When you’re planning to leave a job, it’s standard practice to write a letter of resignation, informing your employer of your decision to depart. This also formally terminates your employment. You’ll typically hand this letter to your employer two weeks before your expected departure date, which is why it’s also called a two-week notice letter.
There are several reasons you may decide to quit your job, but regardless of what these are, ending an employer-employee relationship on good terms will go a long way toward securing other positions in the future.
How to Formally Resign
Find a good time to speak with your employer directly about your plans to leave. You should inform them before you tell your co-workers; don’t allow your boss to find out about your plans to exit the company from someone else. Although this meeting should ideally take place in person, if that’s not possible, a telephone, Skype, or Zoom call will also suffice, especially if your job is remote.
Write a simple notice letter before the meeting and hand it to your employer as a formal record of your resignation. Your priority should be to leave the company on good terms, so you’ll want to remain gracious and professional throughout the interaction.
Why Give Two Weeks Notice?
There are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to write a notice letter before leaving your job. Doing so allows your manager or supervisor to search for a suitable replacement and assign your work duties to other employees well in advance of your last day.
For example, if you have accounts in your name, re-allocating them will be one of your employer’s priorities. A hasty departure on short notice can cause chaos and confusion, especially if your colleagues’ work schedules must be adjusted to compensate for your absence.
Another reason you’ll want to provide two weeks’ notice is to leave on good terms so you can use your current employer as a reference. This is especially important if you’ve been with the company for a significant period; future employers will see that timeframe on your resume and will value your previous supervisor’s opinion of you because they knew you so well.
By formally resigning and providing notice, you and your employer can plan an exit strategy together. Your employer can also make arrangements for your leaving, ensuring that the company continues to run smoothly without you.
What to Do When You Get a Counteroffer
You don’t need to provide a detailed account of your reasons for leaving, although your employer will probably inquire why you’ve chosen to terminate your employment.
Depending on the company resources and your performance as an employee, your current employer may offer you a raise, increased benefits, or other perks as an incentive to stay. You should prepare for this possibility and consider what offers you’re willing to accept.
If you’re set on leaving, politely decline the counteroffer, saying that you need to explore alternative opportunities for career growth and that the job you’re taking is the best option for your specific goals.
However, if you decide to accept a counteroffer in exchange for remaining, keep in mind that this may negatively affect your long-term prospects at your current company, including the trust and relationship you have with your employer.
How to Draft a Notice Letter
When you write a resignation letter, it should be professional, polite, and concise. A simple resignation letter is best; it doesn’t need to be complicated, and you should refrain from including anything too personal or specific in regards to why you’re leaving. Address your employer by name and any other managers or supervisors you’ve worked with while at the company.
If you’ve ever drafted a business letter before, you know what kind of tone is appropriate. Express appreciation for the opportunities you’ve been afforded and the knowledge or skills you’ve developed. You can also sign off by sharing your good wishes for the future.
Resignation Letter Template
A template can be helpful when attempting to draft your notice letter. Here’s a resignation letter sample:
Dear Mr. Smith,
Please accept this letter as my formal resignation as [insert position] from XYZ company. My last day of work will be [insert date here], two weeks from today. It’s been a pleasure working with you, and I appreciate the opportunity to work in this position.
If there’s anything I can do to make the transitional period easier, please let me know.
[Your name and title]
Finding Better Prospects
Before you hand in a letter resigning from your position, you should have another job lined up. Check out Jobsfuel.com to search for open positions in your field. We make the employment process simple, helping you find the jobs that speak to you.