Resigning from a job by email can be a bit tricky. Most of the time, the ideal way to quit is by telling your manager in person that you’re leaving the job.
However, there are times when resigning by email might be the best choice. In addition, even if you tell your manager that you’re quitting, you might want to send an email just to make things official.
When you do write your resignation email, it’s critical to choose the right subject line. In this article, you will learn some valuable tips for resigning by email.
I will also give you some excellent email resignation subject line examples you can use or draw inspiration from.
Let’s get into it.
If you can go to your manager’s office and tell them in person that you’re resigning, then do it. Nevertheless, there are times when quitting by email should be encouraged.
If you work remotely, and all or most of your communication with your boss is via email, it is perfectly okay to send a resignation email. Scheduling a video chat with your boss might be recommended, depending on your circumstances, but it’s not always required.
If your manager is always busy, and you need to get an appointment to see them, resigning in person can be difficult. That’s especially true if you want the resignation to be effective immediately, without any delays.
If you feel too shy or timid to resign in person but are confident in your decision to submit your resignation, it’s okay to resign by email. You’re probably never going to see your boss again, although it’s essential to stay on good terms in case you need any references in the future.
If you feel uncomfortable with your manager for whatever reason, announcing your leave via email might be better than putting yourself in an awkward situation.
For example, if you feel like your manager has inappropriate romantic feelings towards you, you can just resign by email to avoid unnecessary discomfort.
If an emergency comes up, and you need to leave the job and maybe even the city right away, you might not have time for a more formal resignation. In that case, it’s okay to tell your boss that you’re leaving via email.
Here are 18 resignation email subject lines you can use.
- Resignation Letter
- With Regret
- Resignation Notice
- Resignation Announcement
- With Gratitude – Resignation
- I’m Resigning
- Resignation Effective Immediately
- Resignation as of [DATE]
- Thank You for Everything
- Notice of Resignation
- Notice of Retirement
- Please Accept My Resignation
- I’m Stepping Down
- Formal Resignation
- Announcing My Retirement
- Pending Resignation
- With Deep Regret, I Announce My Resignation
I recommend adding your name to the subject line, especially if it is a short subject line. You can add your name after or before the subject line, separated by a dash:
- Notice of Resignation – John Smith
- John Smith – Resignation Announcement
- Resignation Effective Immediately – John Smith
In addition, you might want to add the date of your resignation, unless it is effective immediately. For example, if you plan on resigning on a specific date, you might use a subject line like one of these:
- Resignation – John Smith – May 11
- John Smith – Formal Resignation – MM/DD/YYYY
- Pending Resignation – John Smith – MM/DD/YYYY
If you are not using any of the above examples word for word, use the following tips to help you write your subject line.
It’s absolutely essential to be as straightforward as possible that you are resigning. Using the word “resign” in some way or another is always best, but you can also use phrases like:
- Stepping down
- Vacating my position
- Leaving my job
Either way, don’t be vague! Otherwise, your email might get overlooked by a busy manager, and they will never see your resignation notice.
If there is room in your subject line, add your name and date, as I already mentioned. That way, the manager will know right away who sent the email.
That subject line will also be great as a reference. Your manager can save the email in their inbox and simply look at the subject line to remember the details of your resignation.
In large corporations, it might be a good idea to state your job position and/or department in your subject line. For example, you might write something like:
- Resignation – John Smith – Accounting
- Resignation Notice – Marketing – John Smith
- Letter of Resignation – John Smith – Sales Agent
With so many people to manage, it can sometimes be hard to keep track of everyone. Letting the supervisor know which department you are in can help.
Always proofread your subject line before sending your email. You don’t want any grammar or spelling mistakes to pop up.
Not only does it look bad and sloppy, but it can also lead to misunderstandings.
Also, make sure the subject line isn’t too long, or else it might get cut off in the recipient’s inbox. You want the “resignation” part of the subject line to be readable without opening the email, as that will catch your supervisor’s eye.
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It’s always important to keep your subject lines concise, direct, and to the point. Most of the subject line examples I shared above are relatively short – those work best.
