This is the first time I resign from a job. I am thinking a lot about how to quit the best way possible. I am quitting on good terms, so I want to leave a positive impression.

The following is the hierarchy in my company:

  1. CEO
  2. Development Head
  3. Department Head
  4. Team leader
  5. Me

The team leader is just the technical leader, who tells me what to do, but can't sign holidays, can't give me a raise and doesn't know what I earn. The Department Head is responsible for those things, and he is the one who I consider my boss.

The Development Head has the right to sign contracts with new employees, hence he was the one who signed my contract. For several projects I report directly to him. I would call him "boss'-boss" when speaking with friends.

Before I started I had two interviews, one with each the Development Head and the Department Head. There is also HR.

To whom should I address my letter of resignation?

I can think of two options: Only Department Head or both Development Head and Department Head. I would also send a copy of the letter to HR.

  • 1
    Simple. Tell your immediate manager first, then send the letter to the person who determines your pay.
    – user428517
    Jul 26, 2018 at 16:50

4 Answers 4


I would resign verbally to your immediate superior, and in your resignation letter simply word it as

"To whom it may concern,

Dear Sir/Madam,


or the standard equivalents in German.

Resigning in person to your immediate manager is the correct thing, and it's up to them to pass on the news and the letter to the correct channels - up the hierarchy and to HR. This is an extremely common scenario and one that all managers should be familiar with.

Good luck with the new opportunity.

  • "To whom it may concern, Dear Sir/Madam," doesn't seem right. If you are addressing the letter to a specific person (the immediate supervisor), it sounds a bit odd to also address it "To whom it may concern". Could you please clarify what you mean by that?
    – Masked Man
    Jul 26, 2018 at 16:46
  • The OP stated he wasn't sure who it address it to. This wording gets around that - especially as it may be read by a number of people. "To whom it may concern" is simply a catch-all to ensure it addresses everyone who needs to know.
    – TrueDub
    Jul 26, 2018 at 18:01

It depends on the company you are working for, there is not a rule which is valid everywhere.

If you are working in a big or well structured company, then the correct way to do is to give the letter to your manager, eventually he will pass it to the HR. At least he will direct you to the HR if the company has a specific procedure.

If you are in a small company things are a little more complicated, since maybe there is not a "real" HR and/or a clear structure, so you formally have not a manager. If this is the case, then I would handle the resignation letter to the person who signed your contract.


In the first instance, I'd arrange a one-to-one meeting with your team lead and tell him verbally about your plans to leave. Then have a discussion about the reasons.

He'll then have an opportunity to address those concerns before letting you know what the process is for your company.

Having a verbal conversation about your plans just seems more appropriate than simply handing someone a letter (or them finding it on their desk).

  • I only quit a job once, but what I did was a verbal 1-on-1, then I sent a follow up email, first saying "thanks" and that this email is to confirm my notice to quit.
    – Dan
    Jul 27, 2018 at 14:04

The last couple of companies I worked for had "employee handbooks" (in either paper form, or on an internal website). It's full of rules and procedures; one of them which actions to take when resigning.

You should first check whether your company has codified the rules of resignation.

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