Congratulations! You have found a new job! Whether you are looking for better remuneration, better work culture, better chances for career advancement or leaving a toxic work culture, the next step is to resign from your current role by submitting your resignation letter.
Many people are unsure how to write a resignation letter. It’s a daunting task, so we’ve put together some helpful advice on how to resign from your current employer once you’ve landed your new role.
More than just a resignation letter, a well-written resignation letter can still solidify a lasting relationship with your existing employer.
Related: 5 steps to creating your career plan
What should I include in my resignation letter?
Your resignation letter acts as a formal recognition of your intent to leave the company. It will stay in your employee personnel file after you have left the company. Therefore, what you write in your resignation letter matters as it reflects who you are as a professional too.
Resignation letters do not require a massive amount of detail. You want to include the basics – your name, the addressee, and the date. You want to formally state that you’ll be terminating your employment and include your exit date. Lastly, sign the document if you are resigning in person.
End the letter with a thank you note to your hiring manager and, or company, and this will leave a civil and professional impression throughout the resignation process.
Related: Resignation letter templates
What shouldn’t I include in my resignation letter?
As with most professional matters, it’s a good idea to check your emotions at the door when you write a resignation letter. You do not need to explain why you’re leaving in your letter, as this could negatively reflect you.
Refrain from saying anything negative about your employer in the letter as it, in a way, offers you a platform to maintain a positive relationship with the company. If you want to explain your reasons for finding a new position or provide constructive feedback, do it at a face-to-face meeting or exit interview.
When and how should I submit my resignation?
Delivering your resignation news can be the most nerve-racking part of the entire process. First of all, communicate this only after you have written confirmation of your job offer from your new employer; this usually comes in the form of a signed contract.
Resigning in person
With the resignation letter in your hand, approach your manager at the end of the day. Sharing resignation news at the end of the day allows them to process your resignation without doing it while working through their meetings and deadlines for the day. And proceed with tact. Speak clearly in a firm voice but do not come across as aggressive or apologetic.
Some employees seek new opportunities because they have issues working with their current manager. If that is the case for you, take a deep breath and stay composed and professional throughout the conversation. As tempting as it can get, do not air any personal issues with them throughout the meeting. Don’t forget; you still need to work with them during your notice period. Say that you are moving on to a new role for your career, and thank them for their guidance.
Resigning through email
There are times where you cannot resign in person. Perhaps you work remotely or are experiencing a personal emergency where you have to resign immediately. Other times, you may be working in a psychologically unsafe environment or have a toxic manager.
If that is the case for you, you may email your resignation letter to your manager with a copy to your human resources manager. You can also copy your personal email address in the email so that you would have a copy of the email as well.
Related: How to manage your online reputation
What happens after I have resigned?
You want to leave behind a good reputation. Even if you have had a glorious career at your company, any missteps during your notice period can ruin the reputation you have built over those past years.
So, it is imperative to give your 100% for the duration of your notice period to preserve your professional relationships at the company you are leaving. You would have to finish any urgent work, prepare your handover documents, and sometimes, even train your replacement.
(You may start receiving farewell lunch invitations from colleagues in different departments, but always keep in mind that finishing your work comes first. Lunch can wait. And long lunches are out of the question, unless it is with your manager.)
In some companies, the HR department will arrange an exit interview with you. Exit interviews are a formalised way for you to give feedback on your experience with the company. If you know that you have an effective HR department, you may communicate any glaring issues you may have experienced. If you are not comfortable sharing more details or are worried about any repercussions, you do not have to.
Leaving a job is never easy, but you can preserve your professional integrity with your previous employer if you communicate clearly and are sufficiently tactful.
Join over 60,000 readers!
Get a free weekly update via email here and help kick start your career.
Try our smart new tool to find your perfect job