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How to write a resignation letter.

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Published on 27 September 2019

Here are our top tips for writing a resignation letter, including a free downloadable template.

When you are resigning from employment, it is not only courteous to provide your employer with a formal resignation letter, but it is often also part of company protocol.

A letter is a way to formally announce your resignation, (even if you have already discussed it verbally with your boss) while also acting as an official record for your employee file.

Writing a letter is also a courtesy that can help you maintain a positive relationship with your employer, which is of course essential if you plan to use them as a future reference.

Tips for writing a resignation letter.

Keep it short - There is no need to add lengthy explanations as to why you are leaving in your resignation letter. Keep it short and if there is anything you would like to explain to your employer or they would like to discuss with you, this can be done as part of an exit interview.

Keep it professional– A resignation letter should be factual and formal. Even if you have a really friendly relationship with your manager, its best practice to write your resignation letter as if anyone in the business might read it. Keep it professional throughout and avoid overly emotional sentiments or negative criticisms of the business.

Structure

Format

Your resignation letter should be laid out like a formal letter, including your address, the company address and the date in the header area.

The date is particularly important to include as it will act as an official date of resignation, from which your notice period will be calculated.

Give appropriate notice

You are required to give 1 weeks’ notice of resignation unless your employment contract states otherwise.

By law, there are statutory minimum notice periods relating to notice given by a company to an employee. These are;

  • at least one week’s notice if employed between one month and 2 years
  • one week’s notice for each year if employed between 2 and 12 years
  • 12 weeks’ notice if employed for 12 years or more

Remember: If you do not give enough notice, or do not work your full notice period, you may be in breach of your employment contract. So don’t go booking any holidays,or giving your new employer a start date before you’ve double checked what notice period you must work.

State the date you plan on leaving

This is an important feature to include in your resignation letter as it provides clarity to both you and your employer about when you are expecting to leave. The leaving date is worked out from the date of handing in your notice, plus however long your required notice period is.

Say thank you

Regardless of whether you are happy or sad to be leaving, it is polite to thank your employer for the skills and experiences you have gained whilst working there.

Finally, make sure your letter is received and acknowledged.

Ideally your letter should be handed in in person but if it is sent by email include a ‘read receipt’. Keep a copy and a note of when the letter was sent.


Download our free template


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How to write a resignation letter.