How to Write a Short Notice Resignation Letter in 2020 » Pro Tips + FREE Templates

Jul 4, 2020 | 1 comment

List of tips on how to write a short notice resignation letter with templates

I.     Introduction

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How to Write a Short Notice Resignation Letter in 2020 » Pro Tips + FREE Templates

II.     Before You Hand In Your Resignation Letter

First things first. There are a few essential steps that you need to take before formally quitting your job. If you overlook these, not even a Pulitzer-worthy letter of resignation could help you save face — or your career.

» Step 1: Get Your Finances in Order

It is always best to have a job offer on standby before you quit your current position.

However, if you must leave at short notice with no plan B lined up, then make sure that you have enough savings to get you through at least the next three to six months. It could take a while to find a new job, especially if you don’t want to sell yourself cheap and accept the first offer that comes your way. The last thing you want is to end up at yet another disappointing job that you can’t wait to quit even before your trial period is over.

This step is particularly important if you have a family to provide for or loans or credits to repay.

» Step 2: Plan Your Timing

Ideally, you want to time announcing your resignation so that it does not coincide with:

  • Busy periods
  • Important projects
  • Impending deadlines
  • Major changes in the workplace

If you can, pick a slower period. That should help ease the transition and make it less stressful for everyone.

» Step 3: Start Packing Your Belongings

Many people have quite the inventory crammed in their drawers or adorning their desktop at the office. Your last weeks and days at work can be hectic enough as they are. Don’t spend them fussing over what sized box you’d need to fit your specialty pen collection, the twenty photos of your iguana, and the five charcoal water bottles you never used anyway.

To avoid all that hassle, start clearing and packing your personal items well before you announce your resignation. Moreover, try to be discreet about it. Remove your items one or two at a time so as not to attract undue attention.

» Step 4: Clean Up Your Electronic Devices

Delete any personal files, emails, and messages from your work phone and PC. Don’t forget to save useful data or contact details that you might need in the future — just make sure that you are allowed to do it!

» Step 5: Review Your Employment Contract and Company Policy

Dig up your employment contract and double-check what the minimum notice period is. Most employers typically require two-weeks’ notice, but that is not always the case.

In addition, familiarize yourself with your company’s policy regarding the leaving salary and benefits you are entitled to. Make sure to also research your continuing health insurance and pension plan as well as how to collect unused annual and sick leave.

» Step 6: Talk to Your Boss

Handing in a resignation letter does not mean that you shouldn’t talk to your supervisor or manager face to face. Request a one-on-one conversation before formally submitting your resignation.

At the meeting, be professional and courteous — even if you have your reasons not to be. If there is some bad blood between you two, be the bigger person and avoid saying anything negative.

Start by telling your boss that you are leaving and when your last day is going to be. However, you don’t have to state your reasons for quitting unless you want to. Then, offer to help with the transition or training your replacement.

That is also a good time to discuss your future and prepare the ground for networking. Let your boss know what your next job is or what you plan for your career. You might want to ask for a reference as well.

III.     How to Write a Short Notice Resignation Letter

If you find it helpful, think of it as your “leaving” motivation letter — the same general rules apply. Don’t go over one page: keep it short, simple, and to the point. Always stick to standard business letter format, opt for a professional-looking font such as Arial or Times New Roman 12, and use high-quality stationery.

➤ What to Include in a Short Notice Resignation Letter

Here is what should go in the letter from top to bottom:

  • Your name and contact details
  • The date
  • Your employer’s name and contact details
  • A subject line that says “Resignation” followed by your name
  • A salutation followed by the addressee’s name or surname
  • First paragraph: say that you are resigning and when your last day is going to be
  • Second paragraph: apologize for the short notice and state the reason for leaving and where you will be going next (optional)
  • Third paragraph: offer to help with the transition
  • Fourth paragraph: thank your employer and wish them success
  • Fifth paragraph: state your new contact details (if any) and how they can reach you from now on
  • Closing
  • Your hand-written signature
  • Your typed name
  • CC to HR and other interested parties

Does all that sound like quite the handful? Don’t worry — it’s much simpler than it seems. Let’s go over each of these points in turn.

» Step 1: Type Your Name and Contact Details

These are pretty straightforward. Just make sure to put your up-to-date contact details and your preferred method of communication. Also, make sure to include your personal email address, as your work email account will soon be deactivated.

» Step 2: Put the Date

If you draft your resignation letter a few days before handing it in, make sure to put the date of submission and not that of writing.

