How to hand in your notice - Our top 5 tips

How to hand in your notice - Our top 5 tips

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Deciding to leave your job and hand in your notice can be a difficult process, or perhaps something you have longed for. Either way, it is important to know how to hand in your notice in a professional manner, leaving no doors fully shut, and ensuring the process goes smoothly and amicably.

There are some definite do’s and don’ts in how to hand in your notice, it can be a delicate, often nervy stage following the acceptance of a new job or perhaps just the decision to leave your current. As a leading recruitment consultancy, we have heard some horror stories about how some candidates have handed in their notice, we also have collective expertise on how to do it right, so here are our top 5 tips to follow on how to hand in your notice.

How to hand in your notice

Take a moment to reflect

An obvious one, but think about why you want to leave. There may be a number of reasons, for instance, you may already have a new job lined up, in which case you probably have already thought this over. If not, take some time to think about your decision and talk it over with your partner or a close friend.

Do constructively lay out your reasons for leaving and sleep on it. Approach these reasons again afterwards and if your decision is still the same proactively follow these next steps.

Don’t make a decision after an incident at work or feeling angry or stressed.

Remember there may be a chance that your employer will come back with a counteroffer or additional incentives to get you to stay; reflecting on your reasons for leaving prior to this will enable you to deal with this appropriately.



woman holding mug



Write a letter of resignation

It’s important to have a short and concise resignation letter ready for when you hand in your notice. Don’t linger on the reasons for your resignation; keep the letter official, formal, and professional

Do clarify your notice period and include this in your letter.

Don’t feel like you have to give the reasons for your resignation or go into specific detail.

Remember that it is important to maintain a positive relationship with the company and its staff, ensure a personal element to the letter using lines such as “it is with regret” and thanking the company/manager for your time there.



writing on a laptop



Make a date with your Manager

The first rule of how to hand in your notice, never hand it in without having a face-to-face meeting with your manager or relevant work contact. Leaving your resignation letter on their desk or emailing them will both be awkward and come across as dismissive.

Do arrange a meeting as soon as possible in a private location, be it their office or grabbing a coffee together during or after work.

Don’t lose your professionalism during the meeting, know what you are going to say before you begin and ensure that any loose ends such as leftover pay and holiday are clarified.

Remember to thank them for your time spent with the company and to leave on a good note ensuring no door is ever fully closed.


hand marking a date on a calendar with a red pen


The Counter Offer

Your decision to hand in your notice can often come as a shock to the company and they will be sad to see you go. Not only may you have been extremely valued but it can be both costly and timely to fill the position you are leaving. To prevent this, you may be made a counter offer or offered a promotion. Whilst this can be enticing, it is important to consider a number of factors.

Do read our advice on how to handle a counter offer and the things to consider when made one here.

Don’t instantly change your mind upon being made a counteroffer. This will not only come across badly but may be a knee-jerk decision you will regret.

Remember you have carefully thought about your reasons for leaving and handing in your notice. An improved offer from your current employer may seem great but it may affect your future prospects within the company. If you are thinking about leaving purely for salary reasons, take a look at our article on how to fight for a fair salary review here.


man in wheelchair and woman sitting at a desk talking




You’ve made it this far, you’re fully clued up on how to hand in your notice and have done so successfully. There are a few more steps to take before you leave for good to ensure you don’t leave the rest of your company in the lurch and you leave on a good note. Think of who else needs to be notified of your leaving and agree with your manager about who will communicate what and when. Plan a detailed handover of the role to your colleagues and be sure to deliver in a professional manner.

Do ensure that any loose ties are tied, and you remain positive and productive throughout your notice period.

Don’t refuse to work your notice period, your employment contract is legally binding and you don’t want to leave on a bad note.

Remember that you’ve invested a lot of time and energy into your personal and professional relationships at your workplace, ensure that this isn’t wasted; inform your colleagues you’ll be leaving and exchange contact details, you never know what may happen in the future.


woman at a desk, holding mobile phone to her ear


Leaving a job is always a hard decision and a tough process, depending on how you hand in your notice, it can transpire in a number of ways. Hopefully, these 5 top tips and do’s and dont’s prove useful in knowing how to hand in your notice effectively and not only will you leave your current job with happy memories (and a good reference) but you’ll be well on your way to newer and better things! 


If you’re currently in the process of leaving or thinking about leaving your current role, or would like advice on the current job market, Eligo’s leading team of specialist recruiters can help! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a confidential chat.