in my workplace I have a line manager who reports into on overall manager. He in turn then reports to the division head, one below the MD. If I was to tender my resignation, who would I give it to?

  • A good test to identify how rigid the chain of command is; who performed your last evaluation? Your line manager or their manager? I'd say that's the person you should address your letter of resignation to. If you go over your line manager's head and resign directly with the overall manager, still also tell your line manager directly as a courtesy. Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 10:11
  • Why not address it to Dear Sir/Madam or whatever the generic whoever reads this is, and mail it or give it to HR? There is a human resource leaving after all.
    – simbabque
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 14:22
  • To help get a proper answer, you should also put what country you're in, and maybe even the industry/type of business. Also whether you're a FT employee or contractor, since that might make a difference as well. The term "line manager" immediately makes me think UK or Europe, since the term isn't as common in the US. Unless you're assembling widgets on a factory floor.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 16:34

3 Answers 3


Normally your direct supervisor. So unless there's a policy document saying otherwise your line manager. You'd only go up the chain if the first person on it is out of the office or otherwise unavailable.

  • Not every company culture is the same. I have a team leader, who reports to a manager who reports to a director. Both my team leader and my manager are semi-technical; the director is who I would hand my notice to. Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 10:36
  • @JonathonCowley-Thom Good point. I am on a team with a lead, but he is not my manager. I would probably submit my resignation to him and my manger. YMMV
    – Neo
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 10:49
  • 2
    While your direct supervisor may not be the person they want you to ultimately give the letter to, he or she is the person most immediately and directly affected and deserves to hear the news first.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 15:20
  • 2
    @HLGEM ... and if for some reason the letter needs to be given to someone other than to your direct supervisor, your supervisor should be able to tell you where to take it instead. Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 15:22

If in doubt do the following

  1. Resign to the person who is in charge of performance reviews and gives you your rating.
  2. Do this in person
  3. Bring a resignation letter to the meeting. Nothing fancy, just statement of resignation and date.
  4. Give the letter to your manager during meeting
  5. Directly after the meeting send a copy of the letter to HR and any other manager who may be in the loop on this.
  6. If your manager asks you to do something else, just go along with that

When in doubt, your human resources department is the fallback. If you're unsure, go to the people who are trained and tasked with handling the human resources of the company.

  • Maybe wrong place to address this, but why the constant assumption that every company has a HR department at all?
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 14:58
  • Every company has someone that manages the intake of new talent. Whether it be the CEO of a small company or a Manager for a department. That person is the nearest responsible person that should be consulted. I guess we refer to it as an HR department out of brevity. Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 15:13
  • 1
    I guess "HR person" or "HR resource" would be the better term. But agreed - every company has a person that handles HR questions, even in a company consisting of two people.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 16:36

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