Whether you want a fresh start in the new year, or you’re just looking for a way to improve your life, you may be wondering if a new job is the answer. But with the exciting success of finding as new job comes the awkward task of resigning from your current position. If you’d like to keep things professional and not burn any bridges, you need to write a resignation letter.

Many people are unsure how to write a resignation letter. It’s a daunting task, so we’ve put together some useful advice on how to resign from your current employer once you’ve landed your new role. If handled properly, a well-written resignation letter can solidify a lasting relationship with your existing employer.

What Should I Include in My Resignation Letter?

Your resignation letter acts as a formal recognition of your intent to leave the company. But, it can still be used to reflect positively on you, as it will stay on file after you have departed. Resignation letters do not require a huge amount of detail, though.

You do want to include the basics – your name, the addressee, and the date. These things are typical in any letter, but it’s important to remember them. You want to formally, officially state that you’ll be terminating your employment and include your exit date. Lastly, you want to sign the document.

Also, thanking your employer is a good note to end on. This will leave a civil and professional impression throughout the resignation process.

What Shouldn’t I Include in My Resignation Letter?

As with most professional matters, it’s a good idea to check your emotions when you write a resignation letter. You do not need to explain why you’re leaving in your letter, as this could reflect badly on you. If you want to explain your reasons for finding a new position, it’s best to do it in a face-to-face meeting or exit interview. This shows tact and gives you a chance to ensure that the relationships you have are maintained.

When and How Should I Hand in My Resignation?

Delivering your resignation news can be the most nerve-racking part of the entire process. You should communicate this once you have written confirmation of your offer from your new employer. While giving two-weeks notice is customary, it will help your current employer if you can buy more time before leaving. This gives them a longer transition period, allowing for a more thorough search for your replacement.

Usually, this is a prompted by a conversation between you and your manager, where you inform them of your intent to leave. Many employees seek new opportunities because they have had discrepancies with their current manager. If this is the case for you, then you may be expecting a difficult meeting. Keep composed and professional throughout the conversation, explaining that you are moving on to a new role and not airing any personal issues with them throughout the meeting.

Depending on your relationship with them, you can either have the letter prepared beforehand with the pertinent details, or write it up and send it to them after your meeting.

What Happens Afterwards?

Once the hard part’s done, you now have to serve your notice period. To preserve your professional relationships, it’s important to give 100% for the duration of your tenure. This means preparing thorough and detailed hand-off documents, being on hand to train your replacement, if able, and fully fulfilling all of your job responsibilities.

In some companies, the HR department will arrange an exit interview with you. This is a more formalized way to give feedback on your experience in your position, and to confidently bring to light any glaring issues you may have experienced. This is your chance to hopefully improve the organization for future employees.

In summation, leaving a job is never not awkward, but if you simply communicate clearly and are sufficiently tactful, you can preserve your professional integrity with your old employer. If you still haven’t found that new dream job yet, browse our current job listings. If you choose to apply, one of our expert recruitment consultants will be in touch with relevant opportunities.