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What to include in your notice letter

Published: Friday 2nd October 2020

After all the excitement of securing a new position, handing in your notice letter can still be an extremely difficult thing to do. There could be many reasons why you have reached the point of resignation. This could range from securing your perfect role to a scenario where you find a position untenable and your happiness at work has suffered. You may also feel uncomfortable being micro-managed, and believe you have no alternative than to begin your letter of notice.

Whatever your reasons may be, it is essential that you do not burn any bridges as a result of your notice letter. It is not easy to move on, and this process can be made worse if you part ways on bad terms. To ensure that you start a new job without any ill feeling, here are some useful hints and tips.

Remember the notice letter basics

It sounds so straightforward, but it is important to get the basics right when drafting your letter of notice. This includes providing your address, which position you are resigning from and ensuring that the letter of resignation is addressed to the correct person. Cutting corners with these details may inadvertently lead to your employers having a negative opinion of you. This may not have been your intention, but you should put the effort in to ensure everything is correct. Communication until the end of the process is key, especially as your employers will have been paying your wages for your time at their company.

businesswoman resigns from job, tearing an employment contract and looking happy at camera, smiling and holding the notice letter.

Date the letter and state why you are leaving

You should always double check the date on your notice letter. Failing to do so may leave question marks surrounding your final working day, and when you can start a new job. It is also important to specify your reasons for leaving. Your reasoning might include looking for a change in career, or something that you might find difficult to explain. Regardless of your reasons, you should look to make this message clear and concise. You should refrain from anything that could be deemed as criticism, but at the same time make sure that the reason is a valid one.

Thank your employers

You might not have a high opinion of your employers; this will differ for lots of people. If this is the case, you should always offer your gratitude within your notice letter. It is a sign of maturity and mutual respect, which will no doubt be appreciated by your line manager. This could also be one of the last times you contact your employers before you leave, so a positive conclusion should be at the front of your mind. After you have thanked your employers, do not forget to sign the letter as well.

Resignation of businessmen with all personal belongings in brown cardboard box

Do not try to score points

If your experience has been a negative one, you might be in a frame of mind where you almost want to gloat about a new job. This is not a good idea for many reasons. Some industries might be quite small, and you may cross paths with your employer again. This could be in future roles or in partnerships at other organisations. It is also vital not to give people a reason to avoid completing a reference, or meeting requirements regarding unused holidays. Ensuring that you do not look to score points also applies to social media, as this is another way of burning bridges. Your notice letter should be professional, without giving anybody a negative opinion which could harm your future opportunities.

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