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Expert Tips For Writing Your Resignation Letter

Accepting a job offer from a new company is always an exciting moment, and it’s important to celebrate the opportunities ahead of you.

But before you embark on the next stage of your professional journey, you’ll need to handle your exit from your current role, and that means drafting a resignation letter.

Writing and delivering a resignation letter can be a difficult process. Although you’re ending a relationship with your current employer, you’ll always want to leave on good terms and avoid any confusion - and this is where your resignation letter is key.

In this guide, we’ll explain how you can craft a clear and professional resignation letter that will help to facilitate a smooth career transition.

Be clear and direct

Many people assume that a resignation letter is the perfect opportunity to clarify exactly why they are leaving their role. They may be tempted to air specific grievances or justify their decision at length, particularly as leaving a role can make some individuals feel guilty.

In reality, your resignation letter is not the best format for delivering this type of feedback. Even if you want to write all of these thoughts and feelings down, it’s best to deliver them in person with your manager before handing in your notice.

As for the letter itself, just focus on being as clear and direct as possible with your manager.

As a functional document, the resignation letter doesn’t need to be personal or lengthy. Confirm your official resignation within 1-2 sentences, and highlight the date of your last working day based on your notice period. These are the only two mandatory pieces of information that you’ll need to include, so make sure they’re clearly stated in the document.

A straightforward resignation letter isn’t just easier to write, but it will also help the HR staff managing the process, so it’s beneficial for all parties.

Use professional formatting

Resigning from your job is a formal process, and your resignation letter will need to reflect this.

Your resignation note should be formatted properly, and include key details such as the company address and your manager’s name. You should also comb through the letter to check for any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors - a badly-written document won’t do your professional reputation any favours, so take the time to create a polished letter.

If you’re unsure how to format the note, you can always search for resignation letter templates online and tweak them to your liking.

Express your gratitude (and always be polite)

It’s a good idea to be as polite as possible in your resignation letter - these documents are often saved on file, and even if you’re leaving on difficult terms, there’s no point risking damaging your reputation in the industry.

A simple ‘thank you’ can also go a long way in a resignation note, so if it feels appropriate, don’t hesitate to include a line or two expressing your gratitude.

You might thank a company for the opportunities they’ve given you, or any support they’ve provided in terms of your career development. A small note will suffice, but it can mean a lot to your manager and make the entire resignation process much easier.

Prepare for delivering the letter

The process of writing your resignation letter is important, but you should also consider how you’ll be delivering the note to your manager.

A one-to-one meeting with your manager is always best, whether that’s in-person or via a video call. Explain that you’re handing over your resignation letter, and follow up with an email containing the document - you might also need to include any relevant HR staff in the chain.

(This email will also serve as a handy confirmation of your resignation date, so you can always reference this if there’s any confusion about timings.)

Additionally, you should anticipate any counter-offers that your employer may send back. Whether or not you consider these offers depends on your unique situation, but this is a common occurrence once you’ve submitted a resignation letter!

By following these tips and producing a clear, professional resignation letter, you can make your job transition much easier for everybody involved.

If you’re considering a career move or looking to understand the latest job market openings, we can help. At Barclay Meade, we specialise in helping skilled candidates to find permanent, interim and consultancy positions at established companies.


Click here to start your job search today.

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