Giving two-weeks notice when resigning from your job is a courteous and respectful way to quit your job and stay on good terms with your employer and coworkers (who will have to take up your responsibilities in your absence). This buffer time lets an employer make a plan for passing off your responsibilities and start looking for a replacement. You’re not legally obligated to give two-weeks notice.
A two-weeks notice letter should be short and simple. Here are a few examples.
Two-weeks notice example letter #1 - standard, friendly
Dear [Supervisor’s Name],
This is to inform you that I will be resigning from my position as [job title]. My last day will be [Day of the Week, Month, Day, Year].
I want to thank you for your support and the opportunities afforded to me during my time at [Company Name]. In this role, I have tremendously grown my skills and experience and I leave a better [skill], [skill], and [skill].
In my last two weeks, I will do everything I can to wrap up my duties and pass along my knowledge to other team members.
Two-weeks notice example letter #2 - short and sweet
Dear [Supervisor’s Name],
I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my position as [job title] effective two weeks from today. Thank you for your support in this role.
Please let me know what I can do in my remaining time here to make the transition as easy as possible.
Two-weeks notice example letter #3 - emailed two-weeks notice
Dear [Supervisor’s Name],
I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my position as [Job Title]. My last day will be [Day of Week, Month, Day, Year].
Please let me know what I can do in my remaining time here to make the transition as easy as possible. I am happy to discuss the transition via phone or video call.
Two-weeks notice example letter #4 - a little bit less than two weeks
Let's be honest. Sometimes you can't give a full two-weeks notice. You need to start your new job sooner than later, you want some time to yourself between gigs, or perhaps you just can't wait to get out. of. there.
If that's the case, here's how to give your notice.
Dear [Supervisor's Name],
This is to let you know that my last day at Super Cool Company will be March 3, one week from today.
I want to thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this team for the last six years. I've learned a great deal and grown as a person. I leave a better professional too.
Please let me know what I can do in this final week to prepare for a new hire to take my place.
When do I give my notice?
If you're moving on to a new job at another company, give your current employer your two-weeks notice only after you've signed your offer letter for your new job. Even if you've gotten a verbal offer from a new company, wait until you have that offer in hand and are totally satisfied with the terms and have signed before you say goodbye to your current boss. If something were to fall through with the new gig, there's no guarantee your boss would be amenable to taking you back.
Tips for writing your two-weeks notice letter and staying on good terms
1. Keep it short
Tell your employer that you’re leaving the company and when your last day will be. You don’t need to tell then whether you have a new job or even why you’re leaving. You’re welcome to say thank you or to express what you’ve loved about the job. Just know that a two-weeks notice letter isn’t the place to let your boss know what a drag the job has been. Save it for the exit interview.
Read more: The Best Way to Quit a Job You Hate
2. Include the date
Be sure to date the letter—both the date you deliver (if it's printed; emails are timestamped, obviously) and the date of your last day. This helps your employer keep a paper trail and makes it explicitly clear when you’ll be leaving.
3. Deliver it in person, if you can
If you can, deliver the letter in person to your direct supervisor. It’s a way to be courteous and thank them. If an in-person meeting isn’t possible, send your resignation letter in an email and offer to discuss on a phone call or via video chat.
4. Send a copy to human resources
If your company has a human resources department, email a copy to HR. They will then likely schedule an exit interview with you to discuss your time at the company. This is also a good time to bring questions about cashing out PTO and how long your benefits will last after your last day.
5. Be honest in your exit interview
Your employer might schedule an exit interview with you to find out what you did and didn’t like about your time at the company. The best thing you can do in an exit interview is to be honest. Talk about the bad experiences tactfully. You want to 1) be able to get it off your chest, and 2) give the employer the opportunity to change. Providing helpful criticism is an indirect way to help out the coworkers you're leaving behind. If the company doesn't know what's wrong, it can improve for the remaining employees.
Read more: 31 Reasons Women Want to Leave Their Jobs
Consider this: your current employer might counter offer
When you meet with your boss to give them your two-weeks notice, they might try to sweeten your current position to get you to stay, which is a huge compliment to your skills and abilities. A counter offer might mean a higher salary, more fringe benefits, or the ability to work from home.
While you should never assume you'll receive a counter offer, it's not a bad idea to take a moment to consider what it would take for you to stay, if anything. A counter offer is a great chance for you to negotiate a higher salary or flexible work hours, so keep that in mind. And if they do counter, you can always ask for time to consider their offer.
If you take a counter offer, let your would-have-been new employer know ASAP. It's not unheard of to lose a potential hire to a counter offer, but it's absolutely inconvenient. Give them the courtesy of alerting them as soon as possible.
I wanted to let you know that I accepted a counter offer from my current employer this morning and will not be joining the Catholic Charities team. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes in your search for a new VP of development. I have the utmost respect for your organization and the work you do, and I appreciate very much the opportunity to join. I wish you the very best in your search.
If they don't counter, it doesn't necessarily mean your employer is glad to be rid of you, they just might not have the resources to offer you anything more.
What if I can’t give two-weeks notice?
No sweat. You are not legally obligated to give two-weeks notice. Most employees in the United States (except for those in Montana) are considered “at-will” workers, which means the job can end at any time for any reason. That includes your right to quit without notice.
Note that your employment contract may require you to give two weeks, so if you don’t, you won’t be breaking the law, but your employer might not pay out your bonuses or cash out your remaining vacation days. You might also leave some extra work for your coworkers to do in your absence. But you picked up all kinds of slack for them in your time there, right?
After you give notice: how to have them missing you when you're gone
Here are some tips for making sure you stay on good terms once you've turned in your two-weeks notice.
- Document all your day-to-day tasks, big and small, and the process for each. This will make it much easier for your boss to write a job description for your replacement or to delegate your responsibilities among your colleagues.
- Offer to train colleagues. Ask your manager if there's any knowledge they'd like for you to pass along to a coworker before you leave.
- Don't just tap out. It may be your last two weeks, but showing up late, shirking responsibilities, or wasting time won't leave them with pleasant last memories of you.
Read more: Funny Things to Do on Your Last Day of Work
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