How To Write A Two Weeks’ Notice Letter (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - May. 3, 2021

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We’ve all been there.

Whether it’s a relocation, a better offer, or simply being miserable at work every day, there comes a time when the only option left is leaving a job. The process of quitting can feel a little daunting. Maybe even scary. However, it’s more than possible to gracefully exit your position, and still leave a great final impression.

It all starts with a professional two weeks’ notice letter delivered at the right time.

You’ve made the decision to leave a job. Soon, you won’t be dealing with these coworkers and this boss. Now you’re left with the decision of how to quit your job.

Why should you waste your valuable time and energy writing a letter when you’re quitting anyway?

Simply put, because it isn’t a waste.

What Is a Two Weeks’ Notice Letter and Why Should I Write One?

A two weeks’ notice letter is a document that an employee hands in to their employer to inform them of their resignation. It’s traditionally handed in two weeks (14 days, 10 business days) before your final working date, as stated in the letter itself.

Note that there are no federal laws concerning giving any kind of warning before you quit your job. It’s simply a cultural practice to allow your employer enough time to plan for your departure (finding a replacement, reassigning your tasks, etc.)

You should give at least two weeks’ notice in most circumstances, but if you’re trying to be extra considerate, you can give three or even four weeks’ notice.

The important point is that this letter serves as your last chance to leave a good impression on your soon-to-be former employer. It’s a formal, professional, and concise way to notify the company of your departure.

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This will definitely become important down the line when future employers are calling them as references. A notice letter can make the difference between your previous employer recommending you to the next person, or not.

Do you want your possible new boss to hear, “Yes, they were great, right up until the end when they quit without notice, leaving our company to clean up the mess.”

Or, would you prefer your former bosses say, “Yes, they were great! They even resigned in a sincere and professional way.”

What to Consider Before Handing in Your Two Weeks’ Notice

A letter of resignation shouldn’t be taken lightly. Quitting your job is an enormous decision, and there are some considerations to take into account before you send it.

Imagine your life post-resignation, and how you want it to be. Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have a new opportunity waiting for you on the other side, or will you be starting your job-search after resigning?

  • Is your new position higher or lower paying?

  • Does this new job follow the path of your career goals?

  • How long will you be waiting before you begin your new position?

  • Can you survive off what’s in your bank account while you’re waiting?

  • Are you leaving in the middle of a major project?

  • How will you manage your benefits (unused PTO, health insurance extension, 401(k) transfer, etc.)?

  • Is there any company property you have to return?

These are just some of the many questions to think about. Deciding when to quit can’t be done in an instant. You have to consider what’s in your best interest. Only you know the implications that moving on from this job can have for you. Don’t act before you think.

You can always draft your letter of resignation and wait to send it until you’re unquestionably sure or have found a new job already.

How to Write a Two Weeks’ Notice Letter

Writing a letter of formal notice sounds like an intricate task, but really, the structure is fairly simple. Drafting one shouldn’t take more than an hour of your time, and a pinch more of your patience.

Once you’ve made your decision, send your letter with as much notice as circumstance allows. Avoid immediate resignation. The age-old metric is two weeks, but give three weeks’ notice or more if possible. The more time your company has to find your replacement, the less peeved they’ll be about you leaving.

Here are the parts of a successful two weeks’ notice letter:

  1. The header. The beginning should be like any other professional document you’ve written: your name, date, address and a subject line. Include the information of the person you’re addressing and your company’s details.

  2. Paragraph one – state your intent and last day. Once everyone is clear on who you are and whose being addressed, get right to business. State your resignation as the first line of your letter.

    Be straightforward, but also friendly. Emphasize who you are and your position in the company. At the end of this paragraph, put the date of your last day.

  3. Paragraph two – say thank you. At this point, you should take the opportunity to thank your employers for hiring you in the first place and the experience you’ve had working there.

    Even if it was the worst job you ever had, you gained the knowledge that you don’t want that type of job again. That’s valuable.

  4. Paragraph three – give a reasons for departure. Optionally, you can give a reason for your departure. You definitely don’t want to say, “I hated every second working here, and that’s why I’m quitting,”.

    Even if you’re quitting a job you just started, let an employer know that there are no hard feelings and you’re leaving because of a new opportunity.

