One of the best career habits you can get into is to write a two weeks notice letter to your employer before actually resigning. By giving them a heads up before you depart, you ensure that you won’t be burning any bridges on the way out. It goes without saying that this is important in anyone’s career, as past employers often become references on future job applications. Below, you’ll find out what a two weeks notice letter should look and sound like, as well as a few tips for writing it respectfully and professionally.
- Open with a “Dear” statement directly to your boss. By the time you decide to resign, odds are that you and your supervisor aren’t on a “to whom it may concern” basis anymore. Addressing your boss personally serves to set the tone of your two weeks notice letter, and will offset some of the inherent negativity.
- In the first sentence, come out and state that you are resigning. Generally speaking, letters of resignation are very direct. Simply state that you are “announcing your resignation” and follow it up with a time frame when it will take effect. Of course, in a true two weeks notice letter the time frame should be exactly that, but it can vary depending on the circumstances that led to your resignation. If at all possible write it earlier rather than later, as accepted business etiquette implies that two weeks is the minimum in terms of warning time.
- Follow up the statement with a brief paragraph expressing your appreciation. No matter what the circumstances that led to your resignation were, it’s important that your two weeks notice letter express gratitude for the opportunities your former employer afforded you. Unless you have a close personal relationship with your boss, this paragraph does not need to be long-winded or sappy. A simple thank you, though it might seem small, can make a big difference in whether you’ll be able to use that employer as a reference in the future.
- Avoid the most common pitfall of writing a resignation letter. Employees who are resigning on less than favorable terms with their employer often find it tempting to write a scathing two weeks notice letter. Though it might be cathartic, try to remember that this practice is not a great career move. Even if you’re leaving because of serious problems with the company or other employees, keep the letter professional. In the long run, taking the high road is in your best interest.