Writing a Resignation Letter in Australia

Saying goodbye to your current job? Your resignation letter is your chance to do it right. This guide equips you with the knowledge and tools to write a clear, professional, and impactful resignation letter.

What is a resignation letter?

A resignation letter is your official way to bid farewell to your current job. It serves as a professional record of your departure, informing your employer of your last day and ensuring a smooth transition. This guide will equip you with all you need to know about crafting a concise, polite, and informative resignation letter.

The right time to resign

Moving on to a new adventure? Secured that dream job? Or perhaps charting a different course entirely? Whatever your reason for leaving, your resignation letter marks the official start of your next chapter. But when you hit "send" on that email can leave a lasting impression.

Once you've formally accepted a new offer, it's time to draft your resignation. This gives your current employer ample time to prepare for your smooth transition, ensuring a positive handover and minimising disruption.

Leaving without another position lined up calls for transparency and open communication. Discuss your intentions with your manager well in advance, then follow up with a formal letter confirming your last day. This allows for a collaborative approach to ensure a smooth exit, even without immediate next steps.

While email is perfectly acceptable, consider hand-delivering a printed letter. This personal touch demonstrates respect and professionalism, especially for senior roles or in close-knit teams. It shows you value the relationship and prioritise a respectful departure.

Check your contract for a specified notice period. If not, aim for fair and reasonable notice, taking into account your tenure, role complexity, and the time it might take to find a suitable replacement. Two to four weeks is often seen as standard, but flexibility and open communication are key. If your circumstances require an adjusted timeline, have an honest conversation with your manager to find a solution that works for both parties.

What to include in your resignation letter

Your resignation letter isn't just an exit formality; it's a chance to leave a lasting positive impression and ensure a smooth transition for both you and your employer. So, what should you include in this crucial document?

  1. Start by clearly identifying yourself and your current role within the company. This sets the stage for the news you're about to deliver.
  2. Be precise about your last day of employment. Give your employer ample time to prepare for your departure and facilitate a smooth handover.
  3. Don't forget to express your sincere gratitude for the opportunities and experiences you've gained during your time with the company. A genuine wish for their continued success shows professionalism and appreciation.
  4. Offer your commitment to assisting in a smooth handover. This could involve training your replacement, documenting ongoing projects, and ensuring they have all the necessary information to step into your role seamlessly.

It's entirely up to you whether you want to share the reason for your departure. If you choose to do so, keep it brief, professional, and focused on your future aspirations or personal goals. Avoid negativity or criticism towards your current role. You can also create a separate document outlining outstanding projects, tasks, and key information for your successor can be incredibly helpful. This detailed handover document will make their transition smoother and showcase your initiative.

Remember to keep your letter direct and concise, focusing on essential details and avoiding unnecessary information. Proofread to ensure it's free of errors and typos, reflecting your professionalism. By incorporating these key elements and maintaining a respectful tone, you can craft a resignation letter that leaves a positive impression, promotes a smooth transition, and sets the stage for future success in your next chapter.

Resignation letter template

While a template can provide a helpful starting point, it's important to personalize your resignation letter to reflect your specific situation and relationship with your employer. Here's a customizable template you can adapt:

[Your Name]
[Your Title]
[Your Contact Information]


[Manager Name]
[Manager Title]
[Company Name]
[Company Address]

Dear [Manager Name],

Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position as [Your Title] at [Company Name], effective [Your Last Day of Employment].

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities and experiences I have gained during my time at [Company Name]. I particularly appreciate [Mention specific positive experiences or learning opportunities]. I wish you and the company continued success in the future.

To ensure a smooth transition, I am committed to assisting with the handover process in any way possible. This includes [Offer specific ways you can help, e.g., training your replacement, documenting ongoing projects]. I am happy to create a separate document outlining outstanding tasks and key information to further facilitate a seamless transition.

Thank you again for the opportunity to be part of the [Company Name] team. I wish you and everyone at the company all the best.


[Your Name]

Remember, this is just a starting point. Customise it to reflect your voice and ensure your resignation letter leaves a lasting positive impression.

If you're an Australian business owner facing challenges with employer obligations, let Employment Compass guide you. Call our Employer Assist Line today on 1300 144 002 and discover how we can empower you to navigate your HR journey with confidence.

Frequently asked questions

What are the legal requirements for writing a resignation letter in Australia?

While there's no legal requirement for a formal resignation letter, it's highly recommended as it sets a clear record of your departure and notice period. It also helps maintain positive relationships with your employer.

How long does my notice period need to be?

Your notice period is typically outlined in your employment contract. If not specified, "fair and reasonable" notice based on factors like your tenure and role complexity applies. Aim for 2-4 weeks but discuss with your manager if adjustments are needed.

Do I have to include the reason for my resignation in the letter?

No, you're not obligated to share your reason. If you choose to, keep it brief, professional, and focused on future goals, avoiding negativity towards your current role.

What if I want to leave on a good note but disagree with my employer?

Maintain a respectful and professional tone throughout your letter, regardless of any disagreements. Focus on gratitude for positive experiences and offer assistance with the transition.

What else can I do to ensure a smooth transition after resigning?

Communicate openly with your manager, document ongoing projects, offer to train your replacement, and be helpful throughout the handover process.

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