How To Resign From Your Job

If you’re looking to enter the next stage of your career and find a new job, there will come a time when you will be required to resign from your current job.

Even if you have been keen to leave for some time, when it actually comes time to tell the boss your decision it can be nerve-wracking, so we have put together some key pieces of advice for how to resign from your job.

Be sure of your decision 

When thinking of resigning, it is important to make sure you are certain of your decision. Once you hand in your notice, this can damage the trust and relationship between you and your employer, and you may not be able to repair the relationship if you change your mind.

Take the time to assess exactly why you want to leave and if these issues could realistically be resolved without handing in your resignation, the pros and cons of staying, and the potential benefits of leaving. And if you do decide it’s time to find a new job, be sure of this before you tell your manager.

Find a new job

If possible, prior to handing in your notice, find a new job. It’s typically easier to find a new job if you’re already in employment (you won’t need to answer any potentially uncomfortable questions about why you left your last job, or explain gaps in your CV). And having another job lined up will give you more confidence and take some of the stress away from your resignation.

However, if you are very unhappy in your current employment, leaving may put you in a better position to focus on searching for your ideal job and perfecting your application. For more information on how XCL can help you to find the roles that are best suited to you, contact us here.

Who to speak to

Typically you will resign to your immediate superior, or line manager, unless you work in a very small company where you would need to speak directly to the owner.

Ideally you should arrange a meeting (preferably on a Friday afternoon to avoid an uncomfortable week) to give your notice verbally, as well as giving a formal, written resignation. However, if it is not possible to give verbal resignation (for example if you or your manager works remotely), it is acceptable to just give a written notice.

Plan ahead

Ahead of giving your verbal resignation, prepare and practice what you will say to your manager and, as much as you can, stick to it.

Knowing what you will say (and what you’re comfortable saying) will be particularly helpful if you are asked any questions you would rather not answer. Be sure to remain calm and composed during the meeting and try to leave on the best possible terms.

In the event that your employer becomes confrontational or questions your decision to leave, return to your pre-prepared comments.

What to include in your resignation letter

When writing your letter of resignation, it is often best to keep it fairly brief to ensure it remains clear and professional.

It is your choice whether you hand a printed copy of your letter to your manager in person, or whether you send it via email (although you should check that they have received it if you don’t receive a response).

Your letter of resignation should be addressed to your immediate superior/line manager and include:

  • Your name
  • Notice to leave
  • The date this will be effective from
  • Your leaving date

While not essential, you may also want to include a short message of thanks to your employer for the experience gained or opportunities given while in your role, or mention your willingness to assist in the handover process.

Once you have handed in your resignation, you will be required to work your notice period. This will be a minimum of one week, however your employment contract will specify how long yours is - most companies use notice periods of one month.

Your main goal during your notice period will be to complete any projects and assist, where appropriate, in the smooth handover of responsibilities and tasks.

Resist counter offers

Another aspect of resignation that you should consider is the potential of a counter offer. If you’re great at your job, chances are your employer won’t want to lose you and they might offer to increase your salary, your benefits or your responsibilities to convince you to stay.

However, while accepting a counter offer may be beneficial initially, in the longer term, you may be better off moving into a new role. You can find out more on why you might want to reconsider accepting a tempting counter offer here.

Prepare for the exit interview

When you leave your job, you can expect to be invited to an exit interview. While the exit interview can seem a bit daunting, the main aim is simply for your employer to discuss your reasons for leaving and your experience working for them.

For tips on how to prepare for your exit interview, check out our previous blog here.

Ready to find your new job?

XCL are a leading recruitment agency based in Huddersfield and Bristol who specialise in helping skilled and experienced candidates into the automotive, construction, engineering, production and commercial sectors.

We’ll help you to identify the roles, and employers, most suitable for you, and only ever come to you with vacancies we genuinely believe you will be interested in.

To start your journey, apply for one of our current job vacancies here, or send a copy of your CV to