How To Write A Resignation Letter (With Template)

Resign gracefully and tactfully.


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Last updated: March 20th, 2024

resignation letter template australia

Last updated: March 20th, 2024

Reading Time: 5 minutes

You’re moving on. Whether your reasons are professional or personal, you must make your departure official. Before I give you the resignation letter template, however, I want to bring to speed on the code of ethics that surrounds job resignations.

The more familiar you are with the “dos” and “don’ts” of resignation, the quicker and smoother the process will be.

Let me show you how to burn as few bridges as possible.

(Related: What Is The Correct Formal Letter Writing Format?)

Before You Submit Your Resignation Letter.

Before you compose your resignation letter, it’s wise to have “that” conversation with your boss.

The one where you say you’re quitting.

resignation letter

This isn’t always a comfortable conversation, but you must do it so that you can hammer out the painful details in advance.

This will save you from editing your resignation letter for resubmission.

Here’s what you need to cover off during the pre-resignation meeting with your boss.

1. Your Last Day.

Unless your date is firm, there may be some give and take here.

If you’re unsure what the protocol is at your company around how much notice you need to give, ask someone in HR ahead of time.

Expert Tip.

If you suspect you will be “walked” as soon as you give notice, adjust your timeline accordingly. This could mean that you don’t give notice until your intended last day and that you’ll have to present your resignation letter during the discussion with your boss.

2. The Handover.

Discuss who will take over what, and how you will transfer that knowledge to them.

Finalise the details with your boss, then reference the transition plan in your resignation letter at the highest level possible (see the example in the resignation letter template below).

(Related: When To Reject A Counter Offer).

3. Sensitive Matters.

You may want your boss to know about your reasons for leaving but not want to go “on record” with them. (More on what doesn’t belong in your resignation letter below).

What A Resignation Letter Is Not.

Thematically, avoid writing a resignation letter that falls into one of these categories:

  • The “light this job on fire” letter. Even if your experience left a lot to be desired, take the high road and don’t vent in your resignation letter. Let’s face it, you will need reference letters in the future, so why go out of your way to burn bridges?
  • The “here’s why I’m history” letter. As mentioned earlier, regardless of your circumstances, a resignation letter is not the place to emphasize your reasons for leaving. This should be communicated in person to your boss — before you send the letter.
  • The “nearly nonexistent” letter. Yes, you should be brief but not to the point of being rude. If you send a one-sentence letter that reads, “I’m resigning and my last day is next Friday,” you’re basically saying, “I don’t care what you think.”

What To Leave Off Your Resignation Letter.

Here’s a list of definite no-go areas:

  • Where you’re going. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to a competitor, or to care for an elderly parent. It’s none of their business and doesn’t need to be documented.
  • Emotional or critical commentary about the role you’re exiting, your boss or the company. Unless you’re prepared to write an Op-Ed for the New York Times, of course.
  • Details about other HR-related aspects of your employment such as your final check, when your insurance ends, etc. Handle these in a separate communication.
  • Your thoughts on who should replace you. You’re out of there, right? Let it go.
  • Suggestions for the role, your boss or the company on how things could have been better. Save this for your exit interview with HR.
  • A request for a reference or any other type of professional favour. Ask in person, or send an email.
  • Promises to help after you’ve started your new role, or any other promises to your boss. Don’t let them guilt you. Instead, focus on landing your next job.
  • Anything personal. Even if you have something heartfelt to say, it’s best to say it in person versus writing it down for posterity.

(Related: What Is The Correct Formal Letter Format?).

What To Include In Your Resignation Letter.

Fortunately, what you SHOULD include is much more straightforward than what to avoid. I strongly recommend that you stick to the bare facts:

  • The date.
  • Your supervisor’s full name and title.
  • Your intention to resign.
  • Your job title.
  • Your last day.
  • Your transition plan.
  • Your positive impressions of your time there (optional).
  • Your “thank you”, expressing your gratitude for the opportunity.
  • Your contact information.

Expert Tip.

Put aside your feelings and end the letter on a positive note!

(Related: How To Get Maximum Redundancy Entitlements).

Sample Resignation Letter Template.

Here’s an example that you could use as a resignation letter template:

To: David Crosby, Sr. Director of Sales and Marketing, XYZ Pty Ltd.
From: Jane Mansfield,; mobile: 0422 000 111

May 13th, 2020

Dear David,

Effective March 1, 2020, I will be resigning from my post as Senior Manager of Sales and Marketing at XYZ. As per our conversation, I will spend the next two weeks transitioning my projects to Margaret and my list of client leads to Peter.

During my tenure here, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to grow this department and influence its processes. No doubt, I will use the skills I’ve gained here throughout my career. Thank you.

All the best to you, the team and the company in the future.



Although the letter above communicates a positive highlight of Jane’s work experience, doing so is optional. If you don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say anything at all.

How To Deliver Your Resignation Letter.

Ask your boss or your HR person what the preferred method of delivery is. This doesn’t mean you have to follow their lead. You may feel called to deliver your letter differently.

Options include:

  • Hand-delivering your letter.
  • Snail mailing your letter.

Either way, make sure you sign it.

You can also email your letter (attach it as a PDF) to your human resources department, copying your boss. To keep your resignation letter secure, don’t send a word document or any other format that can be edited by someone else, hence the suggestion for a PDF.

Expert Tip.

If, for some reason, you’re not able to meet with your boss in advance of writing your letter of resignation, make a simple offer to help with the transition either in person or via email.

Final Words On Writing Resignation Letters.

Leave your emotions at the door.

Don’t write your resignation letter when you’re angry or upset. Get centred and calm. Even if you’re leaving a negative situation, feel good about where you’re headed, as well as the lessons you’ve learned along the way.

If you’re tempted to burn a bridge, sleep on it. If you’re pressed for time, at least take a few deep breaths or go outside for a short walk before you put pen to paper, so to speak.

My best advice is to keep your resignation letter succinct and professional. After all, you never know when you might cross paths with a past boss or colleague in your professional life again.

Remember that it takes years to build a reputation, but it can be ruined in moments. Take the longer-term view and keep your personal brand in mind.

Need further guidance, or want to talk through your individual circumstances or unique value proposition? Don’t hesitate to reach out.

And finally, congratulations on this milestone in your career journey. Continue to be true to yourself. Because, as William Arthur Ward once said:

“Happiness is an inside job.”


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