No BS Job Search Advice: Giving Notice

Giving Notice

After days, weeks, months, or longer of interviewing, you have received a job offer that meets your needs and have decided to give notice to your employer and resign from your current job.

Get your job offer in writing. Having the offer in writing is both your legal protection against an employer should they make an attempt to deceive you with the terms of the offer AND your protection against your having made a mistake in hearing the offer. The letter should include both your new salary and position title within it. Some will provide a benefits summary; most large firms will not provide that until employee orientation during your initial phase of employment with their firm.

When it is time to resign, meet with your boss for a few minutes and tell him or her personally, providing a written letter of resignation. “May I get a minute with you,” uttered on a Friday, has started more discussions about resignation and sent many employers into unhappy weekends and managers into anxiety attacks about how to replace someone than almost any other question.

Give two weeks notice. Sometimes three weeks is the right thing to do, but remember, your new job is waiting for you and if you’ve told them you’ll be there in two weeks, do not adjust your start date to accommodate the job you’re leaving. After all, if you died tomorrow, they would still survive without you.

Your letter of resignation should be simple.

Dear ____________,

I have decided to resign from my position with Mega Company effective today. My last day of employment will be _____________.

Thank you for the opportunity to have worked with you and to have learned from you. (OPTIONAL SENTENCE TO FOLLOW). Please respect me and my decision by not attempting to make a counteroffer.


Your name

If you are asked for a reason you are leaving, do not be hypercritical and answer simply. “I believe that this opportunity will further my career goals,” is acceptable. If you want to go into details, do not discuss any slights that you received. Focus on objective things, rather than on your (emotional) reactions to decisions. You do not need to disclose the name of the firm you are going to work for although there is nothing wrong with doing so.

Most people, do not consider accepting a counteroffer. How did you “suddenly” become worth more money? Because your departure inconvenienced your employer. As a result, they will have to delay plans or have work assigned to others less capable and will be adversely impacted. For most people, a counteroffer only addresses and corrects the financial failings of their job and does nothing to improve their actual job.

Resigning well will allow you to complete your final week(s) of employment well and head to your new job with confidence and certainty.

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2006, 2008, 2016, 2020


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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