  5. Closing paragraph – offer help. Once you’ve addressed your resignation and the details, you can now move on to the next steps. Offer your company help in whatever way that may be to smoothly transition a new employee into your position.

    Mention that you’re willing to train the new recruit, and that you’ll continue working to your full capacity until your very last day. Of course, if you have no intention of helping find or train a replacement, then don’t indicate otherwise. Promise only what you’re willing and able to follow through on, or your nice offer will end up biting you.

    Be doubly thankful. Before you close your letter, thank your supervisor and the company once more. It can be a nice gesture to let them know you’re wishing them well in the future, despite your resignation. Courtesy is key.

  6. The sign off. Finish your two weeks’ notice letter with a neatly packaged:

    Sincerely,

    [Your Name]

That’s all there is to it!

Give the letter one final proofread and once you’re absolutely positive, send it off to your supervisor.

For a more formal approach, you can also make your resignation handwritten, and give it to your supervisor personally. This would be less common in the digital age, but for your situation, it may be more appropriate. Take into consideration what you think your boss will respond more positively to, and go with that course of delivery.

Common Mistakes to Avoid With Your Two Weeks’ Notice Letter

We’ve covered all the things that you should do when writing your two weeks’ notice letter. Now, let’s remember what should be excluded from your resignation letter.

  • Negativity. There shouldn’t be any negative comments about the company, your supervisor, or your co-workers. You want to speak about your former team in a positive light, or not at all.

    Even if this was the most negative, infuriating job experience you’ve ever had. There’s a time and a place for these complaints, and your letter of resignation is not it (human resources might be).

  • Salary. Another complaint you shouldn’t address in your two weeks’ notice is your salary, if that’s impacting your decision to leave. In this scenario, meet with your boss to discuss your salary concerns or send a salary increase letter. Once you’ve made the choice to resign, you’re writing a letter to notify, not bargain.

  • Boasting. Try not to use a tone that is overly sarcastic, condescending, or rude. There’s no need to shove your great new job or opportunity in anyone’s face. Maintain a voice that is straightforward, appreciative, and respectful. You’ll probably receive the same consideration in return.

  • Telling coworkers first. This isn’t really a mistake with your two weeks’ notice letter itself, but the circumstances surrounding it. Never tell your coworkers about your plans to leave before telling your boss and formalizing it in writing.

How to Quit Your Job: Beyond Your Two Weeks’ Notice Letter

Sending in a two weeks’ notice letter is one part of the resignation puzzle, but it’s not the whole thing. Read through these other steps to quitting your job to ensure that you have as smooth an exit as possible:

  • Schedule a meeting with your boss. A two weeks’ notice letter is great for formalizing your resignation, but we recommend having a conversation with your supervisor first.

    It’s up to you whether you want to bring your letter to this meeting or send it as a follow-up. This allows you to have a personal chat where you can really express your heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity (even if you hate your boss).

    Remember the mistake from above: do not tell any coworkers before speaking to your boss. It’s a really bad look if your supervisor hears about your departure from someone else.

    Try to arrange a time that’s convenient for your boss. If for some reason you don’t want to or can’t meet with your boss, schedule a meeting with an HR representative instead.

  • Keep your explanation simple. Your boss will probably have questions about why you’re leaving and what’s next — part of it’s practical and part of it’s just natural curiosity. The most important part is that you give a decisive final date.

    Be ready to talk about the next steps of your departure, whether that involves finding and training a replacement or just wrapping up a project and handing it off to a coworker.

    Be careful not to gush about your new job opportunity or slip in any sly insults on what the company did wrong to lose you. If you have issues you’d like to discuss, you can do that at your exit interview.

  • Be prepared for bargaining. You can expect a bit of pushback from your boss unless it’s obvious that you’ve been unhappy in your role for a while now. They might offer a raise, extra perks, or a change in responsibilities.

    If you’re not 100% firm in your decision, you can certainly explore these options. Just be aware that you’ve laid your cards on the table, which could make for a somewhat awkward future here.

    But if you’re absolutely certain that it’s time to move on, decline counteroffers with a polite statement that the next opportunity is your best option.

  • Help find/train your replacement. If you really want to be a superstar, you can offer to help find and/or train your replacement. It’s a nice gesture that will guarantee you a glowing recommendation down the line.

