When you're ready to leave a job, you should give your employer two weeks' notice so they can prepare for your absence. Offering a two weeks' notice letter is a professional way to leave the company on good terms. Learning what to include in the letter allows you to create a document that maintains a positive connection with the business. In this article, we explain what a two weeks' notice letter is, what to include and provide an example.
What is a two weeks' notice letter?
A two weeks' notice letter is a document that details your coming departure to your supervisor. When you leave your job, it's customary to give at least two weeks' notice to help your manager find your replacement or delegate your responsibilities to others. It also gives you time to finish any projects, train others or prepare instructions for the daily tasks you perform and inform your colleagues of your departure in a positive and professional way.
When you're ready to write a two weeks' notice letter, check your employee handbook to see who you should address and deliver it to. Some employers ask that you give verbal notice to your supervisor and send a letter to human resources to keep it in your employee file.
Why should you write a two weeks' notice letter?
A two weeks' notice letter is a respectful way to inform your manager that you plan to leave the company. A positive letter helps you maintain a good connection with your former managers and colleagues, who could give you a good recommendation should you need one in the future. Human resources can also refer to your letter if a potential employer calls to verify your information.
A resignation or two weeks' notice letter also helps your employer or HR begin your exit process. They can prepare financial and benefits information about your final paycheck or retirement account. A human resources representative may also perform an exit interview with you.
Your letter also serves as your official decision to resign. Human resources can use it as a reference to determine when they need to officially end your benefits and pay.
How to leave your job
When you're ready to resign, follow these steps to ensure you leave professionally:
1. Find a good time to meet with your manager
Before you submit your letter, try to have an in-person conversation with your manager. You can also have this conversation over the phone or via video if you can't meet in person. Since you likely work closely with your manager, it's a courtesy to tell them first so they have time to prepare. It also allows you to have a personal conversation with them to thank them for their time and guidance. Make sure you meet with your supervisor before telling your coworkers.
You should make the meeting and your notice as positive as possible. Try to schedule this meeting at a convenient time for your manager, such as during a slow time during their day. Write your two weeks' notice letter beforehand, and prepare to address their questions about when you'll be leaving. Have notes about any projects you're working on and if you plan to complete them before you leave.
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.
2. Prepare your talking points
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. Give your supervisor as much detail as you're comfortable with. Your employer doesn't need to know your reason for leaving if you don't want to provide it, but giving a reason can help them improve the employee experience. If you're close to your manager, you can give them more detail, then give a more simple explanation in your two weeks' notice letter.
- Inform them of your last day. Have a firm last day to offer to your manager so you can plan your departure together. Two weeks is standard in most industries, but unless your employment contract states a specific period, you can leave at any time. If you hold a higher role in the company or have a lot of responsibilities, you may want to give one month's notice. In some cases, your manager may inform you that you can leave at any time.
- Be positive. Thanking your employer for the opportunity is a good way to keep the conversation positive. Think of one or two good experiences or learning opportunities to talk about to help with the flow of the conversation. 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. You should also include positive messages in your two weeks' notice letter.
- Be prepared for pushback. If you are an exceptional employee or hold a lot of responsibility, your manager might offer you a raise or other benefits to stay at the company. While this doesn't happen all the time, it's helpful to consider this opportunity in case it arises. Think about what you would be willing to accept to stay if it's possible at all. If you're firm on moving to a new opportunity, have a few nice words prepared to thank them for the new offer while politely declining.
3. Send an email
If you can't resign in person or over the phone, you can send an email. In this case, give your email a clear, informative subject line, keep the body of your email positive and brief and attach your two weeks' letter as a document. The following is an example of a resignation email:
Subject: Resignation – Elias Morgan
Dear Mr. Marti,
Please accept this as my formal resignation from Bellaire Company. My last day will be June 15, 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 simple two weeks' notice letter
As you begin to draft your letter of resignation, consider the following guidelines:
- Add a header. At the top of the letter, add your name, date, company and address.
- Write a salutation. Add a simple salutation that addresses the recipient.
- State your resignation. Directly state that you are resigning from your job on a specific date.
- Provide a brief reason for resigning (optional). If you want, explain why you're leaving, such as moving, changing careers or finding a new job with higher pay.
- Add a statement of gratitude. Add one or two sentences that thank the employer for the opportunity and any specific experiences you had.
- Include the next steps. Describe what you intend to complete before you leave and if you're willing to train a new hire or another employee.
- Close with your signature. Include a brief closing, such as "Sincerely" or "Thank you," then add your signature and printed name.
Two weeks' notice letter example
When you write a two weeks' notice resignation letter, it is important to a template. Here is a template for a two weeks' notice:
14 May 2021
1236 Martingale Way
Vancouver, BC V6C 1H2
Dear Ms. Wingarden,
This letter is to inform you that I will be resigning from my occupation as a technical writer. My last day will be 28 May 2021.
I want to thank you for your influence, support, mentoring and the opportunities given to me during my time at Edmondale Company. In my role as a technical writer, I have greatly improved my skills and experience. I leave the company with better skills in editing, content production, social media and project management.
In my last two weeks, I will wrap up my duties and pass what knowledge from my experience as a technical writer to other team members.