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How to write the perfect resignation letter

How to write the perfect resignation letter

How to write the perfect resignation letter

Moving on from your old job can leave you feeling a whirlwind of emotions, whether it’s elation at the prospect of your new role or sadness that you’ll be leaving behind good times and wonderful colleagues. Writing a resignation letter can be difficult, especially if you’ve had a tough time in your former role, but it’s vital to always remain professional and leave a good impression with your employer. Your resignation letter will remain on your personal file for the rest of your life, so don’t let a few harsh words compromise your future options.

A formal document

Your resignation letter is a formal legal document which could later be used in court. It should include all the necessary information such as your leaving date and notice period, while remaining clear and concise. The resignation letter is traditionally the place to voice any concerns about the way the company operates or the practices of specific individuals. However, don’t use this letter as an opportunity to voice a personal attack or be unduly critical. If your intention is to just make your employer aware of an issue this is fine, but word it carefully so as not to appear bitter or mean spirited.


More people than ever are choosing to email in their resignation letter, often with the mistaken belief that this is a more informal method of handing in their notice. However, any email correspondence with your employer should be composed in the same professional manner as a handwritten letter.

Contract of employment

Your resignation letter needs to include your required period of notice; you can find this information in your contract of employment. Not all companies ask employees to work the full notice period, many preferring to let you use your outstanding holiday allowance instead.

Exit interview

It’s common practice in most organisations to invite you to attend an exit interview after receiving notice of your resignation. This meeting will give you the opportunity to discuss your concerns, the reason you are leaving and any improvements you feel the company could make in the future. Often companies use the information gleamed from these interviews to improve practices in the future, so if you have something constructive to add then it’s well worth a mention.

An exit interview can also be used to encourage you to stay with the company, so be prepared for any offers they may put on the table. If you’re determined to leave then be open and honest with your employer, but if salary is one of the main reasons you’re moving on to pastures new they may be able to give you an offer you can’t refuse.

Maintaining relationships

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when writing a resignation letter is that the relationships you’ve forged in your current role can be a great advantage to you in the future.  By writing a professional letter there’s no reason you can’t stay in touch with business contacts and colleagues. In the future these could prove in valuable in helping you discover new opportunities and clients.

Writing a resignation letter can be stressful, especially if you’re leaving your old job with mixed feelings. Take the hassle out of the process by getting in touch with the consultants at CV Knowhow, we can provide a professional and successful resignation letter that’s perfect for your needs.