It is good practice to write the name of the month in full to avoid confusion, i.e., “June” rather than “06.”
Make sure to also follow the standard formula depending on where your employer is based. In American English, the month goes first, i.e., “February 7, 2020.” The opposite is true for British English, where the month follows the day: “10 November 2020.”

» Step 3: Type Your Employer’s Name and Contact Details

Likewise, nothing to discuss here. Just make sure to put your employer’s or the company’s full name — it is a mark of respect and professionalism.

» Step 4: Write the Subject Line

A simple “Resignation — [Your full name]” subject line should do just fine.

» Step 5: Open with a Salutation

Use the standard “Dear [Name]” formula. It’s fine to use the person’s first name if that is how you normally address them. Depending on your workplace, the appropriate addressee of the letter may be your direct supervisor or someone higher up the management chain.

Don’t forget that in American English, honorifics are punctuated, i.e., “Mr. Smith” or “Dr. Singh.” On the other hand, the period is typically omitted in British English, i.e., “Ms Mueller” or “Prof Rossi.”

» Step 6: Announce Your Resignation and Last Day

Start by announcing your resignation and your last day at work right away.

Make sure that the notice you give is in keeping with your employment contract. That, however, is not always possible. You may have to give shorter notice or none at all in situations such as a family or health emergency, or if you are subjected to abuse or harassment at work.

In that case, it is advisable to disclose your reasons for leaving at least in part. That could help you avoid potential conflicts with your employer or even legal or financial liability.

» Step 7: Apologize, State Your Reasons, and Say Where You Will Be Going Next

You should always apologize for quitting your job at very short notice — it is the polite thing to do.
However, as mentioned above, as long as you give the notice required under the contract, you are not under an obligation to disclose your reasons for leaving. Of course, you may do so if you wish. Common reasons for resignation include:

  • Starting a new job
  • Switching careers
  • Going back to school
  • Taking a gap year or sabbatical
  • Going on extended travels
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, or adoption
  • Other family reasons
  • Health reasons
  • Relocating to another city, state, or country
  • Retirement

In any case, however, refrain from going into too much detail. A single line on the page should more than suffice.

» Step 8: Offer to Help with the Transition

Next, show some empathy and understanding. Acknowledge that your resignation could mean that your employer and coworkers may have to go through a rough patch. Therefore, be gracious and offer to help ease the transition. Examples include training your successor and taking on extra tasks in your last few weeks or days.

» Step 9: Thank Your Employer and Wish Them Success

Towards the end, remember to always thank your employer for the opportunities they gave you and everything you have learned on the job. Referring to something specific, such as a particular project or skill, would be a nice extra touch, but you don’t have to go that far if you don’t actually mean it.

End this paragraph by wishing your employer and the company success in their future endeavors. You may also mention that you would be happy to work together again in the future. That would prepare the ground for future networking opportunities and eliminate any awkwardness if your professional paths cross again.

» Step 10: Include Your New Contact Details

Before closing, make sure that you include your new contact details and a forwarding address for any paperwork or paychecks. That is also a good place to indicate your preferred channel of communication.

» Step 11: Close and Sign Off

Sign off your resignation letter with your preferred closing, such as “Best,” “Regards,” “Sincerely,” or “Warmly.” In any case, however, keep it business-like and formal. You can reserve the more casual closings for your leaving email.

Finally, type and hand-sign your name. It’s best to use a high-quality pen, and maybe practice your signature a few times if you haven’t signed anything in a while.

» Step 12: Send a Copy to HR

Leave two to four blank lines under your signature. Then, type “CC:” followed by the names and titles of everyone who will receive a copy of your letter of resignation.

➤ What NOT to Include in a Short Notice Resignation Letter

Your short notice resignation letter should not contain:

  • Too much detail
  • Anything negative
  • Promises that you cannot or will not keep
  • Witty comments and jokes
  • Sensitive personal information

— Too Much Detail

Keep your letter short and sweet. You may mention the reasons why you are leaving but don’t expand on the future. Don’t discuss your retirement plans, the details of your next job, or the dream trip of a lifetime that you will be taking.

Likewise, thank your employer for your work together, but do not start reminiscing over the good old times. Save your anecdotes and office war stories for the farewell drinks.

— Anything Negative

Even if you are ecstatic and relieved to be leaving what may have been a toxic or stifling workplace, your resignation letter is not the place to vent — save that for the bar or your therapist’s couch.

Stay away from negative or passive-aggressive comments, as well as anything that could reflect poorly on you later. Remember that your letter of resignation will be kept indefinitely in your employment file. You never know — it may come back to haunt you one day.

