What is the most professional way to present your resignation letter?

Resigning from your position at a company can be difficult. With resignations still rare in some companies, many people find it a challenge to know just how to perform each step in the process.

One particularly difficult step is the resignation letter. Once you’ve written it, what is the most professional way to present it to your boss?

Before you write your resignation notice

While there’s nothing wrong with going to your boss with your resignation letter in hand as a way to break the news, it is better to organise a meeting to discuss it with them first. This is a simple way to show your respect for their position, as well as to discuss how to manage your transition. This will allow you to discuss in detail with them when your final day will be, a detail which you will need to write your letter.

It may also save you time: some companies have a resignation letter template that they want their employees to use, saving you from writing your own.

Other companies have a very specific resignation process, so it’s a good idea to wait until after you’ve had an initial meeting with your supervisor before you even begin writing your formal resignation letter.

Why it’s important to formally present your letter of resignation

Once you’ve composed your letter, the best thing to do is organise another time to meet with your boss. Regardless of how informal your relationship might be, it is better to handle this situation with a measure of formality. Your resignation is one such formal situation, and so a measure of professionalism is to be expected.

How to professionally present your resignation letter

Just like your initial meeting with your boss to discuss your resignation, you should also organise a private discussion. As with all formal events, present your letter with both hands.

This meeting is also a good opportunity to thank your boss for their support during your time with the company. If you haven’t already, you may want to use this time to confirm with them the details of your transition. For example, they may prefer to be the person to announce your resignation to your colleagues and clients and organise handover meetings.

What not to do when presenting your resignation notice

Of course, not all resignations are positive experience, and while it may be tempting to use this opportunity to discuss the issues that you’ve experienced, it is not appropriate.

Your aim should be to leave with your reputation intact, and with your colleagues to have a good impression of you. For this reason, your resignation should be as calm, professional, and positive as possible.

It may sound obvious, but do not swear or insult your colleagues. You don’t know when you will work with them again, or when you will need a reference. The business world can be quite small; keep that in mind when entering into any discussions surrounding your resignation.

Presenting your resignation letter can feel awkward, no matter what stage you’re at in your career. However, with a bit of preparation and professionalism, this particular challenge can be tackled easily and calmly.

Let us help you find the right job