1. Resignation Letter: UK Template, Sample & How to Write

Resignation Letter: UK Template, Sample & How to Write

LiveCareer UK Editorial Team
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Quitting your job can mean that good things are ahead: maybe you’re looking forward to starting your business or getting a position that offers better benefits or career development opportunities. 

But saying goodbye can be tricky, even if you’re not sorry to leave! Resignation letter etiquette is challenging to figure out without help. With this guide, you’ll have your letter ready in minutes. 

This guide will show you:

  • A resignation letter template you can fill in, plus examples to follow. 
  • How to write a simple resignation letter. 
  • What information should you include on a letter of resignation in the UK? 

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If it’s a different kind of letter you’re after, these guides will help you: 

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Letter of resignation template (UK)—copy and fill in

[Your name]

[Your address]

[Your email]

[Your phone number (optional)]

[Date of writing]

[Recipient’s name]

[Company name]

[Company address]

Dear [Recipient’s name], 

Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation from the position of [your job title] at [company name]. 

Given the [length of the notice period, e,.g. two-week, one-month, etc.] notice period specified in my employment contract, my last day will be [date]. 

[optional]I’d like to thank you and the Company for providing me with valuable experience and opportunities for professional development over the past [number] years. [optional] I’ll be happy to assist in ensuring a smooth transition and onboarding my replacement. 

Please let me know if any further information is required.

Yours sincerely, 

[Your signature]

[Your full name in print]

Ok, now you know what a simple resignation letter looks like! If this works for you, copy it, paste it into a word processor, fill in your details, and get the job done (literally and figuratively). 

If you don’t yet have a new job lined up, check out our CV examples and CV writing guide; they’ll help you get hired more quickly. 

Or, read on for more information on how to write a letter of resignation, with more templates and samples.

How to write a resignation letter step by step

Resignation letters (or notice letters) document your decision to quit your job. While some variation is allowed, they generally have to follow a set of rules. Here’s how to make sure your resignation letter ticks all the right boxes: 

1. Gather and double-check your information

Here’s what you’ll need to include in your resignation letter: 

  • Your name and contact information (at least an email address)
  • The name of the recipient—typically your direct superior (consult HR if you’re not sure to whom you should address your letter)
  • The position from which you’re resigning
  • The date of your last day

To ensure you’re giving appropriate notice, consult your employment contract (or HR) to double-check the length of your notice period. Remember that it may be longer than the legally required minimum: if the legal minimum is two weeks, but you agreed to one month in your contract, you’ll need to give one month’s notice. 

Here’s the optional information you can include in your resignation letter: 

  • Reason for leaving
  • Handover details—how you plan on closing or handing over key projects or tasks (only required in senior roles with high levels of responsibility)
  • A formal thank-you to the employer

Review each part of your resignation letter and see some sample paragraphs. 

2. Use a business-style heading

Your resignation letter is formal correspondence, and the company may place it in your employee file, so it needs to follow business-style formatting. So, it must include a formal heading, with your details on the right, followed by the date of writing, and then the recipient’s details on the left. 

When providing your details, use your phone number or email—not your work contact information. The employer may need to contact you after your notice ends, and your work email and phone will be inactive by then. 

Resignation letter sample heading

John Smith

123 Oak Hill Drive

Brighton, BN1 0LG

john.smith@personalemail.com

1st June 2023

Georgina Johnson

SysTech Solutions

5 Main Road

Brighton, BN1 8DS

Dear Georgina, 

For the salutation (Dear…), you can use either the recipient’s first name or surname (in this case, that’d be Dear Ms Johnson). If you’re generally on a first-name basis with them, then the first option is acceptable—but if you don’t know them well or call them Mr / Ms, then go with their surname. 

You can adjust every cover letter created in the builder to meet the job requirements. Choose the name of your profession and the company to which you’re applying, and the LiveCareer cover letter builder will automatically adapt the content for you. Create a cover letter faster than you ever thought possible and apply for the job in record time.

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3. State that you’re resigning and specify when your last day will be

Make it clear that you’re resigning and specify when you will leave. There’s no need to get creative here: simple statements of fact will do just fine. 

Simple resignation letter samples

Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation from the marketing manager position at SysTech Solutions. 

Given the one-month notice period in my employment contract, my last day will be 1st July 2023. 

Or: 

I am formally resigning from the role of marketing manager at SysTech Solutions. My last day will be 1st July 2023, in keeping with the one-month notice required by the employment contract. 

If you’re not going to work through your notice period, having made arrangements with management, you should say so in your resignation letter. 

Resignation letter example: shorter notice

I am formally resigning from the role of marketing manager at SysTech Solutions. My last day will be 14th June 2023. Although my employment contract requires one month’s notice, I will complete a two-week notice period instead, with the approval of my direct supervisor, Emma Burns. 

Or: 

Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation from the marketing manager position at SysTech Solutions, effective immediately. Emma Burns (marketing director) and Steven Park (senior HR partner) have agreed to waive the one-month notice period specified in my employment contract. 

Remember that resigning immediately without approval puts you in breach of your contract, meaning the company could take you to court and likely win. Only cut your notice period short if the company agrees or if you accept the potential consequences and are willing to face them. 

4. (Optional) Mention your reason for leaving

You don’t have to tell your employer why you’re resigning, but you can do so in your letter if you want to. Remember, however, that this is not a space to lodge complaints or make accusations—the reason you give should be neutral and polite. 

Notice letter examples: the reason for leaving

I am resigning because I am relocating to Cornwall with my family. Leaving SysTech Solutions is challenging, but I understand I cannot do this job remotely. 

