Blog Post

How to write the perfect resignation letter

Saying ‘Goodbye’ is never easy but when you have decided it is time to take a leap of faith and start a new career, you first have to complete that tricky task of informing your current employer that you are ‘Outta here’.

Whether or not you choose to inform your boss in person (and out of courtesy, we strongly recommend that you do) you will still need to confirm your resignation in writing.

It is simple good practice and good manners to take time to write a formal letter of resignation – rather than a hastily typed email or note – you never know when you might need to call on a former employer for a reference or some advice.

If you don’t know where to start, we have out together a quick Resignation Letter Checklist to help.

Date your letter

This will keep an important record of when your officially handed in your notice, and can save any later confusion.

Your Employers’ address

Follow a standard letter template and put your employer’s name and address under the date.  Start with the company name, with the address beneath it.

Opening address
Generally you will be writing to your line manager so begin with ‘Dear’ followed by how you address them personally.  This would be either formally with Mr, Mrs, Ms etc. and their surname, or with their first name.

Your intention to resign and the reason why

Explain you are writing to inform your manager of your resignation from your role as ‘Your Job Title’ at ‘Employer’s Name’ and give your reason for this.

It is important to be as positive as possible here.  Don’t give a lengthy list of gripes about your job, or a negative account of your time in their employment.  Stick to your main reason for leaving and remember that your goal is to maintain a professional relationship with your current employer.  The last thing you want to do is leave with bad feeling, you never know when your past might come back to find you!

The date of resignation

Confirm the date that you believe to be your last official working day at the end of your notice period.  Your notice period should be stated in your contract of employment and generally ranges from two weeks to a month (more senior positions can carry a lengthier notice period).

Your notice period

Even if you don’t really feel like it, you should state in your letter that you are willing to work your full notice period.  Your boss might later agree to releasing you earlier, but this will be a separate discussion.  A nice touch here is to add that you would be pleased to assist with any handover period with your replacement, if appropriate.

A Thank You (remember your manners!)

Before signing off, make sure to add a thank you to your employer for the opportunity of working for them.  You should end your letter on an upbeat note, even if you can’t wait to escape!  Parting impressions are just as lasting as first impressions and leaving under a dark cloud will not do your professional reputation any good at all – especially if anything negative is recorded in writing!

Sign off

As with a standard letter template, you should sign off with a ‘Yours sincerely’, ‘Kind regards’ or similar followed by your handwritten signature and your name typed underneath.

What next?

Make a copy of your letter for your own records then send a copy to your manager, and perhaps another to your HR Department if necessary.  Make sure you follow up within a week if they fail to acknowledge it so that you don’t fall into any confusion over the length and conditions of your notice period.

If you have decided that you are ready to find a new challenge, we would love to have a chat with you, please contact us on 01789 532220 or email