Email of Resignation 101: How to Do It Right

Writing an effective email of resignation is crucial when leaving a job. Learn the proper etiquette and tips for writing a professional resignation email.

email icon on the light red and blue background

The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed a widespread phenomenon known as the Great Resignation, where a significant portion of the workforce, driven by pandemic-induced reflections on work-life balance and job satisfaction, decided to leave their positions.

Surprisingly, studies suggest that approximately 80% of these individuals later regretted their decision, underscoring the importance of considering long-term implications.

In this context, crafting a professional resignation email becomes crucial, as it ensures the maintenance of positive relationships and networks that may be invaluable for future opportunities or re-entry into the workforce, especially in light of potential regrets.

Below, we equip you with the knowledge and structure to write a clear, courteous, and effective message that leaves a positive impression.

Famous Comebacks

🍎Famous examples of returning to office after resignation include cases such as Steve Jobs' return to Apple after being fired in 1985 and his successful brand revival.

Howard Schultz stepped down as the CEO of Starbucks in 2000 but returned in 2008 to revive the company's flagging fortunes. Under his leadership, Starbucks saw significant growth and expansion.

🤖Facing near-mass employee resignations, OpenAI reinstated fired co-founder Sam Altman as CEO, marking a stunning turnaround and tech's most dramatic employee-driven revival.

👲🏻Another famous example relates to politics: Shinzo Abe returned as Prime Minister of Japan after his departure from office in 2007.

These cases show that resignation is not the endpoint but rather a chance to find renewed success.

Why Email?

The formalities of workplace communications have evolved. While once it might have been expected to resign in a face-to-face meeting with a hand-delivered letter, the norms have shifted to accept digital communications as equally formal and appropriate.

This change reflects broader trends toward flexibility and digital-first approaches in professional environments.

📩 Aside from the digital communication shift and convenience that email allows, it eliminates scheduling and document management challenges, especially in large or geographically dispersed organizations.

Benefits of Email Resignation

Record Keeping

Email provides an automatic digital record of the correspondence, which can be beneficial for both the employee and the employer.

This record helps to ensure that there is clear documentation of the resignation, the date it was submitted, and any terms or conditions discussed, which can be important for administrative purposes or to resolve any disputes that might arise later.

Professionalism

Email allows individuals to carefully craft their message, ensuring that it conveys the desired tone, respects professional etiquette, and includes all necessary information.

This can be particularly important in a resignation letter, where maintaining professionalism and leaving on good terms is often a priority.

The Email of Resignation Format

The format of an email of resignation, much like a traditional resignation letter, follows a professional structure designed to convey your decision to leave your position respectfully and formally.

📧 Below is a step-by-step breakdown of the typical format, including key elements to include:

Subject Line

  • Keep it clear and straightforward, e.g., "Resignation - [Your Name]".

Salutation

  • Address the email to your direct supervisor or the appropriate HR representative, using a formal greeting such as "Dear [Name]"

Introduction

  • Begin with a statement of your intent to resign from your position. It's common to mention your position title and possibly your last working day, adhering to any notice period requirements per your contract or company policy.

Body

  • Reason for Leaving (Optional): You may choose to briefly mention your reason for leaving, especially if it's for positive reasons like a new opportunity. However, it's not mandatory to disclose specific reasons, and it's advisable to remain positive and professional.
  • Appreciation: Express gratitude for the opportunities and experiences you've gained during your tenure. Acknowledging the support and guidance of your colleagues and superiors can help maintain positive relationships.
  • Transition Support: Offer to assist with the transition process, whether through training a replacement, handing off your projects, or documenting your current work. This demonstrates professionalism and goodwill.

Conclusion

  • Restate your thanks and mention your hope to keep in touch, if appropriate. This reinforces a positive tone and your interest in parting on good terms.

Closing

  • Use a formal sign-off, such as "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your full name. Including your contact information beneath your name can be helpful for future correspondence.
email of resignation by tmetric

📨 Example of Email of Resignation

Dear [Supervisor's Name],

I am writing to formally announce my resignation from my position as [Your Position] with [Company Name], effective [Last Working Day, typically two weeks from the date of the email].

I have greatly valued the opportunities provided to me during my time with [Company Name] and have enjoyed working with the team. I am grateful for the support and guidance I have received, which has contributed significantly to my professional growth.

I am committed to ensuring a smooth transition and am willing to assist in any way possible during the notice period, including training my successor and completing or handing off my current projects.

I look forward to staying in touch.

[Your Full Name]
[Your Contact Information]

🌟This format ensures clarity and professionalism: it maintains the integrity of your proficiency, making it easier for both you and your employer to navigate your departure.

How to Provide Constructive Feedback in Your Resignation Email

Leaving a job is an opportunity to offer valuable insights to your employer.

Sharing constructive feedback can benefit both you (strengthening relationships and bridges) and the company (improving processes and culture).

Here's how to do it effectively, regardless of your role.

Focus on "We," not "Me"

  • Talk about broader issues affecting the team, process, or company performance.
  • Use "we" and "our" to show you're concerned about the collective good.

Be Specific and Helpful

  • Pinpoint areas for improvement with real examples. "Communication gaps led to project delays" is stronger than "communication was bad."
  • Offer potential solutions or suggestions. Show you're not just pointing fingers but want to leave things better.

Keep it Professional and Respectful

  • Maintain a positive and courteous tone. Avoid negativity, blame, or personal attacks.
  • Focus on the future and growth, not airing past grievances.

Express Gratitude and Offer Further Input

  • Acknowledge the positive aspects of your time there. Show you care about the company and want to see it succeed.
  • Offer to discuss your feedback further if desired. This shows a willingness to contribute constructively.

🌟🌟🌟✍🏻

  • Keep it concise and relevant. Stick to key points that impact your role or the company's goals.
  • Review before sending. Ensure everything is clear, constructive, and professional.
Thank you for the opportunities at [Company Name]. I've learned a lot, and I believe streamlining our workflow through [improvement suggestion] could further enhance team efficiency. I'm happy to discuss this further if it helps.

📬This way, you provide valuable feedback that shows your appreciation while offering insights for positive change.

Takeaways

  • Leaving a job can be bittersweet, marking both an end and a beginning. Thus, crafting a professional and respectful resignation email sets the tone for your future relationship with the company.
  • The popularity of sending a resignation via email can be attributed to several factors that reflect broader changes in workplace communication, technology, and cultural norms over the past few decades.
  • Understanding the art of composing a resignation email is essential for ensuring a smooth transition, as it reflects your professionalism.

As we navigate the complexities of professional transitions and seek to improve workplace culture and ways of managing time, tools like TMetric time tracking software become invaluable via delivering clearer insights into how time is spent, promoting a healthier work-life balance, and directing us to areas of operational improvements.