How to hand in your notice professionally!

Posted on Monday, December 3, 2018 by Adrian FosterNo comments

In the excitement of finding a new job, the importance of how to submit your resignation is often overlooked.

I read something recently that stated that the average person will change jobs eleven times in their career. I suspect that this figure will be higher for the millennial generation. Whether you’re a seasoned job hopper or it’s your first time writing a resignation letter, leaving doesn’t necessarily get easier with experience. So whether you love your current job, or can’t wait to be out of it, it’s important to remember that how you act in the run-up to leaving can have a lasting impression.

I’ve put together ten tips to help you during what can be a stressful and often neglected part of the recruitment process.

One - Don’t do anything before you’ve got that contract in your hand

First and foremost, don’t be hasty! Make sure that you’ve got your official contract through from your next employer before you resign from your current one. It’s a very rare occurrence, but a common sense approach will ensure that you are not left in the awful situation of having no job to go to.

Two – know your notice period

Your current contract of employment should be clear on the length of the notice period you are required to honour – these can vary, but the minimum is a one week. Make sure you’re certain on the length of your resignation period so there’s no mismatch between when you leave one job and start your next.

Three - Speak to your boss­

Now for the tricky part! Please don’t use email, I can guarantee that your boss will always appreciate hearing it from you in person. Plan ahead, and make note of what dates and times they’re around so that you can catch them in good time. It could be a good idea to get in early or stick around after work to catch them.

Four – Expect the Counter Offer

When speaking with your boss, it’s possible that they might give you a counteroffer. Prepare yourself for that and think about the reasons why you looked for new employment. Will a small pay rise compensate for these? Will you have extra work to do? Will you be expected to work longer hours? Should it really take you to hand in your notice to receive a pay rise?

It can be easy to say yes to a new role and salary in the moment, so be sure to remind yourself of all of the reasons why you want to move on.

Five – Air those Grievances – professionally!

This is also a good time to air any grievances you had whilst working there. Don’t be too harsh, of course, but your employer should appreciate the feedback in the long run. Remember, you might need to call upon your boss to give you a reference for your next job, so it’s important to maintain a good relationship with them to maintain your positive and professional reputation.

Six - Writing the notice letter

Once you’ve spoken with your boss, your HR team will need your resignation notice in writing, too. Be prepared and craft a resignation template. I can provide a resignation letter template for you to amend as part of my Standard resignation pack which is available to all candidates for whom we find new employment.

Seven – Don’t brag

Let your boss communicate to the wider team or department that you are leaving. Part of your Boss’ role is to manage team morale so give him / her the opportunity to manage this process with their team.    

Eight - Honour your notice period

It’s a small world - it’s very important to continue to maintain the quality of work you were producing before your resignation. You’re still being paid, after all, so keep turning up on time, and carrying out tasks that fall within your remit to ensure you don’t go burning any bridges. Who knows what the future will hold – don’t damage the positive relationship you have worked hard to build up by calling in sick simply because you’re in your notice period.

Nine - Handover your job

Make sure your colleagues are fully up to speed on any outstanding work when you’re gone. You want your team to remember you in a good light, rather than the one that left them in the lurch!

Ten – Stay in Touch

Keep in touch with your colleagues where possible. As previously mentioned, you never know when your paths might cross again.

Follow these tips and you will make your resignation notice period as painless and as constructive as possible, allowing you to start your new job on the best terms with your new employers and the support of your old ones.


Adrian Foster is a recruitment specialist with over 20 years experience in Recruitment. Please get in touch if you think we can help with any recruitment needs that you may have. 

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