Article – Resigning in Style

Resigning In Style

If you purchase an interview winning CV from CV Master Careers you should be fully prepared to resign from your current role! This article is aimed at helping you to quit your job in an effective, professional and dignified manner. In the UK we call the process of ending a job “giving our notice”. It can also be termed ‘quitting’, ‘resigning’, ‘finishing a job’ or ‘walking out’. 

You need to resign in the best possible way to avoid harming your career unnecessarily. You will always need a good reference. So make sure of your responsibilities before you quit.

This refers to the statutory period of notice to leave your current employer that is written in to an employment contract. The Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) recommends that you visit for basic advice on employment rights and responsibilities. Here is a summary of required notice periods;

Notice you must give your employer;

The statutory minimum amount of notice you must give is one week when you’ve worked for your employer for one month or more.  If your contract requires you to give more notice than one week then you should give it.

Notice your employer must give you:

Whatever your contract says, your employer must give you at least the statutory minimum period of notice, which depends on how long you’ve worked for them:

  • One week if you’ve been continuously employed for between one month and two years
  • One week for each complete year (up to a maximum of 12) if you have been continuously employed for two or more years

So, for example, if you’ve had six and a half years service, you will be entitled to six weeks notice.

Fixed-term contracts:

Fixed-term contracts automatically end (without notice) at their end date.  If the employer wants them to end sooner then notice should be given to the employee.

Further information can be found on the directgov website, this site is also useful for information about all other public services.

If you have been successful at interview and have gained a job offer:


Before you celebrate, carefully consider the job offer that you have just received. Are you sure that you are making the right decision? It can be difficult to return to your old job if the new one doesn’t work out as you hoped. Make sure you are clear about your next steps. It is really important to make sure that you are leaving for the right reasons, as once you have made your intention to leave public knowledge it can be very hard to back down. This is especially true in small offices, where news travels fast. You would not want your boss to discover your intentions before you have had time to prepare your exit strategy.

Check your contract

At this stage, you may want to gather together and read through any contracts or letters that you may have been sent. You may want to examine your contract of employment and look at your notice period. Pay particular attention to the dates, pay scale and holiday entitlement. The cautious amongst us, may want to check that the job offer is contractually binding before taking the plunge.

Telling the boss

Once you are sure, be prepared for any reaction from your boss. They could offer to increase your salary offer, increase your responsibility or more time off. Consider if there is anything at all that would persuade you to stay in your current position? Would an increase in salary change your mind? If not? Then prepare to write your resignation letter.

Make sure that you resign to the correct person; after all of your preparation it might be tempting to tell everyone that you are intending to leave. Resist the temptation. Say nothing, except to the person who deals with this issue. In most cases it is the personnel department or human resources. If your organisation is different, find out which member of staff is responsible and speak only to them.

Getting it right

Explain your reasons for leaving, in a calm and rational manner. Do not allow yourself to become emotional about this process, no matter what your feelings towards the company or your boss. Also do not allow yourself to be provoked into an emotional outburst. This applies equally to displays of anger or tears. Do not allow yourself to be dragged into persistent questioning. Keep your reasons unemotional and allow time for a follow-up meeting later. If there is significant emotion on either part then taking a break can help. Request a meeting for another time, when you have had chance to calm down.

Exit interviews

Be prepared for any exit interviews that you may need to attend. The company may want to know your reasons for leaving to help with staff retention. It is your decision, if you want to explain your reasons in full. You are the best judge about what serves you best. If you are unsure speak to a friend or family member about the best course of action to take. Your colleagues may want to know “WHY?” As you may be bombarded with questions, it makes sense to rehearse your answers.

Your last day

Collect your personal belongings and clear your desk. Make sure you say goodbye to all of your colleagues and take any contact numbers as you never know when your professional paths may cross again. Now you can get ready for a new adventure!

Good Luck