Also, keep it professional. Even if you have bad feelings towards the company or the manager specifically, don’t take it out in your resignation email.
For example, here are some subject line examples you want to avoid:
- I’m Done
- I’m Over This Company
- I Hate This Job
- I’m Leaving!
- Thanks for Nothing
- Good Riddance
- The END
- Poof! I’m Gone
You don’t want to burn any bridges! Don’t be passive-aggressive or use rude or offensive language.
Once you’ve written your subject line, your work is still far from done. The subject line is just a few words, but now you have to draft the body of your email informing your supervisor that you’re leaving your job.
It’s critical to write the email body carefully as well. Here are some tips to keep in mind when drafting your email.
As I said, it’s not a good idea to burn bridges. Don’t be negative in your resignation letter.
Making snarky or negative comments can lead to problems when you try to use your old boss as a reference for a new job. The overall tone should be polite and professional, not hostile or aggressive.
You don’t always have to tell your boss why you’re leaving the job. Going into too much detail about why you didn’t like the job can come off as overly critical and negative.
However, you can give a short one- or two-line reason for your leave.
Use some tact. If you’re leaving the company, you’ve already given up hope that things could change, so there’s no use going into detail about the things you’d like fixed.
You can say that it’s due to personal reasons or because you chose to go a different way in your career. You can say that you’ve decided to pursue new opportunities or need some time to find yourself.
Some other valid reasons to mention in your resignation email can include:
- You are relocating to a new city for whatever reason (to be close to family, to send your kid to a better school, etc.).
- You have accepted a position at another company.
- You have a new child and want to be at home to help raise them.
- You have decided to retire and leave the professional world altogether.
- You would like to return to school and get a professional degree.
Some things you probably don’t want to mention in your resignation email include:
- That you feel unappreciated in your job and have decided to go somewhere they appreciate you more.
- That you don’t feel like you are the right person for the job. That might come across as lazy, as if you would rather resign than work on yourself.
- That you give up because the job is too demanding for you or you don’t have the right skills to cope with what the job demands of you.
- That you don’t get along with your coworkers and are suffocating in the workplace.
- That your coworkers are not cooperating and not allowing you to advance towards your goals or get things done.
- That you feel like people don’t like you or value your work.
- That you are not satisfied with the benefits the job offers, whether that’s the pay or training opportunities.
- That you are upset you did not get approved for the raise or bonus you asked for.
The reason you don’t want to be critical in your resignation email is that the email is probably going to go on record in your professional file at the company. When people look over your history at the firm, they’re going to see your email, so you want to end things on good terms.
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If possible, send the email around two weeks before your resignation date. The standard is two weeks, but for some positions, you might be required to give your resignation notice 30 days in advance.
Sending your resignation email in advance gives your boss time to transition and find a replacement.
If you are on good terms with your manager, offer to help with the transition. For example, say that you’re willing to help show your replacement around and teach them the ropes.
You can even offer to train them or supervise them to ensure they are getting the job done right.
Doing that will increase your manager’s appreciation for you. It will also remove any bad blood that you might create with the resignation, and you’ll be more likely to get a glowing recommendation if you ever need a reference in the future.
It’s always a good idea to express your appreciation for your boss, even if you don’t feel they deserve that appreciation. It’s just polite, and it will allow you to end things on good terms.
You can say that you appreciate the way the position has helped you grow and learn new skills, but you’ve decided it’s time for the next stage of your career and professional life. If you were offered training opportunities, express appreciation for that.
If you are not leaving immediately, go into some detail about what you plan to do next at the company. For example, how are you going to wrap things up at your job?
Let’s say there is a project that you are currently working on. You might promise to finish the project before leaving.
Ask your manager what they expect from you during your last days at the company. That way, you can leave on a good note while keeping them happy as well.
You might want to leave the door open for additional networking opportunities. You might say that although you’ve decided to leave the company, you want to stay in touch and continue networking with the team to enrich your knowledge.
Be brief about this, though.
Open with a formal greeting – “Dear Mr. Doe.” End with a professional and respectful closing as well, such as:
- Best regards
Then, sign off with your name and professional email signature.
Send your resignation email to your manager or supervisor.
