See All Jobs

How to hand in your notice

Whether it’s time for a career change, or you’ve been stuck in the wrong job for years, resigning can be a stressful process. You may feel anxious about letting your colleagues or employer down; or you may be keen to move on from a role where you feel undervalued. Whatever your situation, it is important to get the etiquette correct to ensure you can transition smoothly to a new position. At Careerwise, we are experts in helping you navigate all things career related. Here is our comprehensive guide to how to hand in your notice.

How to give notice

Giving notice simply means telling your employer that you will be leaving. Built into your job contract will be a legal requirement to give a certain amount of warning before you leave – often this is around a month. You should arrange a meeting with your boss and tell them that you plan to leave, following this up with a formal letter. If you work remotely it may be more appropriate to send a letter or email of resignation without attending a meeting first. Your employer may then ask you to attend an exit interview.

Who to give notice to?

It can feel confusing to know exactly who to approach about resigning if you work for a larger company. Should you speak to HR, your immediate superior, or the overall manager of your department? Generally speaking, best practice is for you to have your initial conversation with the line manager that you report to directly. You should also check if your company has a formal procedure that you should follow – there will be details in your employee handbook.

What to say when resigning

The only real requirements are for you to tell them that you wish to leave, and establish when your last day will be. But it is polite to discuss your next steps, and thank your employer for the opportunities they have given you. It is likely that you will be asked to give your reasons for leaving. Be ready to discuss them – a good employer will be keen to understand where they could improve. However, it may be best not to be too honest – remember, you still have to work out your term of notice and you don’t want to create an uncomfortable atmosphere because you’ve told your boss how much you dislike him!

What if they ask me to stay?

It’s not uncommon for an employer to respond to a resignation with an offer of improved pay or conditions if you stay. So be prepared for this eventuality. Consider what kind of offer they would need to make to tempt you to remain in your current job. Remember all the reasons that you have decided to leave – does a pay rise compensate you enough for working with someone particularly difficult? Does the extra role they are offering actually give you the career progression you are looking for? If your reason for leaving was purely financial, and they offer a concrete pay rise, staying might be the right choice. But if you have other reasons, even a good pay rise is unlikely to make you feel happy in your role; plus, tendering your resignation in the first place may have created a feeling amongst your colleagues that you are not really invested in the team, making life more uncomfortable for you.


Think carefully about the timing of your resignation conversation with your boss. The end of the day can be a good time, as they are less likely to be distracted by the day’s business, and there will be less people around. Similarly, if you can do it on a Friday, they will have the weekend to process your news, whereas handing in your notice on a Monday may get the whole week off to a bad start.

Put it in writing

Once you have spoken to your boss about wishing to leave, it’s important to formalise the conversation with a letter. This should be concise and professional, and should be typed rather than handwritten. There is no need to go into details about why you are leaving, but you could perhaps state your thanks to the company for the opportunities they have given you. The essential information is simply confirming that you are leaving, and when your final day will be, taking your contractual notice period into consideration.

Are You Looking For A Job In Ireland?

CareerWise is Ireland’s leading specialist recruitment firm, based in Cork, Shannon and Galway, and we can help you to find your ideal new job in Ireland. We specialise in the Engineering, Supply Chain, Science/Pharma, IT and Accounting industries in Ireland, and we look forward to working with you. Contact us online now or call us on +353 (0) 21 206 1900 to arrange a consultation.


Cork Office

CareerWise Recruitment. EastGate Village, EastGate, Little Island, Cork.

Phone: +353 (0) 21 206 1900