How to Write a Two Weeks Notice Resignation Letter

Your decision to leave your job is an important one, and it has repercussions that you must be aware of before going ahead and sending in your resignation letter. Read this article and learn how to make resigning as straightforward as possible.

Preparation, How-to, Samples & Templates For Quitting Your Job

Before resigning, it’s essential to take a cold, hard look at the decision you are making. Leaving a job is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. Never resign because you are fed-up or bored. Don’t use a clash of personalities with colleagues or a manager to influence your decision to go.

Remember, once you put in your two weeks, there is no turning back. We’re talking permanent marker type of stuff here, so careful deliberation over time before taking action is HIGHLY recommended.

Consider these factors first:

1.  Do you have another job to go to? If you are leaving because you have another job lined up, that’s fine. Once you know when the new job will begin, you can time your resignation letter to give your current employer two weeks’ notice.

2.  If you do have another job to go to, think about how much time you want to take as downtime between ending one job and starting the next. Are you able to afford some between-jobs downtime?

3.  If you are quitting without having a job to go to, will you claim unemployment benefits? In some cases, several weeks have to pass before such a claim can be made. Check this out!

4.  Also, check your contract of employment. While most companies expect two weeks’ notice, some will expect longer, and some may not want you to work a period of notice at all.

5.  What will be the financial effect of leaving your job? If you have no job to go to, how will you fund yourself? Is your bank balance up to paying rent and other regular expenses?

6.  Will you be leaving unfinished tasks behind when you leave? It is a good idea to finish any work in hand before presenting your employer with your resignation letter.

The usual two weeks notice period will give you a chance to tie up any other loose ends. Leaving everything complete will impress your employer, which is a good thing if you are hoping for a reference from them.

7.  Most employers provide their employees with benefits of various types. A company pension, for example, or a subsidized health scheme. Your pension will be frozen, and you will need to get private health insurance or upgrade one you already have.

Things like health insurance and pensions are critical for daily living so it’s important to get a copy of your company’s policy on these.

Use any vacation leave you are due. A short holiday before you hand in your notice might just be the tonic you need.

Usually you already have them in your inbox from when you joined but if not you can ask your HR representative for a copy.

8.  If you hold a work permit, you will need to know who to notify that you have quit your job, or if you have a new job to go to, that you have changed your job.

9.  Have you spoken to someone from your company’s Human Resources (HR) department? If you are leaving because of problems at work, HR will want to discuss them with you.

It might be that solutions can be found that make resignation unnecessary. It may even be that a new role can be found for you that gives you greater job satisfaction.

Often times companies hold out on pay until they absolutely have to provide it, so if you don’t absolutely hate your job, it may be worth playing hardball before resigning, request a large salary increase or walk.

Since you are already planning on leaving anyways you have nothing to lose at this point!

10.  You might be asked to delay your resignation for a short while so that you can train the person who will be given your job.

11.  Before you hand in your letter of resignation, make copies of any work that you have done that could be included in a portfolio that can be presented to future potential employers. Evidence of past achievements will be useful in the future.

Doing this before handing in your letter of resignation means that you have your portfolio if your manager asks you to leave immediately, without working a period of notice.

When building your portfolio from work you completed at your old employer, make sure you are entitled to do so. Data Protection laws, copyright laws, and privacy laws will all come into play when you undertake this course of action.

12.  Make sure that your family is on board with your decision. You will need their support while you readjust either to a new job or to a new lifestyle.

Why Give a Two Weeks Period of Notice When Quitting?

It has become customary for an employee to give two weeks’ notice when leaving a job. In some countries, like the United Kingdom (UK), the usual period of notice is four weeks.

There are some companies and organizations that include different periods of notice in their contracts of employment.

Where two weeks is the norm, this gives you time to complete tasks or projects that would otherwise remain unfinished.

If you have specific skills, you can train a replacement during your period of notice. It also gives you time to prepare for a positive and professional departure.

The two weeks period of notice also allows your employer time to complete any administrative tasks relating to your employment. There may be back-pay to calculate, company pension schemes to administer, or expenses claims to verify.