However, you should also CC the HR department. They will be able to follow up with you so you can take the next steps, such as filling out and signing any necessary forms.
I already talked about when you might want to resign via email instead of via the traditional method of setting up an appointment with your manager in person. However, how can you know that it’s time to resign in the first place?
Here are the most common reasons people resign.
If your job is stressing you out too much, it might be time to call it quits. No job is worth your personal and mental health, and if you find yourself constantly stressed, taking a break and then looking for a new job might be the best course of action.
Constant stress can lead to long-term physical health problems.
You don’t have to say that in the email, though. Just say that you are leaving for personal reasons.
If you need to move to a new city, whether because you want to be close to an elderly family member or because your spouse got a new job offer in a different town, it’s perfectly okay to resign via email.
You can even tell your boss the reason for your resignation in the email, as it won’t constitute criticism of the job.
If you received a job offer with better pay and benefits than your current one, or even one with equal pay but a better work environment or a lower workload, don’t be afraid to resign. You can mention that you are taking on a new position at a different company in your email, but don’t go into the specifics of what and why.
It’s also okay to resign for a variety of personal reasons, such as going back to school, dealing with an illness, having a new child, or simply feeling dissatisfied with the way your career or life is taking you. In that case, you don’t have to go into specifics in your email.
What if you’re almost ready to resign, but you want to give your current job a second chance? Before taking the final and irreversible step of sending a resignation email, you might want to request better pay, a bonus, fewer working hours, or better job conditions.
There’s a way to do that via email. If your boss or manager denies your requests, you can then decide whether you want to take the next step and quit your job entirely.
There’s also an excellent reason to send a raise request via email instead of doing it in person. Here is why:
- You’ll be able to think and write out your request professionally. You’ll be able to clearly explain why you deserve the raise. If you ask for it in person, your nervousness may cause you to forget any talking points you carefully thought of beforehand.
- Your boss will have time to consider your request and give you a counteroffer. If you ask them directly, they may default to denying your request. If they have time to consider it, they may realize how valuable you are to the company and figure out a way to accommodate your raise.
- It won’t be awkward. Asking for a raise in person can be uncomfortable for many people, so it’s often easier to just send an email with your request.
Here are some tips for requesting a raise or promotion via email.
You’re planning on quitting if you don’t get what you want anyway, so why beat around the bush? Be direct about what you want.
Ask for the specific benefits or the particular pay percentage increase that would satisfy you. Don’t limit yourself for fear of not getting what you ask.
Your manager may agree, deny your request, or give you a counteroffer, which you can then decide to take or leave.
Don’t just ask for a raise – explain why you deserve it. Point to your accomplishments at the company and how long you have been working there.
Give some concrete examples of how you have contributed to the company’s growth. Demonstrate how you have gone above and beyond the basic requirements of your position and how you have worked extra to make sure the company keeps advancing.
A few examples are usually enough to show why a higher salary would be appropriate based on your contributions.
It’s critical to avoid making any threats about what you will do if you don’t get the raise you think you deserve. While you may be planning to leave the company if you don’t get what you want, you don’t have to say that part out loud.
Making ultimatums will do more harm than good and can make it less likely for you to get the raise you are asking for.
In addition, it’s essential to avoid being negative or critical of the company or your manager. Don’t complain or come off as ungrateful.
Affirm that you are thankful for everything the job has given you but that you feel that at this point, you deserve more. Keep your tone polite and professional, and avoid comparing yourself to other workers.
Whether you write a resignation email or one asking for a raise, always proofread your email body beforehand for spelling and grammar mistakes.
You can use your spell checker in Microsoft Word or Google Docs to check for spelling mistakes, or you can use a browser spell checker extension like Grammarly to correct errors in Gmail.
Sending a resignation letter via email is perfectly okay, but it’s essential to write the subject line and the email itself correctly.
Keep things professional, don’t go into too much detail about why you decided to leave the company, and avoid burning bridges.
Cassie Riley has a passion for all things marketing and social media. She is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, language, music, writing, and unicorns. Cassie is a lifetime learner, and loves to spend time attending classes, webinars, and summits.