Should you write a resignation letter? Here's everything you need to know

Q: Should I write a resignation letter or is it enough to verbally give my notice?

I am happy to report I just landed a new job! Do I have to give notice in writing, or can I simply tell my manager when I speak to him? – Chloe H.

Congratulations on landing your new job, Chloe!

If you're ready to leave your current job, you will likely need to give your employer some warning. Check your employment contract to find out your organisation's policy on handing in your formal notice. According to, you're required to give at least one week's notice if you've been in your job for more than a month. Your employment contract will tell you whether you need to provide a longer notice period (e.g. two weeks notice) and whether that notice needs to be in writing. If your contract states that you need to give written notice and you fail to do so, your employer could take you to court for being in breach of contract.

If your employment contract does not specify whether you need to write a resignation letter, I strongly suggest that you cover all the bases by providing both verbal and written notice. First, you should schedule time for a face-to-face meeting with your manager if possible, to let him or her know that you're resigning. Even if you and your boss are not on the best of terms, there's no point in burning bridges – your paths may cross again at a different point in your career.

Then, you should write a formal resignation letter and send it to your manager via email, using your work email address, on the same day that you verbally give notice. Be sure to copy a representative from the organisation's Human Resources department and your personal email account, so that you have a record for your files and there can be no argument as to when you gave notice.

In your resignation letter, be sure to state how much notice you're giving and when you expect your last day at work to be. If you want, you can decide to give more notice than your contract specifies or employer requires.

Click on the following link to view a professional resignation letter sample and additional tips.

Amanda Augustine is a certified professional career coach (CPCC) and resume writer (CPRW) and the resident career expert for Talent Inc.'s suite of brands: TopResume, TopCV and TopInterview. On a regular basis, she answers user questions like the one above. Have a question? Take a look at her career advice or ask a question on her Quora page.

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