The two-week period also allows your employer time to start the process of advertising for a replacement. The disruption caused by your leaving can be kept to a minimum.

Some employers though may not deserve two weeks notice. This is a controversial topic, but sometimes if employers fire without notice and give little regard to their workforce then a notice may not be in order.

Preparing your Letter of Resignation

The tone and content of your letter of resignation will depend on the role you played in the company or organization and the relationship you had with the manager who will receive the letter.

Resignation letters range from simple ones that just state the bare facts, to more professional ones that might come from someone in a senior position or with an important role to play in the company.

There are some conventions expected of anyone writing a letter of resignation. Firstly, always write a physical letter.

Emails are acceptable in certain circumstances, but generally speaking, it is best to send a letter. It should be typed or word-processed in a clear, legible font. It should always include the following:

Your name
Your full address, including State and Zip Code
Your telephone number
Your email address

Today’s date
The Manager’s name who will be receiving the letter
The company name
The company address, again including State and Zip Code

*The salutation. This will include the Manager’s name. Keep to 1-2 sentences.

*The body of the letter. This should be at least three paragraphs.

*The close. Remember if you include a name in the salutation, always end with ‘Yours sincerely,’ ‘Sincerely’ or ‘Sincerely Yours’

[A space for your signature]

Your name (your signature should always be above your name at the end of a letter)

Tips on Preparing a Resignation Letter:

1.  The manner of your departure from a job is essential, as it will be the last opportunity you will have to make a good impression. While the standard of your work during your employment is important, how you left will create a lasting impression.

2.  Once you have made your decision to leave, for whatever reason, make telling your immediate superior, usually a manager, the first step.

This is part of creating a good impression and will give them a chance to decide what they have to do next. This conversation is critical, as it is an opportunity for you to make a good impression on your manager.

It also gives you the chance to show how much you appreciate the help and support you received during your employment.

Be prepared, though, for an attempt to keep you. Before you have a conversation with your manager, think about how you would react if they tried to persuade you to stay.

You will need to have your answer ready if you are offered more money and maybe a new job title.

3.  Do not discuss your plans to leave with any other employees until you have informed your manager of your intentions. This way, your manager will not hear about it through office gossip. Remember that all-important good impression.

4.  Have your resignation letter with you, duly signed, when you speak to your manager. It is best if you can hand the letter over personally. Send a copy of the letter to the HR department. Add a covering note, so their records are kept up to date. Also, keep a copy of the letter for your records.

5.  Be courteous, polite, and respectful when you speak to your manager. Make sure they know your last date of work and assure them that you will keep working hard until the very end of your employment.

What to Include in the Body of your Resignation Letter

The body of your letter of resignation must contain three essential items of information:

1.  That you intend to leave the company. You do not have to say why you are leaving, but you must say that you are leaving and that the letter is giving two weeks’ notice.

2.  You must state the date of your last day at work. Usually, this will be two weeks from the date of the letter.

3.  Resignation letters are not thank you notes, but it is good practice to include a thank-you to the company and your manager for the opportunities you had while working for them.

Insider Bonus Tips from a Retired HR Professional:

1. Before you close your letter of resignation, include a sentence offering to assist in any way you can during the final two weeks of your employment. Maybe you could help to train your replacement, or even to help find a replacement.

2. While it is not necessary to give a reason for your resignation, some people choose to include one if they are moving to another job. What you must avoid are complaints bout the company, your job, or your colleagues.

This gives a wrong impression and will certainly count against you if you ever need a reference from them in the future.

3. Keep your resignation letter short and to the point. Being concise is a virtue when compiling a letter of this type.

Just state the facts, although a warm ending wishing the company well in the future is a positive touch.

Sample Letters Of Resignation

Feel free to copy and modify the below templates for your own use!

Simple/Standard Letter of Resignation

This type of letter just contains the necessary information that you need to include. You will need to state that you are resigning from your job and the date of the last day of your employment.

