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How to give two weeks notice with 3 examples
Last updated: October 7, 2022
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How to give two weeks notice with 3 examples
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Is two weeks' notice really necessary when you quit your job? What happens if you don’t do it and decide to leave with shorter notice or no notice at all? How do you even give two weeks’ notice to your employer?

This article tells you everything you need to know about giving two weeks' notice. Check out the example resignation letters at the end for ideas before you write your own.

What is “two weeks' notice”?

Giving two weeks' notice means letting your employer know you’re planning to leave your job in two weeks or 14 calendar days. This lets the company get ready for you to leave. Writing an official letter of resignation, either physically or in an email, is the best way to give notice to your supervisor.

Should you give two weeks' notice?

In almost all cases, yes.

Giving two weeks of notice is considered standard in the working world. That means it will most likely leave your employer with a negative impression if you don’t do it.

You might think that doesn’t matter since you’re leaving anyway, but maintaining a good relationship with past employers is important. You never want to burn a bridge.

Your former employers and colleagues are the people who will be your professional references when you apply for jobs in the future. What they think of you matters.

If you don’t give two weeks' notice, you could be blacklisted from working at that company again. Even if you’re certain that you don’t want to work there now, you never know when an ideal opportunity might spark up in the future.

Additionally, someone from your former company could get a job at the next place you want to work. That’s why leaving on friendly terms is the best choice for your career.

83% of HR managers say that how someone quits a job affects that person's future opportunities. That’s why it’s important to think it through before you decide how you’ll leave.

But before you start writing your two weeks’ notice letter, check your contract or employee handbook, if you have one. Some employers require a different notice period.

Always follow the company policy.

Is it okay not to give two weeks' notice?

Unless your company prefers a different advance notice period, you should give at least two weeks' notice that you're leaving. That is 14 calendar days.

If you absolutely can’t give two weeks' notice (for example, if you can’t come back to work because of a family crisis), you should still write a resignation letter. Your boss may be sympathetic if you have a good reason for giving short notice and you’re comfortable telling them about it.

One thing to note: while you should almost always give your employer two weeks' notice, your employer doesn’t always have to keep you on for two weeks.

Some employers will dismiss you immediately or within a few days of your notice. Be prepared for the day you give the notice to be your last day.

How do I write my two weeks notice letter?

Keep your resignation letter official and professional. Even if you have a good relationship with your supervisor, save any informal discussion for your in-person meeting.

Your letter should have the date at the top, followed by your contact information and the company’s info.

Make sure you clearly state your intended last day of work. The main point of this letter is to let your boss know exactly when you’re leaving.

Some people put their reason for leaving in the resignation letter. You don’t have to do this if you’re not comfortable with it. In some cases, it’s a bad idea. For example, don’t say in the letter that you’re unhappy at your current job, even if it’s true.

Consider adding a statement of gratitude. This could be something about how you enjoyed working at the company or a statement of appreciation for the mentorship your boss gave you. You don’t have to say it if you don’t mean it, but it can help you leave your employer on good terms. It can also allow you to keep your boss in your professional network, which can help you with more job opportunities down the road.

If you print a hard copy of your letter, sign it at the bottom. If it’s an email, make sure you use a professional email closing.

Two weeks' notice examples

The best way to give two weeks' notice is to write a physical letter to give to your boss. However, if you’re a remote worker or you won’t have a chance to see your supervisor in person for a while, you can put your resignation letter in an email.

Resignation letter: formal

January 1, 2021

Henry Quinn

444 Westchester Rd.

Kansas City, MO 64123

Mary Smith

Widget World

123 North Fielding Street

Kansas City, MO 64123

Dear Ms. Smith,

This letter is to inform you of my resignation from Widget World. My final day will be January 15, 2021.

It has been a pleasure working at Widget World. I'm grateful for the opportunity to work here and for the support you've provided over the past three years.

Please let me know what I can do to help make the transition go smoothly. I wish the best for you and the company.

Sincerely,

Henry Quinn

Resignation letter with reason for leaving

January 1, 2021

Henry Quinn

444 Westchester Rd.

Kansas City, MO 64123

Mary Smith

Widget World

123 North Fielding Street

Kansas City, MO 64123

Dear Ms. Smith,

I'm writing to let you know that I'm resigning from Widget World. My final day of work will be January 15, 2021, two weeks from today.

Working at Widget World has been a great experience, and I've especially appreciated your mentorship. Due to my family relocating to Alaska, I have to leave the company, but I wish you all the best.

Please let me know if I can do anything to help make the transition go smoothly. I would be happy to help train my replacement over the next two weeks.

Sincerely,

Henry Quinn

Resignation letter sent by email

(Image Source)

Subject line: Letter of resignation — Henry Quinn

Dear Ms. Smith,

Please accept this as my official resignation from my position at Widget World. My final day of work will be January 15, 2021, two weeks from today.

I'm very fortunate to have been a part of the team here at Widget World. Please let me know if I can do anything to help make the transition go smoothly. I wish the whole company the best.

Sincerely,

Henry Quinn

Resignation letter with thanks

Subject line: Letter of resignation — Henry Quinn

Dear Ms. Smith,

I write to inform you that I am resigning from my position at Widget World as Project Manager. My final day of work will be January 15, 2021.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your guidance and mentorship during my time at Widget World. I have learned so much over these past years, and I will never forget your support and my amazing experiences with my colleagues.

