How to resign professionally

Resign from your job


You have secured your next career move and now you have to resign from your current position. There can be a mixture of feelings for many people: some feel happy, some are clearly overjoyed, and some feel guilty. For this reason, many can feel anxious or uncomfortable resigning. Worrying about resigning is a common feeling with it being ranked as one of the most stressful things to do at work. Whether the reason for resignation is being overworked, a lack of recognition, or just a better opportunity, the way to resign is something we rarely do well in the workplace. However, there is always a need to do this professionally.

I thought it would be helpful to outline some things you can do when resigning and what you MUST always do.

Prepare a resignation letter or email in advance. This letter should be succinct and to the point. However, I recommend this as a follow-up from personally telling your manager. It is not very professional to send a letter or email completely out of the blue without warning.

Here are the points to remember both in your email/letter, and in person:

Be professional

Although you may have a bad experience in your workplace or with a colleague or manager it is important to maintain professionalism and not include these issues in your resignation letter. Remember you may need them for a reference in the future and it is bad business to burn bridges. You might never know when you will cross paths in the future.

Don’t get too personal

You don’t need to give a reason if you prefer not to. You can easily say you have found a new opportunity, or would like new challenge or simply it is time to “move on”. Just because you are leaving does not mean you should lower your professional standards and remember to do what you are comfortable with.

Give appropriate notice

Check your contractual obligations and state what date you are handing your notice in from and when you plan to finish, although you can confirm this if you would like to finish sooner if possible, especially if you are on a longer notice period.

Be thankful

Be sure to thank the employer for the opportunities they have offered you and that you wish the organisation all the best for the future.

Protect your reputation

If you are in a senior position you could offer to assist in finding and training a suitable replacement, if timing allows. Also, make sure you support the handover process and tidy up your affairs prior to leaving. You don’t want the lasting impression to be that you left everything in a mess when you left.

Proof read your letter/email

Make sure you check your letter for grammar and spelling mistakes as you still want to maintain your professionalism.

Over and above these pointers, I must stress, if you can try not to resign before you have found another role this is best. You will always be in a stronger position when applying for different roles or  negotiating the salary as the recruiter will have to work “harder” to secure your services.

I hope this helps and wish you the best in your next career move!

*Emma Alkirwi is the Managing Director of is a leading service provider of professionally written CVs, LinkedIn Profiles, cover letters in the UK and they also provide specialist consultancy services.  Emma has over 10 years experience in recruitment and employment related services covering a wealth of industries. Having been a professional employment consultant for several years, she has provided professional advice covering everything from professional CV/LinkedIn writing, effective job searching, interview skills and preparation, presentation techniques, and general professional coaching.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Franchise Selection

Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

Your Franchise Selection

This franchise opportunity has been added to your franchise selection



Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

You may be interested in these similar franchises