— Promises That You Cannot or Will Not Keep

It is a good idea to offer to help with the transition at your workplace or to train your replacement. However, don’t overpromise and don’t make commitments that you won’t be able to keep. If you know that you have too much on your plate as it is, don’t volunteer to take on more tasks.

Moreover, don’t promise to continue cooperating with your current employer even after you leave, unless you are 100% certain that you could do that.

— Witty Comments and Jokes

As we mentioned above, your letter of resignation will likely be kept permanently in your employment file. Therefore, err on the side of caution and keep your writing strictly professional. There is a place and time for humor and a good laugh, but your resignation letter is not it.

— Sensitive Personal Information

Even if you are good friends with your boss and colleagues and have been working side by side for decades, refrain from including confidential personal information in your resignation letter. That includes any medical diagnoses, your new salary, or details about the personal life of your family members.

IV.     Short Notice Resignation Letter Samples

➤ Resignation Letter Samples by Notice Period

» Two-Weeks Notice Resignation Letter

⇊ Download the Template ⇊

Your name and contact details
[Full name]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]
[Telephone number]
[Personal email]

Date of submission
[Date]

Your employer’s details
[Full name of the addressee]
[Title of the addressee]
[Name of the company, organization, or institution]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]

Subject line
RE: Resignation — [Your Full Name]

Salutation
Dear [John/Ms. Smith]:

Your position
Company name
Your last day

Click to download the two-weeks notice resignation letter template Word document

I am writing to let you know that I hereby resign from my position as [Digital Marketing Assistant] at [ABC Company]. My last day will be in two weeks, on [Tuesday, May 18].

I understand that my departure may inconvenience you and my coworkers, and would be happy to help in any way that I can during this time of transition. In particular, I would be glad to help train any new or current colleagues that would be taking on my responsibilities.

Duration of employment
Name of employer
I also wish to take this opportunity to thank you for believing in my potential and your continued support over the past [three years]. My work at [ABC company] taught me invaluable lessons and helped me grow as a professional. I would be forever grateful and wish you and everyone at [ABC company] every success in the future.

Your preferred method of communication
Should you need to contact me after my last day at work, you may reach me at [your telephone number and email address].

Thank you again. It has been a pleasure to work with you.

Sincerely,

Your hand-written signature
[Signed]

Type your full name
[Full name]

Full names and titles of HR staff that will be CC’d
CC: [Full names and titles]

» 24-Hour Notice Resignation Letter

⇊ Download the Template ⇊

Your name and contact details
[Full name]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]
[Telephone number]
[Personal email]

Date of submission
[Date]

Your employer’s details
[Full name of the addressee]
[Title of the addressee]
[Name of the company, organization, or institution]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]

Subject line
RE: Resignation — [Your Full Name]

Salutation
Dear [Maria/Mr. Ortega]:

Your position
Company name
The exact hour and date of your last day

It is with deep regret that I am writing to inform you that I hereby resign from my position as [Director of Operations] at [XYZ Ltd.]. My resignation shall take effect in 24 hours at [6:00 PM, Friday, September 29].

Click to download 24-hour notice resignation letter template Word document.

Apologize and offer to help if you can
Please accept my sincere apologies for resigning at such short notice due to circumstances entirely beyond my control. I am aware that this is likely to pose serious challenges for both you and my coworkers. I, therefore, remain available to provide remote assistance to the team to help ease their transition.

Name of employer
Duration of employment

Working at [XYZ Ltd.] over the past [two and a half years] has been truly life-changing, in the best sense of the word. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. The lessons, experience, and knowledge that I gained at [XYZ Ltd.] will undoubtedly serve me for the rest of my life.

Your preferred method of communication
Your forwarding address

From now on, you may reach me at [your telephone number and email address]. Please forward any remaining paperwork and paychecks to [your forwarding address].

Once again, thank you, and I wish you and everyone at [XYZ Ltd.] every success in the future.
Sincerely,

Your hand-written signature
[Signed]

Type your full name
[Full name]

Full names and titles of HR staff that will be CC’d
CC: [Full names and titles]

» Letter of Resignation Effective Immediately

⇊ Download the Template ⇊

Your name and contact details
[Full name]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]
[Telephone number]
[Personal email]

Date of submission
[Date]

Your employer’s details
[Full name of the addressee]
[Title of the addressee]
[Name of the company, organization, or institution]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]

Subject line
RE: Resignation — [Your Full Name] — Effective Immediately

Salutation
Dear [Mr. Haddadd]:

Your position
Company name

Click to download letter of resignation effective immediately template Word document.

