How to give two weeks notice with 6 examples

Last updated: June 17, 2024
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Kai Dickerson
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How to give two weeks notice with 6 examples
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So you’re ready for a new career, but you don't know how to approach the situation without burning bridges.

On top of that, you have several questions running through your head:

  • 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?

  • What do I include in my resignation letter?

If this describes you, don’t worry — you’re not alone. In 2021, tens of millions of Americans left their jobs, and millions continue to do so. All these people had to go through the same process that you’re facing now.

This article tells you everything you need to know about giving two weeks’ notice. It also gives you six resignation letter examples you can look at 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 notify your supervisor.

Should you give two weeks’ notice?

In almost all cases, yes.

While most U.S. workers leave their jobs due to low pay, lack of advancement opportunities, or feeling disrespected at work, you shouldn’t quit on bad terms.

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

You might think it 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’ll 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 you don’t want to work there now, you never know when an ideal opportunity might spark up.

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.

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 notice period, you should give at least two weeks’ notice that you’re leaving. That’s 14 calendar days.

If you can’t give two weeks’ notice (for example, if you can’t return 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.

Can you give your two weeks’ resignation notice verbally?

Unless your contract stipulates so, you don’t have to give written notice. You can put in your notice verbally.

However, if you give verbal notice, it's best to confirm your resignation in writing. A two-weeks’ notice letter will help prevent miscommunication and ensure that you and your boss are on the same page.

Furthermore, in our day and age, it’s important to leave a virtual paper trail. If you hand your notice in writing to your boss, ensure that you have it in the body of an email, too.

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 discussions for your in-person meeting.

A standard resignation letter’s core elements include the following:

  • The recipient’s name, address, and date: Your letter should have the date at the top, followed by your contact information and the company’s info.

  • Your decision and last day of work: Don’t include too much fluff in your letter. It’s better to get straight to the point with your decision to resign. Also, 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.

  • A brief reason for why you’re resigning: Some people put their reason for leaving in the resignation letter. You don’t have to do this if you’re uncomfortable 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.

  • 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.

  • A signature: 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.

Other things to consider when writing your resignation letter:

  • Keep it short: Your resignation letter shouldn’t be too long. Though you may feel the urge to express all your reasons for leaving, it’s better to simplify the letter by keeping it short and sweet — with only the most important information.

  • Choose a basic font: To avoid miscommunication, consider using a basic, easy-to-read font such as Arial, Roboto, or Calibri. Also, keep your font size around 12 points so that the text is large enough to read.

  • Edit your resignation letter: Before printing or sending your letter, it’s a good idea to put it through a grammar checker. You can use Grammarly for free to check for spelling and grammar errors.

Two weeks’ notice written examples

The best way to give two weeks’ notice is to write a physical letter to give to your boss and a supporting email.

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 just send your resignation letter in an email.

Example 1: Formal resignation letter

Dear Ms. Smith,

This letter is to inform you of my resignation from Widget World. My final day will be June 15, 2023.

It’s been a pleasure working at Widget World. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked here and your support over the past three years.

Please let me know what I can do to help ensure a smooth transition. I wish the best for you and the company.

Sincerely,

Henry Quinn

Example 2: Resignation letter with reason for leaving

Dear Ms. Smith,

I’m writing to inform you that I’m resigning from Widget World. My final work day will be June 15, 2023, 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 must leave the company, but I wish you all the best.

Please let me know if I can aid in making the transition as smooth as possible. I'd be happy to help train my replacement over the next two weeks.

Sincerely,

Henry Quinn

Example 3: Resignation letter with thanks

Dear Ms. Smith,

I’m writing to inform you that I'm resigning from my position at Widget World as Project Manager.

My final day of work will be June 15, 2023.

I’d like to thank you for your guidance and mentorship during my time at Widget World. I've learned so much over these past years, and I’ll 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 my phone number, (222) 333-4444.

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

Sincerely,

Henry Quinn

Example 4: Resignation letter when the job is not a good fit

Dear Ms. Smith,

I write this letter to announce my resignation from Widget World, effective two weeks from today on June 15, 2023.

This wasn’t 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 providing additional challenges.

Let me know if there's anything I can assist with during this transition period.

Sincerely,

Henry Quinn

Example 5: Resignation letter due to personal reasons

Dear Ms. Smith,

I write this letter to announce my resignation from Widget World. This resignation is effective on June 15, 2023, two weeks from today.

Although I’ve 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 during my time as Project Manager. I’ll do whatever you deem necessary to ease this transition.

I hope that I can stay in touch with you in the future as a business colleague. Deep thanks for your understanding.

Sincerely,

Henry Quinn

Example 6: Resignation letter sent by email

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 work day will be June 15, 2023, two weeks from today.

I’m very lucky to have been a part of the wonderful 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 all the best.

Sincerely,

Henry Quinn

10 tips for resignation letters and two weeks’ notice

Before you draft your two-weeks’ notice letter, check out these 10 crucial tips so you can leave on a good note and make your departure as smooth as possible.

1. 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 bite you in the butt when someone calls your boss for a professional reference.

2. Know the details regarding your benefits

It can be confusing to transfer benefits from one employer to another. Sometimes, your new company may not be ready to offer coverage immediately.

Therefore, it’s critical that you know your options regarding benefits such as health insurance before giving your notice.

For example, if you’re facing a gap in health coverage, you can consider COBRA, which gives you and your family health benefits for a limited time.

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

If 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 beforehand. For example, how will you answer if they ask why you’re leaving?

If you’re uncomfortable 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 counteroffer.

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.

While income is an essential part of any job, you need to dig deep here to determine whether the money is worth staying for. And if you decide to leave, remember to ask your boss for a reference letter since it will benefit you in your future job search.

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. Plan for an immediate departure

Your manager may ask you to leave when you give your notice. Depending on the policy, you may not be paid for those days.

You also need to ensure you compile any important information or work, such as work samples, that you can include in your portfolio. However, consult the company guidelines first to ensure you’re allowed to use work samples in this way.

6. 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 leave.

You need to leave on a high note. Now isn’t the time to tell your coworkers of the worst experiences you’ve had at the company.

Though you’re leaving, everyone else is staying, and you may cross paths with your coworkers again in your career journey — especially if you work in a small industry.

7. 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.

You can also send a farewell email on your last day as a final goodbye.

8. 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 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 relationships with them on good terms.

9. Help make the transition smooth

Quitting your job can make things tougher 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 or passing files to colleagues: Check with your manager or supervisor to understand what to do with old computer files. Some companies require you to delete everything, while others 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 resign, you are not legally obligated 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 colleagues.

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

10. Keep working hard

Maintaining a good relationship with your soon-to-be-ex-employer and coworkers will be impossible if you put in little effort during your last two weeks of work. Not only will doing that leave more work for your coworkers, but it’ll also leave a bad impression on your employer.

This will make your employer far less likely to talk positively about you when a prospective employer calls them about your drive and work ethic.

Not to mention your current company is still paying you for those two weeks, so they deserve your best effort. So, make sure you keep working hard until the day you leave.

During your last two weeks, you’ll want to tie up any loose ends, arrive on time, leave at an appropriate time, and remain a solid team player.

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, professional, and diplomatic.

Your future self will be glad you did it right.

If you’re still searching for another job, head over to our Job Board. Simply type the position you’re looking for and your location into the search bar. From there, you’ll get a list of job opportunities to consider.

And if you’re tired of traveling for work, you can consider remote positions. Here’s our list of eight work-from-home jobs that pay well.

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

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

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Skyler Hudson
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How to write a retirement letter

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