What Is a Two Weeks’ Notice Resignation Letter?

A two weeks’ notice resignation letter is a formal proclamation of your intention to leave the company two weeks from the day you submit it to your department head and/or HR manager. It is the standard time frame that employees are required to render to pave the way for their departure. Although it is not a legal requirement to provide two weeks’ notice before quitting, it does give the company enough time to find a replacement and administer a smooth turnover. It is also possible for the employment contract to include a procedure regarding the contract’s termination. If the contract requires two weeks’ notice, then employees are obliged to comply with these terms upon their separation. Otherwise, they may be penalized for their actions.

“3.5 million Americans voluntary leave their job each month since January 2019.” (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

“38% of workers want to leave their jobs due to a toxic work culture or one where they don’t feel they fit in.” (Source: Randstad)

How to Write a Two Weeks’ Notice Resignation Letter

There are a ton of reasons why people choose to leave their current positions. Whether it has something to do with the company’s culture, management, or employee compensation, one’s departure is usually drawn by the desire to seek better opportunities elsewhere. But before you can finally bid goodbye to your employer, it’s important to announce your exit from the organization through a formal letter. Fortunately, writing a two weeks’ notice resignation letter is pretty easy with the help of the following steps.

Step 1: Create a Letterhead

You’ve probably been learning about letter writing since elementary school. Since we now know a thing or two about the heading, body, and closing of a letter, it’s time we dig deeper into the first part of the letter: the header.

The header should comprise of you and your recipient’s contact information. This includes each party’s name, job title, business name, and office address. The contact details of the sender and the recipient of the letter must be separated by the date when the letter was written or sent to the recipient. All these are typically located on the upper-left corner of the page in block format. A formal greeting or salutation containing the recipient’s name must then follow.

Step 2: Include the Body of the Letter

The body of a resignation letter is typically kept brief and to the point. It doesn’t matter how short your paragraphs are, as long as it communicates your message clearly to the reader. The letter immediately starts with your intention to resign along with your reason for leaving. Showing positive feelings toward your work experience is also acceptable. It’s common courtesy to write a letter that is sincere and polite. Therefore, it is in every employee’s best interest to exclude issues or personal disputes that they have toward the company and its workers. Leaving the company on a sour note can paint you in a bad image, so you might want to save any feelings of resentment to yourself.

Step 3: End and Sign the Letter

Once you have finished delivering your message, you can express your thanks or well wishes in the last few lines. The final part of the resignation letter may end with a simple sign-off or closing, as well as your signature above your printed name. The great thing about a proper closing is that it demonstrates sincerity in your resignation. It also indicates that the reader has reached the end of the letter and that nothing follows. There are several options for a complimentary close, including “Sincerely,” “Best Regards,” and “Respectfully Yours,” among others. You are free to choose a closing based on your personal preference. Finally, make sure the document is signed in black or blue ink to maintain formality.

Step 4: Deliver the Letter

While this may not be a part of the actual writing process, it does play a role in ensuring your message reaches the right person. It can be delivered through snail mail, email, or in person. If you are working directly with your manager on a daily basis, you can set up a meeting to discuss matters privately. It’s never a smart idea to wait for your manager to leave so you could place the letter on his or her desk as if it doesn’t contain anything valuable. The letter could either get lost in a pile of papers or get thrown out by your manager’s secretary. Instead, it is wise to converse verbally while handing in the letter to clarify your intentions and express your sincerity over the decision. Either way, your manager would want to have a word with you in regard to your resignation.


Two Weeks’ Notice Resignation Letter vs. Two Weeks’ Notice Resignation Email

The difference between a two weeks’ notice resignation letter and a two weeks’ notice resignation email is quite simple. For one, emails are something you send using a computer, while letters are handwritten or typewritten and printed for submission. Choosing what type of tool to use for your resignation would depend on the kind of work you do. Freelance workers who rely on the Internet to communicate with their boss are obliged to notify their employer of their resignation through email. Although sending your resignation via email might seem a bit informal, it’s the only possible means of communication for this field of work. It is also possible for the email to contain a digital version of the letter to maintain its structure. As for office-based employees, it’s only appropriate to hand over your two weeks’ notice resignation letter in person. The letter must be printed and signed prior to being submitted so that the management can keep a physical record of your resignation for future purposes. When choosing which method to use, make sure it’s appropriate for your situation.


The Dos and Don’ts of a Two Weeks’ Notice Resignation Letter

Taking the time to write a letter of resignation is a great way to receive professional references in the near future. Your prospective employer might want to conduct a background check on your behavior and performance with your former employer, so the last thing you would want to do is to burn any bridges that you have left. But before you begin writing your notice letter, there are a few things to consider in regard to the tone, format, and written content of the letter. With all that said, here are some dos and don’ts in letter writing to keep in mind:

What to Do

1. Do resign professionally.

Although some resignation letters are sent via email, most circumstances call for a printed copy of the document to be handed to your employer. It is only appropriate to send your resignation via email or letter mail if your manager is away or if you work as an independent contractor. Giving notice through text or social media is an informal means of communication, which can be an insult to the entire business relationship. So to keep things professional, you need to be mindful of how you communicate with your employer. Every step of the resignation process must be taken seriously if you want to establish a good rapport with the people who could help you in your career.

