How to write a 'thank you' resignation letter
Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes
For most of us, at some point in our lives, we chose to leave our place of employment and move elsewhere. In 2022, research by Robert Half found that 46% of CFOs in Hong Kong anticipate an increase in employee turnover within their organisation over the next 12 months.* After you’ve spoken to your boss about resigning, you’ll want to write them a ‘thank you’ letter.
It’s especially important to leave on good terms with your soon-to-be ex-employer, since you never know when your paths might cross again. What’s more, in a fast-paced world like the one we live in, simple gestures like a ‘thank you’ letter are sure to be well-received long after you’ve resigned.
Here’s our guide to writing a 'thank you' resignation letter
1. Follow letter-writing etiquette
Of course you can type out an informal email, but attaching a letter, with proper etiquette, will leave a lasting impression. Ideally, you’ll want to include your name and address, and address them by their first name or their last name with their title (e.g., Ms Jones).
2. Express gratitude
It’s a ‘thank you’ letter, after all! Tell your employer or manager you’re thankful for the opportunity to have worked with them and for what you’ve learnt while at the company.
3. Be specific
Anyone can write a generic thank you note; however, if you can reference specific examples of things you’ve learnt or memorable experiences you had while at the company, you’ll stand out. It’s this level of detail that helps solidify a genuine connection.
4. Include a mention of your leaving date
Although you’ll have already turned in your notice and spoken to your employer about resigning, it’s always helpful to remind them in writing.
5. Check your grammar and spelling
This one's an obvious point, but in case you haven’t, be sure to check your spelling and grammar before sending in that letter! A simple proofread or an online spelling and grammar check will do — you just don't want to send in something that has a typo, since that reflects poorly.
“When you submit your resignation letter, you don’t need to write a lot or give extensive details, you just need to tell your manager that you intend to resign, add a few key points, and then respectfully wrap it up. Always keep your resignation letter to one page. It is advised you include the following in your letter : a statement of intent that you will be leaving your job, the date of your last day on the job, gratitude to your employer for hiring you, indicate you will help to complete all the handover notes and train your replacement and well wishes for the future of the company.”
- Jessica Yeung, Associate Director at Robert Half Hong Kong and specialised financial services recruiter with 9 years’ experience in the recruitment industry.
Sample ‘thank you’ resignation letter
Festival Walk Kowloon Tong
Kowloon City District
Manager - [Company Name]
Kowloon City District
20 January, 2023
Dear Ms Jones
I cannot believe how time has flown since I handed in my two weeks’ notice — my last day is the coming Friday. I wanted to take this opportunity to formally thank you for the opportunity to work at [Company Name].
My time here has taught me a lot, and I will forever be grateful for your guidance and support in my role as [role]. I am particularly thankful for [specific examples of what you’re taking away from this role].
Please note my personal contact information above; I hope we can stay in touch. I wish you and the team all the very best going forward.
Other considerations for your ‘thank you’ resignation letter
While this is an opportunity to show your voice when you personalise the letter, it’s important to still keep it professional.
Keep it positive
This is a ‘thank you’ resignation letter, not an opportunity to vent about your frustrations (however justified).
Feel free to include an email or your personal phone number if you’re genuinely keen to stay in touch.
Whether you’re leaving for a new position, launching your own business, being let go or taking time off, there are a few important steps you need to take to end things in the right way. Find out everything you need to know with Robert Half's career advice.
*Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 75 CFOs in Hong Kong.