Let me know if you need anything from me to make this transition easier. You may always contact me at [email protected] or at my personal phone number, 222-333-4444.

Thank you again for all of your support and encouragement over the past few years.

Sincerely,

Henry Quinn

Resignation letter when it’s not a good fit

Subject line: Letter of resignation — Henry Quinn

Dear Ms. Smith,

I write this letter to announce my resignation from Widget World, effective two weeks from today.

This was not an easy decision to make. While the past few months have been rewarding professionally, I feel it’s best for my career to seek a position that will provide additional challenges.

Please don’t hesitate to let me know what I can do to help during this transition.

Sincerely,

Henry Quinn

Resignation letter due to personal reasons

Subject line: Letter of resignation — Henry Quinn

Dear Ms. Smith,

I write this letter to inform you of my resignation from Widget World. This resignation is effective on January 15, 2021, two weeks from today.

Although I have enjoyed my time working with you and my colleagues at Widget World, I’ve been called to resign for personal reasons that require my attention.

Despite my resignation, I’m grateful for the opportunities and support you’ve provided me with during my time as Project Manager. I will do whatever you deem necessary to ease this transition.

I hope that I can stay in touch with you in the future as business colleagues. I look forward to working with you in the future, should I have the opportunity. Deep thanks for your understanding.

Sincerely,

Henry Quinn

5 tips for resignation letters and two weeks' notice

Before you draft your two-weeks notice letter, check out these five crucial tips.

1. Find a time to talk to your boss in person

If at all possible, set up a meeting with your supervisor before you hand in your letter of resignation.

Telling your employer that you’re quitting can be intimidating. If you feel nervous, think through what you want to say in advance. For example, how will you answer if they ask why you’re leaving?

If you’re not comfortable giving a detailed answer, you can always say something like, “I’m resigning to pursue a new opportunity” or “I have to quit for personal reasons.”

Also, be prepared for a counter-offer. If your current employer likes you, they might try to convince you to stay with more money or a new job opportunity. Think about whether you would accept such an offer.

2. Make sure to review your employment contract

If your contract states that you need to give a certain amount of notice — even if the notice period is more than two weeks — it’s not optional. There may be penalties for breaking your contract.

Even if the employer doesn’t enforce the contract, violating its terms makes a bad impression. It could come back to haunt you when someone calls your boss for a professional reference.

3. Help make the transition smooth

Quitting your job can make things tough for your employer. Offer to help them out with things like:

  • Training your replacement: the longer you’ve been with the company, the more difficult it may be to get a new candidate up to speed with your tasks and responsibilities.

  • Writing up a description of your daily tasks: If you have complex tasks, consider filming yourself (or asking a colleague to film you) performing these tasks. If you work on a computer, use a screen recording tool to showcase your work.

  • Deleting files or passing them to colleagues: Check with your manager or supervisor to understand what to do with old computer files. Some companies will require you to delete everything, while others will prefer to make everything shareable.

  • Wrapping up projects, if possible: If you can’t wrap up projects, make sure you write thorough notes about the details of an ongoing project.

When you give your resignation, you don’t have a legal obligation to “make things easy” for your employer. But showing that you’re willing to make things as easy as possible can help you maintain a positive relationship with your manager and your colleagues.

Staying in touch with your previous colleagues and managers is a great way to keep a healthy professional network. If you decide to burn bridges instead, this could come back to haunt you. Imagine your supervisor is close friends with your future employer!

(Image Source)

4. Keep it diplomatic and neutral

You might be leaving because you’re angry at your bad boss or upset with the company.

It doesn’t benefit you to say this when you’re resigning. You don’t have to say nice things you don’t mean either — just be polite.

You’ve spent enough time in a bad work situation. Don’t give your employer a reason to hurt your future career prospects as well.

5. Don’t disrespect the company

Again, you want to leave this employer on good terms.

You can tell your boss or your friends at the company about your new job. But don’t make a big deal about how much better it is or how happy you are to be leaving.

6. Take time to say goodbye

Don’t disappear without a trace. Although it feels easier and less awkward for some people to skip the goodbyes and disappear into the night, it’s not the best decision for your future opportunities.

You never know which colleagues will one day be in a position to recommend you for a job — or even hire you for your dream job.

Take the time to say goodbye to everyone before you leave. You don’t need to get teary-eyed if you don’t feel sad about leaving, but stay polite. If there are colleagues you’d like to stay in touch with, be sure to add them as a connection on Jobcase before you leave.

7. Don’t brag about your new job

Do you have a new job waiting for you after your two weeks’ notice? Avoid bragging about that shiny new job to your colleagues while you’re working your remaining time at your old company.

Yes, you may be excited about the new opportunity. But bragging can be seen as annoying to your colleagues. That won’t be good for your relationship with them. It’s important to keep your connections with them if you’re on good terms.

Quit your job the professional way

Moving on from a job isn’t always easy, but writing a two-weeks notice letter is. Just keep it simple, keep it professional, and keep it diplomatic.

Your future self will thank you for getting it right.

For more job search tips, visit the Jobcase Getting Hired Resource Center.

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Kai Dickerson
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Darryl Hartley

Do not show up for work The suits will get the message

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How to write a retirement letter

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