How To Write A Resignation Letter
Plus Free Sample Template
Leigh Gillatt • Careers Advice
HOW TO WRITE A RESIGNATION LETTER
You’ve spent hours searching for the right job to take your next career move, taking the advice Diverse Employment provided in our how to write a CV guide and tailored your CV and cover letter specifically for that job role. You bagged an interview, and everything went really well. Even the second interview went exceptionally well, and you impressed the management that were present.
The all-important offer phone call then came from your dedicated Diverse Employment recruitment consultant taking care of your application, and you accepted. Yay You, nicely done, but there’s just one more thing left to do… write a resignation letter!
A lot of people find it uncomfortable writing and submitting their resignation letter, which is understandable given that a poorly planned letter may well burn bridges with the company you’ve worked so hard for and tarnish your list of connections within that company - a record which may well help you grow your career in the future.
And of course, there’s then the hurdle of the endless run of questions from work colleagues asking why you're leaving and where you're going to next… "STRESS!!"
However, it needn’t be so, a well-written resignation letter can ensure a strong long-lasting relationship with your existing employer and any additional connections within that organisation.
Here at Diverse Employment we often find that we are asked similar questions when people enquire about how they should resign. In general, it all begins with handing in your notice. Read on to learn how to write a resignation letter that will help you professionally leave with ease.
Why Do You Need A Resignation Letter?
While it is not a legal requirement in the UK to provide a resignation letter, however the government does recommend checking your employment contract to ensure you aren’t in breach of any agreements made when you started the job originally.
For example, it may be stated in your employee contract that you are required to provide written notice of leave. It will also benefit you to have your resignation in writing in case there are ever any discrepancies in the future.
What Should Be Written In A Resignation Letter?
Before you sit down to write anything, you should think through your decision to leave your current role, and make sure that the new opportunity is the right move for you. Taking this initial step will give you greater confidence in your decision and help prepare you for any counter offers from current employer.
The resignation letter acts as a formal recognition of your intent to leave your current employer. But it can still be used to reflect positively on you, as it also serves as a lasting record after you have left. Resignation letters do not require a huge amount of detail; however, they should be formatted formally and should be named, addressed and dated.
Typically, resignation letters include:
- Your name
- Address it to your direct manager (rather than the HR manager)
- Notice of termination of employment
- When this is effective from
- Your signature
Thanking your employer and stating your intention to do what you can to make the transition as smooth as possible is a good note to leave on which will aid in you handing in your notice in a professional manner.
What Shouldn’t Be Included In A Resignation Letter?
Certain things should be discussed in person and others are best left not said at all.
Writing your resignation should be done when you have a clear head and can act professionally; avoiding any unnecessary emotions entering into the content as you write. You should avoid adding any specifics of why you have decided to leave if this decision has any basis around any grievances you have; whether that be with the company, staff or management, this will only server to reflect badly on you, now and in the future.
If you have any constructive reasons as to why you are leaving and wish to discuss these with your direct manager, then this should be done in a face-to-face meeting, which maintains your professionalism throughout the exit process.
Free Sample Resignation Letter Template
If you still find yourself asking “How do I write a resignation letter?”, see below for a free sample template:
Dear [MANAGER'S NAME],
Please accept this letter as my formal notification of resignation from my position as [JOB TITLE] with [COMPANY NAME]. In accordance with my notice period stated in my employment contract, I will be giving [NOTICE PERIOD] (e.g. one month) notice, which means my last day of work will be [INSERT DATE].
I would like to take this chance to thank you for the opportunity to have worked in the position for the past [TIME IN EMPLOYMENT]. I am thankful for the opportunities and support I have been given during my employment with [COMPANY NAME], I have thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere within the team, and I will miss our interactions. I wish you and the company every success in the future.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any queries after I leave. I would be delighted if you stay in touch.
When Should I Hand In My Notice?
When it comes to handing in your notice, another piece of careers advice is to be sure that you pick the right moment to do so.
If your manager is busy, schedule in a time to speak to them. Many people tend to have a sixth sense about these things, so just asking for a meeting may prompt them to do so quickly.
For obvious reasons, Monday mornings and Friday afternoons aren’t ideal for dropping a bombshell, neither is right at the end of the day, so avoid these times if you can.
Once you have your ideal moment or meeting in place, don’t forget to take your well written resignation letter with you and don’t go around the houses, get straight to the point. Inform your manager that you are handing in your resignation and that you will work out the notice period, if requested to do so.
Now could also be a great time to show your professionalism by thanking your Manager for all their career advice, support and help they’ve given you.
Once all of this is out of the way you can focus on preparing for your next role and the next chapter in your career.
Good Luck 😉