    That being said, you should still commit to a firm final date — if they haven’t replaced you by then, that’s on your employer and you shouldn’t feel guilty about leaving.

  • Return company property. Remember that you’ll have to turn over any company property when you resign. If you have laptops, tablets, phones, etc. with your personal information on them or you’re logged onto accounts on them, make sure to wipe everything clean.

    Of course, if you need any important files from them, make sure to save them somewhere cloud-based or download them. So long as you’re not breaking a non-compete agreement by doing so.

  • Offer/get references. There’s no better time to lock down references than when you’re departing your job. It’s good practice to simultaneously offer references as your request them. You don’t have to get them from everyone you work with, but choose a few key people who can speak to your skill set.

    Beyond that, don’t forget to say goodbyes to all of your coworkers. Ghosting people makes them feel bad, and you never know when you’ll run into these people again.

  • Have a great final two weeks. You’re so close to the finish line — don’t give in to senioritis. Be the best employee you can be during your final two weeks. Help get your team in a good place without you, train people up on what you were doing, and consider leaving a checklist of how you get your job done to help your replacement.

    Don’t go into details about how awesome your new job is or talk smack about all the poor suckers who are stuck working here. Go out with class and you’ll be remembered well.

When Don’t I Need a Two Weeks’ Notice Letter?

Strictly speaking, you never need to send a two weeks’ notice letter. However, it’s courteous and avoids burning bridges at your former company.

That being said, there are circumstances where you shouldn’t feel guilty about leaving without giving two weeks’ notice. Some prime examples of situations where you can leave in a jiffy include:

  • Your job is putting your health and safety at risk

  • Your supervisor asked you to do something illegal or unethical

  • You are being harasssed, bullied, or abused at your job

  • Your new employer needs you to start immediately

Two Weeks’ Notice Letter Tips

Look at writing your two weeks notice letter as less of a task, and more of an opportunity. This is the way a former boss is going to remember you, and describe you as an employee in the future. It gives you a chance to leave your job, and still maintain the professional relationships you created.

Make sure to make that final impression (one that’s forever documented in writing) a good one. Send your letter to your company’s HR department as well as your supervisor to make it easy for them to file it away. Or simply CC them on the email you send to your boss.

If you’re sending an email, make sure the subject line includes your name and the word “resignation” so they instantly know the topic.

Don’t forget to check out the resignation letter sample and template below for a visual explanation.

Template for Two Weeks’ Notice Letter

[Full Name]
[Address]
[City, State, and Zip Code]
[Phone Number]
[Your Email]

[Date]

[Your Manager’s Name ]
[Your Manager’s Title]
[Company Name ]
[Company Address ]
[Company City, State, and Zip Code]

Dear [Manager’s First Name],

Please accept this letter as formal notice of my resignation from my position as [Job Title] at [Company Name]. My last day of employment will be [Date].

I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the [Company Name] team for the past [Length of Employment]. It has been a pleasure working with you and I’m grateful for the support in my professional growth.

I would like to be of assistance during the transition of my departure. I am available to train a new recruit to take over my position as a [Job Title]. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can help with.

Thank you again for all the opportunities and encouragement. I wish you and [Company Name] all the best in the future.

Sincerely,
[Your Full Name]

Example Two Weeks’ Notice Letter

Bianca Smith
217 W 28th St.
New York, NY, 10004
(347)-845-2234
BiancaSmith@gmail.com

August 28, 2020

Mr. Mark Allen
Senior Marketing Manager
Fulbright Marketing Co.
380 Lafayette St.
New York, NY, 10003

Dear Mark,

Please accept this letter as formal notice of my resignation from my position as Junior Marketing Specialist At Fulbright Marketing Company. My last day of employment will be September 28, 2020.

I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the Fulbright Marketing Company for the past four years. It has been a pleasure working with you and I’m grateful for the support of my professional growth. It was especially helpful to gain the first-hand marketing experience that this position provided.

I would like to be of assistance during the transition of my departure. I am available to train a new recruit to take over my position as Junior Marketing Specialist. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can help with.

Thank you again for all the opportunities and encouragement. I wish you and Fulbright Marketing Company all the best in the future.

Sincerely,

Bianca Smith

Never miss an opportunity that’s right for you.
Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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