While giving two weeks’ notice is standard practice when you’re leaving a job, sometimes factors beyond your control mean you need to resign in less time, or maybe even immediately. It’s not the best case scenario, but writing a professional resignation letter can help alleviate some of the blow back from quitting on short notice.
Follow these tips for writing a resignation letter when your last day will be less than two weeks away.
What is short notice?
A resignation letter informs your company of your intent to leave your job. A short notice resignation letter simply means you’re giving less than the two weeks’ notice that is customary in most positions.
Why it’s important to resign formally
Resigning with less than two weeks’ notice is frowned upon in many fields. Writing a professional resignation letter allows you to explain why you’re unable to provide the customary notice period and help avoid the negative feelings that can come with leaving a job on short notice.
You should also write a resignation letter to give your company formal notice of your intent to leave. This allows them to begin the official process for wrapping things up with an outgoing employee. Especially if you’re quitting on the spot, it’s a good idea to have a record of the interaction on paper.
When to send a letter
The simple answer is, as soon as possible. Even if you have to resign with less than two weeks’ notice, give your employer as much time as you reasonably can to prepare for your departure.
Here are some situations where it might be necessary to submit a short-notice resignation:
- A personal or family emergency
- A health issue
- Hostile or unsafe working conditions
- A new job offer that requires you to start immediately
What to include:
Your resignation details
Begin by stating your intent to leave your position and the date of your last day of employment.
An explanation for the short notice
If it’s appropriate for the situation, express regret that you’re unable to give a full notice period and offer a brief explanation of why.
Your thanks to the company
Include a line thanking your employer for the opportunities you’ve been given while on the job.
An offer to help in the transition
Being available to answer questions or provide training to your replacement may lessen the stress of a short-notice departure.
What to omit
- Excessive personal details. If you’re quitting a job suddenly, chances are there are some extenuating circumstances. If you want to share these with your boss, save it for a personal conversation instead of including them in your resignation letter.
Example letter when giving short notice
By keeping your resignation letter polite, professional and to-the-point, you can help minimize any damage from resigning on short notice and leave the door open to a potential future relationship.