Or: 

This decision is because I wish to continue developing my career in the direction of digital and social media marketing. Unfortunately, SysTech Solutions doesn’t require this type of marketing activity, meaning I’ll need to turn elsewhere for an opportunity to work in this niche. 

5. (Optional) Explain the handover process

To show there’s no ill will between you and the company, you can include a short paragraph that states your readiness to help the company handle the transition, which is optional.

Resignation letter example

I intend to work at total capacity during my notice period and am committed to ensuring a smooth transition that will have minimal impact on performance and efficiency. If needed, I’ll be happy to assist in hiring and onboarding a replacement for this role. 

If your role requires high-value project management or other critical tasks, it may be worth detailing how you’ll handle transferring your responsibilities. You’ll likely discuss this with your manager anyway, but they may ask you to put it in writing. 

Brief: There’s no need to provide detailed instructions in your notice letter. 

Employment resignation letter sample: handover

I intend to work at total capacity during my notice period and gradually hand over my responsibilities to Anne White, who will temporarily take over the role. The British Airways campaign will be ready by the time I leave, and I’ll put every effort into ensuring we produce the required reports before my last day. James Weatherby will take over as project lead on the Axim, BP, and Austin campaigns to take the pressure off Anne in the first few weeks. Over the next month, I’ll devote 5 hours weekly to producing detailed process documentation as a reference for Anne and the future marketing manager.

6. (Optional) Thank the employer

Consider writing a short paragraph expressing your appreciation for your time at the company to make your notice letter extra polite. It’s a good idea to leave on the best terms possible—you know what they say about burning bridges! 

Sample resignation letter: thanking the employer

I’d like to thank you and the Company for providing me with valuable experience and opportunities for professional development over the past 6 years. I’m genuinely grateful for all of the support I received during my time here. I hope my contribution to the Company's marketing strategies will serve as lasting thanks for everything I learned in the process. 

7. Close the letter formally and sign with your full name

We’re back to the obligatory elements of a UK resignation letter. End your document on a formal closing (Yours sincerely), followed by your handwritten signature and full name in print. 

Resignation letter template

Yours sincerely, 

[handwritten or digital signature]

John Smith

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Resignation letter format

In the first section of this guide, we saw how to format the heading of a resignation letter in the UK. Here’s the rest of the information you’ll need to get the formatting right throughout the document: 

  • Use a basic font (Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman) set to 12 points in size. 
  • Set one-inch margins and use 1 or 1.15 line spacing. 
  • Leave a blank line after every paragraph of your resignation letter, and keep the paragraphs short. Big blocks of text are more challenging to read and confusing. 
  • Align your text to the left—that’s the standard for official correspondence. Centred text will look unprofessional. 
  • Keep it short: there’s no set word count for resignation letters, but you’ll likely need half a page. Be brief and concise: the letter is just formal proof of your resignation. You’ll discuss the details with your manager and/or HR. 

If you’re sending your letter as an email attachment, use the PDF format—it’s tamper-proof and compatible with every device. Here’s a guide on how to convert Word files to PDF

Final tips and advice on letters of resignation

Depending on your (real) reasons for leaving, handing in your resignation can be an uncomfortable, awkward, or otherwise difficult time. To make it easier, here are a few additional tips. 

Talk to your manager first

Ideally, you don’t want your manager or supervisor to discover you’re leaving from a letter. Speaking to them first is much more professional and polite—the letter is just a formal record of your resignation. 

In any case, unless you have no relationship with your superiors, your manager will likely come to speak to you after receiving your letter. A conversation is unavoidable—best get it out of the way early and on your terms. 

Keep the letter polite and neutral in tone

No matter how negative your experience of working for the company has been, resist the urge to vent in your resignation letter. What if you need to ask them for a reference letter to get your dream job, or you have to collaborate with them in your next role? 

You may always need your former employer’s help—even if you’re changing careers or moving abroad, you may have to ask your previous company for proof of your experience or of years working in the UK. 

Remember that you can raise your concerns about your negative experience of working for the company with HR and/or lodge formal complaints if needed. 

Decide what it would take for you to change your decision

Would you stay for an extra £3k/year? What about a more prestigious job title or work-from-home Fridays? The company may offer you a raise, a promotion, or other benefits to convince you to stay. It’s a good idea to think about it and decide whether you’re willing to stay—and what it would take. 

And if you’re dead-set on leaving, best of luck in your next job—remember, we’re here to help you perfect your application and get hired! 

A cover letter alone simply won’t be enough—you need an impactful CV, too. Create your CV in minutes. Just follow our wizard and fill in every CV section with ready-made content. Get started by choosing a professional CV template.

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Thanks for reading! Do you have any unanswered questions about how to write a letter of resignation in the UK? Perhaps you have some tips of your own? Start a discussion in the comments section below. I’ll be sure to join in. 

How we review the content at LiveCareer

Our editorial team has reviewed this article for compliance with Livecareer’s editorial guidelines. It’s to ensure that our expert advice and recommendations are consistent across all our career guides and align with current CV and cover letter writing standards and trends. We’re trusted by over 10 million job seekers, supporting them on their way to finding their dream job. Each article is preceded by research and scrutiny to ensure our content responds to current market trends and demand.

About the author

LiveCareer UK Editorial Team
LiveCareer UK Editorial Team

Since 2013, the LiveCareer UK team has shared the best advice to help you advance your career. Experts from our UK editorial team have written more than one hundred guides on how to write the perfect CV or cover letter.

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