2. Do express your thanks. 

While this isn’t always necessary, it’s still a good approach that managers are sure to appreciate. If you want to maintain a good image in the eyes of your employer, you can include a thank-you card in the letter for the opportunity and experience provided. You might have even gained a few skills and learnings that could help you advance in your career. It doesn’t have to be too emotional, as long it expresses your gratitude for all that you have gained throughout the relationship.

3. Do remain positive. 

Avoid mentioning anything negative about your workload, supervisors, or colleagues that could potentially harm the image you want to portray. You might feel tempted to call out behaviors or actions in the workplace that drove you to your decision. In spite of all the negative events that took place, you should still maintain professionalism with everyone. Stirring problems at the end of your employment is a messy deal that you won’t be able to get past too easily. You’re likely to cross paths with at least one of your former co-workers down the road, which is why a graceful exit is always the safest bet.

4. Do offer to help. 

Upon receiving your resignation letter, your employer will only have two weeks to find a replacement for operations to continue running even after your departure. Regardless of your position in the company, someone has to cover your responsibilities when you leave. Consider offering to help the new hire or temporary replacement with the transition process. You could train the employee on the basic tasks and reminders of the job, or you can answer questions in regard to any tools or procedures that need to be noted of. If there are any accounts, passwords, or processes to follow, you can offer to leave a few notes behind for the next person’s reference.

5. Do keep it short. 

Keep it as straightforward as possible. There’s no point in adding any other details other than the fact that you are leaving. The most important thing you need to indicate in your letter is the exact date when you will be leaving the company. You can also say that you are leaving two weeks from the date of submission, or whichever way you wish to spell out your intent. Cut out any unnecessary information that might just lengthen your content. The use of flowery words and casual talk has no place in a formal letter.

6. Do keep it confidential. 

Try not to discuss your plans with your co-workers prior to speaking with your supervisor or manager. Even if you’ve already decided on what you want to do, your resignation isn’t final until the upper management is informed of your departure. The worse that could happen is that your supervisor or HR manager finds out about your decision from somebody else in the workplace before you get the chance to tell them. Submitting the document to your manager’s secretary while he or she is away for the day is not the best idea for something as serious as a resignation letter either. The secretary could risk losing the letter or forgetting about it amidst their heavy workload.

What Not to Do

1. Don’t make a list of reasons for leaving. 

If you want to leave on good terms, it’s best to keep your ill feelings toward the company, management, and co-workers to yourself. You can’t let your emotions get the best of you at what is still considered a crucial time. You never know when a potential employer might ask your previous employer for insights about you and your performance. You can make your reasons known by stating something simple and less dramatic. To save you from the trouble, leave out anything too specific. Your name, job title, and the date for when you are leaving are enough to do the trick.

2. Don’t make any type of request. 

If you want your manager to write a recommendation letter for you, refrain from making this request in your resignation letter. It can make you sound demanding and come off a bit disrespectful to anyone who reads it. If you want to make a request so badly, you can do it some other way so as not to distract readers from the central message of the letter.

3. Don’t get into too much detail. 

As much as you want to be honest with your employer, you don’t want to say anything that you’ll end up regretting. It can be helpful to start drafting your letter before writing the final copy. Avoid disclosing your real reason for leaving. Whether it’s a higher salary or better benefits, you can make it simple by telling them that you’ve found a promising opportunity to pursue your dreams. Employers know they can’t keep their employees forever, so they won’t mind if you choose not to go in-depth in your resignation letter.

4. Don’t use the wrong tone.

Like any other business or professional letter, a two weeks’ notice resignation letter must always bear a professional tone for formality reasons. From the format of the letter to your word choice, every single aspect of the letter should be created in the right mood. Despite how informal your work environment is, you still need to act professionally when dealing with serious business matters. Avoid using a chatty tone that will cause you to blabber out meaningless words on paper. It’s a good idea to stick to Business English from start to finish.

5. Don’t ignore letter samples. 

You’d be surprised by how handy resignation letter samples and two weeks’ notice samples can be at a time of need. Composing a formal letter is not everyone’s forte, so it’s only natural for some people to still struggle with this task. You can check out a few letter examples to find out what goes in the letter and how you can convey your message more naturally. However, be sure to edit the content of the letter to fit the circumstance you are in.

6. Don’t forget to proofread. 

After spending a couple of months or years of your life as a member of that organization, your resignation letter would be one of the last samples to prove your writing skills and attentiveness to detail. Hence, always remember to proofread it carefully. Be on the lookout for any spelling or grammatical errors that may be corrected. You can even ask a friend or family member to read and assess it for you. Make sure to apply the necessary changes before printing.

Giving two weeks’ notice is common courtesy for employees that wish to separate from their current employers. Not only is it a practical length of time for the company to hire a replacement, but it is also a professional way of terminating an employment relationship for a definite departure. Thus, knowing how to write a resignation letter is essential regardless of one’s job position. If you want to spare yourself from the hassle of doing everything from scratch, you can use a letter template as your guide. Simply personalize the two weeks’ notice resignation letter template to suit your case, and you should be good to go.