When it comes to how to write a resignation letter and give your two weeks’ notice, the process is refreshingly straightforward and should only occupy a few minutes of your time.
This concise letter or email formally informs your employer of your departure date, and it’s a courteous gesture that ideally complements a face-to-face conversation with your manager, according to career experts.
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Resignation Letter Template
Here’s a straightforward example of a two weeks’ notice:
Hi [Manager’s Name],
I’m writing to submit my two weeks’ notice of resignation. My last day of employment will be [X date]. If I can be of any assistance during this transition, please let me know.
Career coach Andrea Misir, based in the New York City metropolitan area, advises keeping your letter “short and sweet.” Avoid delving into the reasons behind your departure or details about your next role.
Misir emphasizes that your employer doesn’t need to know your destination, particularly if you already have another job lined up, as some unfortunate “horror stories” attest.
These tales often involve former managers providing unfavorable references about an exiting employee to their new employer, a rare but unfortunate occurrence you’ll want to steer clear of.
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How to Give Your Two Weeks’ Notice
Before sending in your two weeks’ notice, it’s essential to have a face-to-face conversation with your manager – or conduct it via video conference if you’re working remotely, advises career coach Eliana Goldstein, based in New York City.
Goldstein emphasizes that even if you can’t stand your manager, handling this discussion in person is the courteous and kind approach.
On a more human level, a face-to-face conversation goes a long way in maintaining relationships, especially considering that employee departures often disrupt workflows and require the redistribution of responsibilities among remaining team members.
Offering to help with this transition during your conversation can further solidify your professional rapport.
Once you’ve had the conversation, inquire about the preferred method for officially submitting your two weeks’ notice. Ask whether they’d like an emailed or printed statement, and confirm whether it should be delivered to your manager or the human resources department.
Is a Two Weeks’ Notice Mandatory?
Legally speaking, U.S. workers are not required to provide a two weeks’ notice, as per Nolo, an online legal encyclopedia.
Most workers fall under the category of at-will employees, meaning employers can terminate their employment without cause at any time – barring discriminatory or prejudiced reasons. Conversely, at-will employees have the liberty to resign for any rationale, according to Nolo.
However, it’s advisable to revisit the fine print if you signed a contract upon commencing your employment, advises Eliana Goldstein. If your contract stipulates a two weeks’ notice requirement, failing to comply could potentially put you in breach of contract, per Nolo.
This doesn’t necessarily entail legal action from your employer, as contracts specifying notice periods are typically designed for “highly skilled employees” or those with financial stakes in the company, according to Miller Law Firm, an employment law firm based in Rochester, Michigan.
If your contract obliges you to provide notice and you anticipate being unable to meet this obligation, it might be wise to consult an employment lawyer to ensure you’re protected from any legal repercussions.