First, as mentioned above, there’s a section with contact information and the date you’ll be delivering your resignation. Generally, you want to format those sections like this:

[Your Name]

[Your Home Street Address]

[Your City, State, and Zip Code]

[Your Personal Phone Number]

[Your Personal Email Address]

[Date Letter Will be Delivered]

[Manager’s Name]

[Company’s Street Address]

[Company’s City, State, and Zip Code]

[Manager’s Work Phone Number]

[Manager’s Work Email]

That ensures you include everything critical, making it clear who the letter is from, who it’s to, and when it was provided. Plus, it ensures the company has current personal contact information for you, allowing them to reach you after your last day if needed.

Now that is out of the way, here are three simple resignation letter examples, each one using a slightly different approach.

1. Providing No Reason

Dear Mr. Smith:

Please accept this letter as official notice that I – John Doe – am resigning from the Sales Consultant position in the Sales Department at ABC. Co. January 1, 2022, will be my last day. I appreciate all you’ve done for me and the opportunity provided by ABC. Co.

As my last day approaches, please let me know if there is anything I can do to ease the transition.


John Doe

2. New Job

Dear Dr. Smith:

I, Jane Doe, am writing to inform you of my resignation from the Tech Support Technician position with the IT Department at XZY Corp, with my last day set as January 1, 2022.

I appreciate all of the support and guidance you and XYZ Corp. have provided, but I am leaving the position to pursue opportunities.

If there is anything I can do to streamline the transition, please let me know.

Best Regards,

Jane Doe

3. Health / Wellness Issue

Dear Ms. Smith:

Please accept this letter as formal notification of my – John Doe’s – resignation from the Administrative Assistant position with the Marketing Department at ABC, Inc. My last day will be January 1, 2022.

I appreciate all you and ABC, Inc. have done for me during my time with the company, but a recent health concern makes leaving the workforce necessary.

If there is anything I can do to assist with the transition, please let me know.

Thank you,

John Doe

Putting It All Together

At this point, you should have a solid idea of how to write a simple, short resignation letter. Take advantage of the tips above and review the examples, using them as a simple resignation letter template or as inspiration. That way, you can maintain a polite and professional tone, ensuring you make the best possible impression and can preserve your reputation.

About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.