If you were following UK political news last week, you’ll have heard about the high number of resignations from Members of Parliament and from aides. So this week, let’s look at what should go into a letter of resignation.

Many of those leaving have chosen to make the letters public. Two typical examples are from Mims Davies and Lord Greenhalgh. Both of these are an A4 page in length and express gratitude, despite their reasons for submitting the letter.

But the job of a politician is not the same as being an employee and is often not subject to normal employment rules. As such, the examples given above are not good templates to follow.

When writing a letter of resignation for most jobs, there are many sources of help, including Glass Door, Indeed, and Reed. The exact advice varies between them, but they all recommend keeping the wording positive yet formal – and above all, brief. Politicians might like to showcase their reasons to the voters, but most of us don’t need to impress anyone.

I’ve only written one such letter, when transferring from a job in the UK government to the Scottish government. I kept it on my computer for weeks while waiting for official confirmation of the new position. However, HR advised me they considered this to be a transfer rather than an entirely new post, and all my work wasn’t needed in the end.

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