Indicate that your resignation is effective immediately
I regret to inform you that I hereby resign from my position as [Chief Operating Officer] at [ABC Corp.] effective immediately.

Apologize and offer to help if you can
While I wish I could give longer notice, unfortunately, the circumstances are fully beyond my control. I am aware that my immediate resignation may come as a shock to everyone on the team as well as our clients and shareholders. I, therefore, remain available to provide remote assistance to help ease the transition.

Name of employer
Duration of employment

Please accept my sincere apologies and gratitude for all our work together. Working at [ABC Corp.] has been an honor and a real pleasure. Everyone on the talented and dedicated team at [ABC Corp.] has helped me grow both as a person and professional, for which I will always be grateful.

Your preferred method of communication
Your forwarding address

Feel free to reach me at [your personal telephone number and email address] for further details. Please forward any relevant paperwork and remaining paychecks to [your forwarding address].

Once again, thank you, and I wish you and everyone at [ABC Corp.] every success in the future.

Sincerely,

Your hand-written signature
[Signed]

Type your full name
[Full name]

Full names and titles of HR staff that will be CC’d
CC: [Full names and titles]

➤ Resignation Letter Samples by Reason for Leaving

» Starting a New Job, Switching Careers, or Going Back to School

⇊ Download the Template ⇊

Your name and contact details
[Full name]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]
[Telephone number]
[Personal email]

Date of submission
[Date]

Your employer’s details
[Full name of the addressee]
[Title of the addressee]
[Name of the company, organization, or institution]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]

Subject line
RE: Resignation — [Your Full Name]

Salutation
Dear [Ms. Shapiro]:

Your position
Company name
Length of notice
Your last day


I am writing to let you know that I hereby resign from my position as [Software Developer] at [ABC Tech]. My last day will be [in two weeks], on [Friday, March 3].

Click to download letter of resignation due to starting a new job, switching careers, or going back to school template Word document

Express gratitude
Name of employer
Duration of employment

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and guidance over the past [five years]. Working at [ABC Tech] taught me invaluable lessons and helped me grow as a professional. I am forever grateful to you and everyone on the team and wish you all every success in the future.

Name of your new employer or school
Date of start of your new job or school program
State the reason for leaving

While I have greatly enjoyed my time at [ABC Tech] and will always look back at it with fondness, it is now time for me to move on and explore new territory. As of [April 1], I will be starting [my new job as Senior Software Developer at XYZ Tech] [a four-year, full-time course in Electrical Engineering at ABC University], where I hope to expand my knowledge and acquire new skills.

Offer to help
I appreciate that my departure may inconvenience you and my coworkers, and would be happy to help in any way that I can during this time of transition. I would be glad to also help train any new or current colleagues that would be taking on my responsibilities.

Your preferred method of communication
Should you need to contact me after my last day at work, you may reach me at [your telephone number and email address].

Once again, thank you for everything. It has been a real pleasure to work with you.

Sincerely,

Your hand-written signature
[Signed]

Type your full name
[Full name]

Full names and titles of HR staff that will be CC’d
CC: [Full names and titles]

» Health or Family Reasons

⇊ Download the Template ⇊

Your name and contact details
[Full name]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]
[Telephone number]
[Personal email]

Date of submission
[Date]

Your employer’s details
[Full name of the addressee]
[Title of the addressee]
[Name of the company, organization, or institution]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]

Subject line
RE: Resignation — [Your Full Name]

Salutation
Dear [Mr. Benoit]:

Your position
Company name
Length of notice
Your last day


I am writing to let you know that I hereby resign from my position as [Quality Control Inspector] at [ABC Hotels]. My last day will be [in a month] on [Friday, November 1].

Click to download letter of resignation due to health or family reasons Template Word documents

State the reason for leaving
Add more details (optional)

While I regret having to leave my job, my [family] [my health] at this time requires my full attention. [My partner/spouse and I will be welcoming a new member of our family soon]. [I am starting a prescribed course of medical treatment]. I will, therefore, be taking a few months off to [support my family] [improve my health].

Express gratitude
Duration of employment
Name of employer

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and guidance over the past [two years]. I greatly enjoyed working at [ABC Hotels] and learned a lot from you, my coworkers, and our clients. I will be sure to take these valuable lessons with me as I move on.

Offer to help
I remain ready to assist in any way that I can in the interim. I would also be glad to help train the colleagues that would be replacing me.

