How to resign in a professional manner.

There is plenty of advice for how to land a great job, but what about how to resign professionally? Whether you’re unhappy with your current position, have found something better or are simply ready for a change, resigning can be very stressful on individuals.

Whilst you might be tempted to dance into the office and scream you are leaving, please don’t! Always act professional!  Erring on the side of caution with a polite resignation letter means you won’t burn bridges – you will be thankful for this later in your career journey. Trust me!

You might not want to work for the company again, but remember, paths might cross with your ex-line manager or other colleagues in a different company in the future. Making sure your exit is as professional as possible will help you retain credibility – even if you’re leaving under a cloud. Resigning professionally is paramount to keeping a good reputation in your industry.

Here are some tips from Daly Recruitment on how to resign professionally.

Having the resignation conversation is always very awkward. But maintaining positive relationships with old colleagues can be really valuable down the road, if you are looking for references or new positions in companies which previous managers have moved too.

Check your contract or your employee manual for the expected notice period, be it two weeks, a month, or more. It’s not only a contractual term, but professional courtesy to honour these guidelines, it isn’t just good manners; your termination benefits may depend on it. No matter how much your new employer is pushing you to start “ASAP,” you have a commitment to your current company to see out your contract. How you treat your current employer will also be an indicator to your new employer. Mess your old one around, would indicate you might mess them around in the future. Always remember that! If your new employer believes you are “the right person”, and not just “a person”, they will wait!


Also, ensure you have your new employer contract signed, and new start date confirmed with before speaking with current employer. DO NOT resign without the paperwork completed.

IMPORTANT: If your new job is with a competitor, make sure you are not breaking your contract by accepting the position. If you decide to move forward with the new job despite any contractual boundaries, be prepared to be asked to leave the premises of your current job immediately.

Telling your manager – Always do face to face

Show courtesy by telling your boss first, and face to face never just send an email or text.

Request a meeting to say that you’re leaving, following up immediately after with an official resignation letter (or bring this along). Do this before you tell others within the company, and it reaches your manager from another source. This is never good and shows lack of respect.

Use this meeting to clarify any points, such as your notice period and leaving date, how you will inform others (colleagues or external clients, contacts and suppliers).

Be courteous

During your resignation meeting, always make sure to take the opportunity to thank your boss for the experience and the opportunity you’ve had at your current job. In hospitality everyone knows everyone!

Keep it professional and positive

Never complain to co-workers about your dissatisfaction at work. NEVER bash your current job or bosses during an interview with a potential new employer. And never, ever, ever criticise your current job/manager on social media. Even after you’ve given you’re notice and moved on, refrain from public declaration about how excited you are to get out of there.

When asked why you are leaving, the ideal answer is “for a better opportunity.” If you don’t have another job lined up, you may have to be more honest, but always put a professional spin on it: “This isn’t the right environment for me” sounds a lot better than “I hate working here!”

Keep your resignation short and direct. Be confident about your decision to move on, you have gone through the selection and interview stage to get here, be appreciative of the opportunities you’ve had.

Notice period

Remain courteous with everyone until your last day and beyond.

Do your very best to leave your colleagues, your replacement, and your clients as prepared as possible for your departure. Don’t leave with items up the air and no official handover with replacement or manager.


How do you write a good resignation letter?

Always keep a resignation letter simple, courteous and professional. You don’t need to mention your reason for leaving – especially if it reflects negatively on the company. Instead, focus on thanking your manager for the knowledge and skills you have received during your employment.

Tips for writing your formal resignation letter

  1. Address it to your direct manager. When writing a resignation letter, ensure you address it to your direct-line manager, rather than an HR manager.

Start by saying something along the lines of:

“I am writing to formally give notice of my resignation from my post/position/role as (job title) at (name of employer).

    2.  Include your leaving date. Before you hand in your resignation letter, make sure you are aware of your responsibilities in terms of the company’s notice periods ‒ you’ll often find your notice period listed in your employment contract. It is important to list your leaving date in your resignation letter as it will act as your formal written notice.

Say something like:

According to the terms of my contract, the notice period is (length of notice period) and my final working day will therefore be (leaving date).”

    3. Keep a professional tone. Despite taking on a new role, you may need to contact your former employer in the future for references. Adapt a positive, professional tone in your letter and avoid any negative language towards the company, your managers or colleagues.

  4. Always say thank you. You may need to leverage this position in the future, so you want to avoid burning any bridges. Thank your manager and the company in your letter, telling them you appreciate everything you’ve learned while in your position. That way you can move to your new job and maintain the industry connections you have at your old one.

Say something like:

“I have enjoyed working here and particularly appreciate/would like to thank you for … “

You can also mention your appreciation at being able to work in a great team or to develop your knowledge of the industry, for example.

  5. State your willingness to hand over

If you are currently in the middle of a task at work, it is favourable to include a brief handover action plan in your letter.

You could include something along the lines of:

“I will do my utmost to complete existing tasks and to assist where possible in the hand-over process.

Yours sincerely … “

Where you can, complete a full handover with replacement or manager.

Letting colleagues know of your decision to move on:

As well as telling your closest colleagues in person, you may also want to email others in the company – please agree this communication with your manager before doing so.

Again, keep this short and sweet, maybe write something like:

“As you may already know, I’ve decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities (in … ) /to take the next step in my career.

I’ve greatly enjoyed working with you all and hope that our paths will cross again in the future.”

ALWAYS, remain calm, professional and courteous to all.
Hospitality is a small industry and you don’t know when or where you will meet your current team along your career journey in the industry!
Trust me on this! 


If you are a candidate of Daly Recruitment, we will mentor and assist you with any concerns you may have throughout this stage of the process.