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I'm really surprised this hasn't been asked already. I did search but couldn't find anything.

I want to know two things:

  • What do I write in the notice letter itself? and
  • What do I say when I hand it over?

I live in the UK and my notice period is the standard one month.

12

I'd make it polite and to the point, thanking them for the opportunities that they have offered you. Make sure to leave professionally. I find this a helpful template:

Dear [Managers Name],

Please accept this letter as formal notice of my resignation from [company name] as [job title]. As per my contract I intend to work [x weeks/months], making my last working day [dd/mm/yyyy]. [OPTIONAL: I am flexible on this date should you require more / less time of me].

[Personalise the next bit as necessary] I would like to take this time to thank you for the opportunities I have had whilst working here. I have learned much from my time here.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature followed by typed name]

When handing it in make sure to be polite and professional. If done right your manager will probably have no idea that this is coming and may react in an unexpected fashion. No matter what happens, remain calm.

If it was me, and everything was cordial between myself and my manager, then I would be saying something along the lines of this when handing in the letter:

Hi, [manager's name], could I have a minute of your time? I'd just like to give you this letter. It's my official resignation.

What you say next depends on the reason for you leaving. If you're just moving on to a better job then something like:

Thank you for all the opportunities I've had here, they've really helped me grow. But it's just that time for me to move on to my next position.

If you're moving because you're unhappy in your current position, exactly why you're unhappy should have been discussed between you and your manager before leaving and this is the last resort so there's little left to be said about it:

Thank you again for all your help, I'm sorry we couldn't work things out but I feel it's time I moved on.

Those two can help you cover most situations. If you'd like help with any specific situation leave a comment.

1

My standard letter has always read

Dear

Please accept this letter as my notice to leave the company.

Subject to written confirmation and in line with my employment contract, I intend my last working day for the company to be dd/mm/yyyy

Regards

When handing it over, I have always tried to stay polite and unemotional. Depending on the circumstances, the recipient may/may not become emotional/angry/not be expecting it. You simply have to stay calm and be ready to explain your decision.

  • 4
    While I don't seriously disagree with this, it implies that the employer has an option not to accept the letter. I would phrase it more definitely unless I wanted there to be an option. – DJClayworth Apr 3 '14 at 13:43
  • @DJClayworth That's what the "subject to written confirmation" suggested to me as well. – starsplusplus Apr 3 '14 at 14:40

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