Your preferred method of communication
I remain at your disposal to discuss any matters arising from my resignation. Should you need to contact me after my last day at work, you may reach me at [your telephone number and email address].

Your employer
Thank you again. I wish you and everyone at [ABC Hotels] nothing but continued success.

Sincerely,

Your hand-written signature
[Signed]

Type your full name
[Full name]

Full names and titles of HR staff that will be CC’d
CC: [Full names and titles]

» Gap Year, Extended Travel, or Sabbatical

⇊ Download the Template ⇊

Your name and contact details
[Full name]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]
[Telephone number]
[Personal email]

Date of submission
[Date]

Your employer’s details
[Full name of the addressee]
[Title of the addressee, i.e., General Manager]
[Name of the company, organization, or institution]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]

Subject line
RE: Resignation — [Your Full Name]

Salutation
Dear [Ms. Wright]:

Your position
Name of employer
Length of notice
Your last day


I am writing to let you know that I hereby resign from my position as [Business Analyst] at [XYZ Research]. My last day will be [in a month], on [Wednesday, October 12].

Click to download letter of resignation due to Gap Year Extended Travel or Sabbatical Template Word documents

Your employer’s name
State the reason for leaving

While I greatly enjoy my work at [XYZ Research], I have decided to embark on a new stage in life. I will be [taking a gap year] [leaving on extended travels] [taking a year-long sabbatical] to gain new skills and a fresh perspective.

Express gratitude
Name of employer
Duration of employment

Thank you for allowing me to become a part of the [XYZ Research] team. I greatly appreciate your continued support and guidance over the past [four years]. I loved working here and learned a lot from you, my coworkers, and our clients, and I will certainly miss you all.

Offer to help
Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to assist in the interim. I would also be glad to train the colleagues that would be replacing me.

Your preferred method of communication
I remain available to discuss further details. Should you need to contact me after my last day at work, you may reach me at [your telephone number and email address].

Your employer
Thank you again. I wish you success in all your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

Your hand-written signature
[Signed]

Type your full name
[Full name]

Full names and titles of HR staff that will be CC’d
CC: [Full names and titles]

Your name and contact details
[Full name]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]
[Telephone number]
[Personal email]

Date of submission
[Date]

Your employer’s details
[Full name of the addressee]
[Title of the addressee]
[Name of the company, organization, or institution]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip code]

Subject line
RE: Resignation — [Your Full Name]

Salutation
Dear [Mr. Lee]:

Your position
Name of employer
Length of notice
Your last day

Click to download resignation letter due to retirement template Word document.

I am writing to let you know that I hereby retire from my position as [Senior In-house Counsel] at [ABC International]. My last day will be [in two months], on [Tuesday, January 11].

Your employer’s name
Duration of employment

Working for [ABC International] for the past [decade and a half] has been nothing but a true honor and privilege for me. I could think of no better place and no better team to end my professional career. Thank you for your continued support and unending enthusiasm.

Express gratitude
Name of employer

While I look forward to enjoying my retirement, I will miss each and every one of my coworkers at [ABC International]. I will be forever grateful for the friendships that I have made here and hope to be able to see you all often.

Offer to help
Your preferred method of communication

If I can be of any assistance before I leave, please let me know. Should you need to contact me after my last day at work, you may reach me at [your telephone number and email address].
Once again, thank you for everything. I wish you nothing but success and a long professional life.

Sincerely,

Your hand-written signature
[Signed]

Type your full name
[Full name]

Full names and titles of HR staff that will be CC’d
CC: [Full names and titles]

V.     After You Hand In Your Resignation

Now that you have written and handed in your letter of resignation, there are still a few things left to do:

  • Send a farewell email
  • Talk to HR
  • Ask for a recommendation or reference

» Step 1: Send a Farewell Email

Make sure to let not only your boss but also all your colleagues know that you are leaving. The best way to do so is by sending them a farewell email. As these usually are rather casual, this is your opportunity to get creative, witty, or emotional — or all of the above.

» Step 2: Talk to HR

After talking to your boss and formally handing in your letter of resignation, head to HR to discuss any remaining issues, such as collecting unused annual leave and employee benefits.

» Step 3: Ask for a Reference

Before you leave for good, make sure to ask your employer and/or some of your colleagues for references or letters of recommendation, especially if you plan to continue working in the industry.

VI.     Conclusion

We hope that our step-by-step guide on how to write a short notice resignation letter has been helpful to you. Whether you are starting a new job, quitting your job to travel, or quitting a job while still in training, our pro tips and resignation letter samples should certainly come in handy.

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