Kai Dickerson
Community Specialist
Posted March 16, 2021

How to give two weeks notice with 3 examples

Do you really need to give 2 weeks notice? Find out why and how to give 2 weeks. Sample resignation letters included.
Kai Dickerson
Community Specialist
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How to give two weeks notice with 3 examples
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Is two weeks notice really necessary? What happens if you don’t do it? How do you even give two weeks notice?

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 that you let your employer know that you’re planning to leave your job in two weeks or 14 calendar days. It’s a courtesy that lets the company prepare for your departure.

The best way to give your notice is to write an official letter of resignation, either physically or in an email to give to your supervisor.

Should you give two weeks notice?

In almost all cases, yes.

Giving two weeks 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 to jobs in the future.

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 in the future, 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 good for your career.

83% of HR managers say that the way in which someone quits a job affects that person's future opportunities.

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. If you have a good reason for giving short notice and you’re comfortable telling your boss about it, they may be sympathetic.

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 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.

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 expressed 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.

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 if there's anything 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 last 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 there's anything I can do to help make the transition go smoothly. I would be happy to help train in 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 last 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 there's anything I can do to help make the transition go smoothly. I wish the whole company the best.

Sincerely,

Henry Quinn

5 tips for resignation letters and two weeks notice

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
  • Writing up a description of your daily tasks
  • Deleting files or passing them to colleagues
  • Wrapping up projects, if possible

(Image Source)

4. Keep it diplomatic, and neutral

You might be leaving because you’re angry at your bad boss or 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.


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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How to write a retirement letter

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