How to write the perfect resignation letter
We matched you with the perfect engineering vacancy, your interview went well, you were offered the package of a lifetime and you’ve just signed on the dotted line.
Now it’s time to tell your current employer by handing in your notice.
Elation, nostalgia, worry, excitement - whether writing your notice has you jumping for joy or feeling anxious about the unknown, we have some top tips for writing the perfect resignation letter.
By now you should be on first name terms with your manager and it is only appropriate to address them personally, but remember to keep it professional. Save “hey”, “hi” and “howdy” for the informal chats over coffee.
"I don't really know how to say this..."
Get straight to the point and keep the whole letter short. This is not a novel, so save your emotional journey and the long, thought-out decision for your memories.
Please accept this as my notice of resignation.
"I’ll be bringing in cakes on..."
Check your contract of employment to confirm the exact notice period and the date you’ll be finishing on. There’s nothing worse than donating your favourite work mug to Sharon, only to realise that you’re going to need that back for another week. Here is also an excellent opportunity to confirm how much annual leave you think you have left to take.
My last working day will be Friday 17th August 2018. I have three days annual leave left, which I am happy to use during my notice period or to be paid in lieu of.
"It’s not you, it’s me..."
It’s helpful to let your employer know why you’re leaving, especially if their support and guidance have enabled you to grow and take on a more challenging position. Are your reasons a little close to home for your employer? If so, word these carefully and, if possible, save them for your exit interview (see the next point).
The support and guidance you have provided to me over the past five years have increased my communication skills, business acumen and industry knowledge. I now feel ready to advance my career into a position of people management, something we have discussed as an ambition of mine during one-to-ones.
"And another thing..."
While you might want to vent about the toxic culture, unachievable targets and how Mark in finance skips the tea round - now is not the place. Your resignation letter will stay on your file and in your employer’s mind, so make a good impact. You want a glowing reference and you never know when your paths might cross again. Be thankful for the opportunities provided and, if you do have any grievances, discuss and raise these separately.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with you and although targets have been tough, they have challenged me and enabled me to grow substantially. Thank you for the support and guidance that has allowed me to achieve this huge career progression.
"Bye for now!"
End your resignation letter professionally and enjoy your notice period.