If you’ve decided to resign from a job, a two weeks notice letter is a your opportunity to leave in a professional and positive manner. This letter is seen as a common courtesy and, in some cases, a requirement to formally resign your position.
Related: How to Write a Resignation Letter
Below, you’ll find information on what it means to give two weeks notice, why and when you should write a letter, and how to get started with examples for you to follow.
What is two weeks notice?
There are many reasons why you may want or need to leave your current job. When you leave, it is customary to give at least two weeks notice to your employer about your coming departure. This period gives you time to complete your current work obligations, inform your managers and coworkers how to perform some of your job duties once you’re gone, and to say goodbye to your colleagues in a professional and positive way. It also gives your employer time to open a role to fill your job or to make other arrangements.
It is important to review your employment contract before giving notice in case your company has other guidelines around resigning. Depending on the terms of your contract, a two weeks notice letter may be required to formally resign your position.
Why should you write a two weeks notice letter?
There are two main reasons why you should write a two weeks notice letter. First, this letter is a respectful way to inform your employer that you intend to leave your current position. It’s normal for people to leave jobs and move on to new ones. During this process, make sure your employer will be able to speak positively about your exit. For example, quitting your job suddenly and without notice could leave your employer in a difficult situation. This could limit your ability to use your current employer as a reference for future jobs or risk a new employer learning about your unprofessional exit.
In many cases, your notice will give your employer time to settle any accounts in your name or ensure you receive final financial information, such as for retirement accounts or back pay. Your employer may also need the time to post your former job and find the right candidate as a replacement.
The second reason you should provide a two weeks notice letter is so you have a written record of your decision to resign. This document can be used for various purposes, such as understanding why employees choose to leave or for legal records.
How you leave your job could also have an impact on your future job success. No matter your reason for leaving, you should avoid leaving a bad impression throughout the resignation process.
How to resign from your job
When you resign from a job, it’s customary to provide a resignation letter two weeks before your final day of work. There are several things to consider before you submit this letter to your employer.
If possible, find a convenient time to meet with your employer.
It’s best to resign from your job in person. If you need to, you can also have this conversation via phone or video conference. In most cases, this meeting should take place with your direct supervisor. This is a courtesy to your manager that helps avoid unexpected news and gives them additional time to prepare. It also gives you the opportunity to have a personal conversation with them, thanking them for the opportunity.
To avoid your manager hearing about your resignation from someone else, make sure you speak to them before telling any of your colleagues.
Remember that your goal is to part on good terms. Try to schedule this meeting at a convenient time for your manager, write your two weeks letter beforehand and prepare to address their questions about when you’ll be leaving.
If there is some reason you cannot speak to your direct supervisor, you could meet with an HR representative. Whomever you meet with, it’s important not to wait too long—once you’ve decided to leave your job, you should tell your employer as soon as possible so that you can agree on an exit plan together.
Prepare for your conversation and focus on the positive
Talking about resigning from your job can be a difficult conversation to have. As with many difficult conversations, it’s a good idea to prepare ahead of time. This preparation can calm your nerves and make it easier to say what you need to say.
- Be honest but don’t go into unnecessary detail. When thinking about how you want to tell your manager of your intention to leave, it can be helpful to know ahead of time what you want to divulge.
For example, it might be true that you are leaving because you don’t feel you are growing at the company and you’ve found a new job with more growth opportunity. Depending on your situation, you might choose to tactfully explain this to your employer. But, you may decide that it’s better to only tell them that you’re pursuing a new opportunity that’s a good fit for your future goals.
While you may be asked about your next opportunity, it is your decision whether or not you want to tell your employer this information based on what makes you feel most comfortable.
- Be prepared to let them know the date of your last day. Your employer may inquire about a few pieces of information to get ahead of your departure as best they can, including the date of your last day. Two weeks notice is common.
- Be gracious. You should have a few words mapped out ahead of time thanking your employer for the opportunity at the company. This can include resources they provided for your continued growth, exceptional management, the opportunity to work on certain projects or simply gained experience in the industry.
- Be prepared for pushback. If you were an exceptional and well-liked employee, your manager may attempt to offer you a pay raise or other perks to keep you on board, if they have the resources. You should be prepared ahead of time with exactly what they can offer for you to stay, or whether you want to engage with a counter-offer at all. If you do choose to stay, be prepared for a potentially awkward relationship moving forward. You can decline a counter-offer with a simple, respectful statement like, “Thank you very much for the offer. While I highly value my time at this company, the next opportunity will be the best option for me moving forward.”
If you can’t meet in person, send an email
If you can’t resign in person or speak to your supervisor via phone or video conference, you have the option of sending an email. In this case, you should give your email a clear subject line, keep the body of your email brief and positive, and attach your two weeks letter as an attachment. Here’s an example of what your email might look like:
Subject: Resignation Letter – Elaine Chu
Dear Mr. Watts,
Please accept this as my formal resignation from XYZ Company. My last day will be June 15th, two weeks from today. I am grateful for all of your support during my time here and deeply appreciate all of the valuable experiences I have gained. It has been a pleasure working with you and the team.
Please let me know how I can help during this transition and make it as smooth as possible. I wish you all the best.
Best wishes, and thank you for everything,
How to write a two weeks notice letter
As you begin to draft your letter of resignation, consider the following guidelines:
- Start by including your name, date, address and subject line
- State your resignation
- Include the date of your last day
- Provide a brief reason of resignation (optional)
- Add a statement of gratitude
- Wrap-up with next steps
- Close with your signature
While each resignation letter is different, it’s best to end on a positive note with gratitude or something specific you enjoyed about your time with the company to leave a good impression.
Two weeks notice letter example
Here is an example of a two weeks notice letter you could write if you received a job offer from another employer.
John Delaney [Supervisor’s Name]
ACT LLC [Company Name]
173 Up Street, Columbus, Ohio 13456 [Company Address]
Dear Mr. Delaney,
This letter is to give you two weeks’ notice of my official resignation from ACT LLC. My final day as a sales associate with ACT LLC will be [Two Weeks From Today’s Date].
It has been a pleasure working with ACT LLC. I appreciate the time and commitment the company has shown me in helping to develop my sales associate experience and skills.
I intend to continue providing ACT LLC with the same high-quality work from now until my last day of employment. If there is anything you need me to do to help during this transition time, please let me know.