How to hand in your notice: Leonid’s Best Practice Guide

How to hand in your notice: Leonid’s Best Practice Guide

Handing in your notice is never an easy task to do. Whether you’re leaving your current company on good terms or things have gotten a little awkward, it’s always a good idea to try to leave on friendly terms.


The idea of handing in your notice is often far more intimidating than doing it. However, by following a structured process for handing in your notice, things will go much smoother and will give you the best chance of leaving on a positive note.


Below, we’ll walk you through each step of handing in your notice at work.


1. Don’t be too hasty


While landing a new job can be an exciting time, it’s important not to act hastily and hand in your notice before you’ve signed the new contract. While it might seem like everything will go smoothly, it’s always important to be 100% sure you’ve got a new job to go to before telling your current employers that you’re quitting. Let’s face it, no one wants to be in the position of grovelling for their job back.


If you’ve partnered with Leonid for your job search, you can rest assured that we’re handling things for you with your new employer and will walk you through each step of the process through our dedicated Leonid Aftercare programme.


2. Put your resignation in writing


It’s important that handing in your notice is official and in line with your employment contract. This means you’ll need to check the length of your notice period as it differs with each job.


Your resignation letter should be short and to the point, but also polite. In order to strike the right balance, we recommend including the following:


  • Your full name and position.
  • The exact date that you’ll be leaving (in line with your notice period).
  • Your last day at work.
  • Thank your employer for hiring you and for the experience and\or support they’ve given you.
  • Reassurance that you’ll cover your handover effectively and offer to train any other staff as needed.
  • Well wishes for the future of the company.
  • Your contact details 


3. Choose a suitable time to hand in your notice


Timing is key when it comes to resigning in a positive way. While you need to do it as soon as possible and not drag it out, approaching your boss right before a meeting or in shared office space when you’re surrounded by colleagues isn’t the best idea.


Start by arranging a chat over coffee or an informal meeting where you can discuss things with your boss in private. Then when the time comes, be professional and polite in your approach. Let your boss know straight away that you’re handing in your notice, then explain that a more suitable position or exciting opportunity has come your way that you couldn’t turn down.


Finally, don’t forget to thank your boss for the experience you’ve gained in your current position and thank them for hiring you. Reassure them that you’ll do everything you can to make the handover process go smoothly, including training any new staff or colleagues as necessary.


Stick to the positives here – if you have any grievances then speak to HR about arranging an exit interview.


4. Don’t be swayed by a counteroffer

When handing in your notice, you might be given a counteroffer with the promise of an increased salary or more responsibility. While this can be tempting, stick to your plan and remember the reasons why you were leaving in the first place.


Research has indicated that 90% of people who accept a counteroffer still end up resigning within 6 months.


5. Ask about references

Once you’ve handed in your notice, it’s a good idea to ask about references while your work is still fresh in your employer’s mind. Bear in mind that some companies have a policy where only HR is allowed to give out a reference confirming when you worked at the company.  


However, if you can get a reference then both your line manager and HR are the best people to go to.


6.  Remain professional


Once you’ve handed in your notice, be sure to remain professional for the duration of your notice period. While it can be tempting to take your foot of the pedal at this stage, it’s important to respect your current employer and remain in their good books.


7. General Do’s and Don’ts


Last of all, we’ll cover some simple dos and don’ts for handing in your notice.



  • Send an email round to everyone on your last day to thank them for their support while you’ve been with the business and leave an email address or LinkedIn profile link for them to stay in touch with you.
  • Resign in person when you can.
  • Be confident in your decision.
  • Be sure of what you’re going to say.



  • Badmouth the company at all.
  • Tell your boss all the things they did wrong, leave it for the exit interview with HR.
  • Burn bridges
  • Resign when you’re feeling angry.



Now that you know how to hand in your notice effectively, it’s time to go ahead and take the next steps to move into your new job! Remember to stay focused on the end goal of starting your new role! And if you're working with Leonid as your recruitment partner, remember we're here with you every step of the way to help, and long after that!