Moving on: your resignation letter

Your resignation letter signals your progression to a new stage in your career. Knowing how to resign will help you to leave with your head held high, and without burning your bridges. Let’s face it, it’s a small world, and you are likely to cross paths with your soon to be former employers in some form in the future. Here is what you need to do to leave in the right way.

Before you resign

• Do you have a firm and formal contract from your employer to be?

If not, stop right there! Don’t jump ship until you know you have a safe landing.

For more on what to do when accepting a job offer – click here.

• Prepare for likely outcomes

Handing in your resignation is likely to change the way you are treated. For example you may have to hand over responsibility to colleagues or help to train your replacement. In some industries you may even be removed from the office straight away (usually in sales, where it is feared you may do more harm then good) if allowed to hang around.

Think about what usually happens in your department so you can be mentally ready for any changes. Remember it’s nothing personal, just the way business works. Soon you will be in your new role.

Your Resignation letter

• Present it to your manager in private.

• Keep it brief. Your resignation letter should be short and to the point. There is no need for detailed explanations of why you are leaving.

• State you are handing in your notice, and thank them for the opportunity.

After you have resigned

• You will be remembered for the way you leave. Carry yourself with class and professionalism.

• Tell and show your manager that you will continue to give 100% until you leave.

• Be willing to help with the handing over of responsibilities.

• Be sure to agree your leaving date.

• Try not to talk too much about your new job offer. People will say they are curious and ask questions, but it can be hard to avoid sounding as though you are putting down your employer.

• Realise that whatever they say, your colleagues don’t really wish to hear that the grass is actually greener on the other side. Be tactful.

• Be careful of talking about your reasons for moving on. You do not want to damage the goodwill that you have, you may need a job reference one day.

For more on job references – click here

So now you know how to put together a resignation letter. Even then, once you’ve resigned you may find it still isn’t over! your current employer may make you a counteroffer.

Click here for the 8 things you need to know about counteroffers

More on how to resign

Return to job interview follow up for what to do after the interview

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