You will also want to show your gratitude for experience gained in the job, and offer to help in any way during the transition period.

This is an excellent letter to use when you don’t know your manager particularly well. The tone of the letter should be kept neutral, and there is no need to give a reason for your departure.

Your Name
Your street address
City, State, and Zip Code
Telephone number and email address

Manager’s Name
Street address
City, State, and Zip Code

Dear (Manager’s Name),
I am writing to inform you that I am resigning as (your job title) with (company name) with effect from (date two weeks on from the date at the top of the letter).

My time as an employee at (company name) has been most enjoyable, and I would like to thank you and everyone at the company for the training and experiences I have had.

If I can help in any way to make the transition over the next two weeks easier, I am happy to do so.

Yours sincerely
(Your signature)

(Your name typed)

Formal Letter of Resignation

There are certain work environments where employees are expected to maintain a high level of professionalism and a formal working practice.

Examples might include some areas of law or some government departments.

If this is the case for you, then your resignation letter should reflect this, especially if communication with management is typically formal.

You might feel that you want to show your manager some respect in your letter, and include a reason for your departure.

Your name
Your street address
City, state and Zip Code
Telephone number and email address

(Manager’s Name)
(Manager’s Position)
Company Name
Street Address
City, State, and Zip Code.

Dear (Manager’s Name),
I wish to inform you that I am resigning from my position as (your job title) at (Company Name) with effect from (date two weeks after the date at the top of the letter).

This was not an easy decision to make, as I have been very happy at (Company Name) for the last (enter the length of employment).

I am very grateful for the invaluable experience I have gained from my employment with you, which will help me in my future career. I have now accepted a position with another company.

Please feel free to call on me if I can help ensure a smooth transition.
It has been a great pleasure working with you and my colleagues. I wish you and the company every success in the future.

Yours sincerely
(Your signature)

(Your name typed)

Professional Letter of Resignation

If you are working in an industry where your reputation will affect your employability, then it makes sense to write a letter of resignation that reflects that.

You might work with your current manager or colleagues again, and leaving with a good impression is therefore essential.

A letter of this type will allow you to show gratitude for the help received during your time at the firm. You will be able to express positive feelings about your manager and the company.

Your name
Your street address
City, State, and Zip Code
Telephone number and email address

(Manager’s Name)
(Manager’s Position)
Company Name
Street Address
City, State, and Zip Code

Dear (Manager’s Name),
I am writing this letter to inform you that I am resigning from my position as (your job title) at (Company Name). My resignation will take effect from (date two weeks after the date at the top of the letter).

Thank you very much for the support I have received and the opportunities you have provided me with during the (insert period of employment). I have enjoyed my time with (insert Company Name) immensely, and I am grateful for the encouragement you have given me while I have pursued both my professional and personal goals.

I very much hope that we can continue our friendly relationship as I follow my future career path.

I will, of course, continue to work to my usual high standard over the next two weeks, and am willing to help in any way I can ease the transition.

With all good wishes.
(Your signature)

(Your name typed)

Resigning by Email

Resigning from your job by email is not to be recommended, but sometimes there is no choice. Emails have the advantage of being quick and make contact from a distance easy.

You should still make sure all the relevant information is included, such as the date of your departure. It is essential to state the actual date that you will leave, rather than a woolly ‘two weeks from now.’

Dear (Manager’s Name),

I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my position as (insert job title). My last day of work will be (enter date of your last day).

Thank you for all the opportunities that I have been given during my employment. I have learned so much from you and my colleagues.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make the transition easier.

(Your Name)

Parting Thoughts from a Retired HR Director

There you have it, things to prepare, things to keep in mind, and complete templates for every different type of resignation.

While you may feel stressed now, quitting is a natural part of a person’s career progression. Very rarely today do people stay in one job if they want to continue to advance professionally.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American will hold an average of 10 jobs over their lifetime.

With younger generations this number is increasing still.

Fundamentally professional changes are a natural part of career progression so be confident, be professional and respectful and look forward to that next big thing!