Goodbyes are always hard. This is true both in our personal lives and our professional ones.
No matter whether you’ve had an overall positive experience at your current position or a negative one, when the time comes to start the resignation process, you’re bound to experience some discomfort. Whether it’s the awkwardness of not knowing what to say or the challenge of writing a 2 weeks’ notice letter, it’s all rather cringey.
You’re excited about your new job, but you can’t really get excited about the first day until you can get this part of the job search process behind you.
Fortunately, you don’t have to figure out how to handle it by yourself. Lensa is here with the tools and resources you need to write a fantastic 2 weeks’ notice letter.
The Two Weeks’ Notice Letter: Explained
A 2 weeks’ notice letter is a professional way to show respect to your boss and co-workers when the time comes for you to move on. Two weeks is generally considered the right amount of time to give them space to seek a replacement to fill your position and adjust to the fact that you are leaving.
You can help smooth this transition by taking the following practical steps:
- Tracking your tasks and responsibilities
- Implementing a transition plan
- Training your replacement
This way, when your last day of work arrives, you’re able to leave with the confidence that you handled the entire resignation process with professional grace.
And it all starts with giving your two weeks’ notice.
How to Approach Writing a Two Weeks’ Notice Letter
Before you write your resignation letter, you’ll want to take time to consider your approach. Quitting your job is a big deal, and approaching the process lightly could get you into trouble.
According to Patti Naiser, CEO of Senior Home Transitions, there’s a reason why handing in your resignation can be so tricky to navigate.
Giving notice can seem like a daunting task. Not everyone is comfortable letting their boss know that they’re moving on. However, giving adequate notice is important not only due to a contractual obligation, but as a common courtesy so your employer can make the necessary arrangements.
One of the best things you can do to ensure success, according to Naiser, is to invest the right amount of time in writing your two weeks’ notice.
Draft your resignation early. Most employers will also ask you to include areas of improvement for the workplace. Be honest but don’t burn any bridges. Remember to thank your employer for the experience and mention how you have grown as a person/professional due to your time with them. Of all the employees I have worked with, I have always remembered the ones that left on a good note and have written a genuine and in-depth reference for them.
By writing your letter early and giving yourself time to go back over the draft and make adjustments, you ensure that your employer is getting a smooth, thoughtful, and clear 2 weeks’ notice letter that won’t embarrass you or get you into trouble down the road.
How to Give a 2 Weeks’ Notice Letter Some Context
For many employers, an employee’s two weeks’ notice can feel as if it’s coming out of the blue. Therefore, to smooth the way, one of the best things you can do when resigning is to make sure your 2 weeks notice letter is presented within the proper context.
According to Arnold Chapman, founder and CEO of media startup ELDFocus, a two weeks’ notice letter should always be preceded by a face-to-face meeting.
You should resign from your job in person. It would show that you respect your employer and the courtesy to give them ample time to prepare. Make sure that you inform your supervisors before informing anyone else about your resignation. You would want to part on good terms as much as possible.
Chapman also recommends the following steps when giving two weeks’ notice:
- Put yourself in the position of your employer
- Be gracious as much as possible
- Thank them for the time you spent with them
- Tell them how much you have learned from them and how you can use it on your next journey
- Proofread your letter multiple times
Then, with these tips and principles in mind, consider following a tried-and-true letter format in order to ensure you’re as concise and professional as possible.
2 Week Notice Template and Sample Letter
Writing your own letter is always easier when you have a plan to follow and have seen a good example of what a resignation letter can look like.
To that end, we’re providing you with a template and sample letter to get you started on the right track.
The format of your resignation letter will depend in part on whether you decide to tender a written resignation via an actual, physical letter or whether you send a resignation email. While both are considered appropriate, you will have to decide which best suits your purposes.
If you choose to write a business letter on paper, be sure to include the appropriate heading, aligned to the top left of the page:
[Your Contact Information]
[Their Contact Information]
If you are writing a resignation email, however, you will simply start with the greeting and proceed to the body of the letter.
[First paragraph: Briefly state that you are planning to leave your position, citing the date your resignation will be effective.]
[Second paragraph (optional): Provide a sentence or two of further explanation if you deem it appropriate.]
[Third paragraph: Express your gratitude to your company, boss, and/or co-workers for all they have done for you.]
[Final paragraph: Outline the next steps you and/or your boss and team can take to make the coming transition as smooth as possible.]
As you follow this template, remember that your remarks are intended to be brief.
In general, your 2 weeks’ notice letter should only take up half a page. At most, it will cover one full page.
Sample Resignation Letter
When you write your own 2 weeks’ notice letter, you may find that it looks something like this.
Edgar E. Employee
17 Employee Drive
Employeeville, NY, 12345
January 1, 2031
Betsy B. Boss
18 Boss Parkway
Bossville, NY 12345
Dear Ms. Boss:
I am writing today to inform you that I am resigning as Director of Outreach at Research Technology Basics effective Friday, January 15, 2031.
As you may know, I recently decided to return to school to complete my doctoral dissertation. In order to effectively support my studies during this intense time, I thought it best to turn this position over to someone who can give it the care and attention it deserves.
Thank you for the support and guidance you’ve provided over the years. I will always look back on my time at Research Technology Basics as a valuable and formative part of my career.
As we approach my last day of work, in addition to fulfilling my current roles and responsibilities, I plan to do everything I can to ensure a smooth and orderly transition.
Edgar E. Employee
Remember, the second paragraph is optional. You do not need to include a full explanation of why you’re leaving your position in your two weeks’ notice letter—nor do employers require it. In fact, many people choose not to address this issue at all in their resignation letters, particularly if the reason for leaving their current position is a negative one.
Choosing Your Words Carefully
Whether you include the optional paragraph about why you are leaving in your two weeks’ notice letter or not, remember that you must always choose your words wisely. Your resignation letter will be placed in your employment file and be kept for years.
While you may think to yourself, “I’m never coming back to work here again. Who cares whether I leave on a good note?” bear in mind that when future employers examine your resume down the road, they will reach out for references from former employers. In that case, what you say in your resignation letter may come back to bite you.
That’s why, no matter how you’ve been treated in your current position, even if you feel you have the right to do so, you will want to avoid the following:
- Venting about your soon-to-be-former boss and teammates
- Complaining about how you were treated
- Criticizing the organization
No matter how cathartic a “mic drop” moment would feel, including a parting zinger in your 2 weeks’ notice letter is not only bad form. It could hurt your chances of advancement down the road.
In the end, it’s just not worth it.
How to Write a Two Weeks’ Notice Letter: Main Takeaways
In approaching how to write a two week notice letter, always
- Consider your approach
- Draft your resignation early
- Proofread your letter multiple times
- Stay positive and say thank you
- Talk to your boss in person beforehand
- Choose your words carefully
- Leave on a good note
In following these principles, studying resignation letter templates, and shaping your 2 weeks’ notice according to professional guidelines, you’ll be able to move through this phase of the resignation process with relative ease.
With that step behind you, you’re one step closer to your first day at your new job.
Level Up With Lensa
Here at Lensa, Inc., we have everything you need to level up in your career. With the help of our powerful job search engine, combined with our unique tools and resources, you can access everything you need to land your dream job.