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Job Search Advice: How To Handle Your Resignation And Exit Interview Professionally

Have you recently secured a new position and now need to move on from your current role? Congratulations! Here's what to do next... Handing in ...

Have you recently secured a new position and now need to move on from your current role? Congratulations! Here's what to do next... 

Handing in your resignation can be nerve-racking. You need to be clear about the reasons for leaving, but also be professional and not burn any bridges as you may later rely on your current employer for references or contacts. With that in mind, it's worth taking some time to plan how you're going to approach it.  

In the latest episode of our job search series, Candidate Specialist Luwam Gdey provides invaluable advice for managing the resignation process and exit interview with professionalism. Check out our playlist for the full series, or visit for advice and support in finding a great job in Advanced Engineering.  

Here's Luwam's advice: 

Step 1: Plan that conversation. Before you speak with your manager, take some time to organise your thoughts and prepare what you want to say. Keep your resignation concise and professional. The easiest way to do this is to ask your manager for a one-to-one in a meeting room or a private area, or send them a calendar invite for it.  

Step 2: Be direct and respectful. Clearly state your intention to resign and express your gratitude for the opportunities you've had: “I want to inform you that I've made the decision to resign from my position here. I'm truly grateful for the experiences and growth I've had while working at this company.”  

Step 3: Offer assistance during the transition. Show your willingness to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Mention that you understand the impact on the team and you're happy to train a replacement as well as ensure a seamless handover for your projects.  

Step 4: Discuss your last working day and follow-up details. Across the U.S. employment is typically at-will, meaning you don't have to serve a notice period by law. In practise, it's a common courtesy to agree to serve a notice period to leave on good terms. This can be agreed upon with either HR or your manager and is typically 2 weeks. There are exceptions for this depending on your seniority, role, employment contract or state, so it's always worth double-checking before confirming a start date with your new employer.  

Step 5: Confirm your resignation in writing. After your conversation, it's important to follow up with a formal resignation letter. Confirm the details you discussed with your manager, and make sure to include your agreed-upon last day of working.  

Step 6: Handling the exit interview. Following your resignation, your company might conduct an exit interview. This is an opportunity for you to provide feedback and share your experience. Be honest and constructive during the exit interview. Share positive experiences and offer suggestions for improvement. Avoid personal attacks or unnecessary negativity. Focus on constructive suggestions. Your feedback can help the company enhance its practises and culture. Be honest, but maintain a respectful tone.  

Step 7: Maintain professionalism until the end. During your notice period it's important to continue to fulfil your responsibilities and support the team as you don't want to burn any bridges. Express your gratitude for the opportunities you've had and the relationships you've built. Maintain professional connections that may be beneficial in the future and leave on a positive note. Resigning is a natural part of anyone's career journey. By following these steps, you can resign gracefully and maintain professional relationships along the way.