It’s common courtesy — and at times even company policy — to provide a two weeks notice letter when you leave a job.
There are several reasons for doing so. Informing your employer about your imminent departure two weeks beforehand allows them to glean any important information from you that they may need to pass on to the next employee who fills your position. It also gives them time to begin the hiring process for your replacement.
Providing two weeks notice is beneficial to you as well, as it allows you to complete or properly pass off any projects you’re working on, say goodbye to your coworkers, and leave your job in a positive and professional manner. This can lead to referrals, recommendations, and even the possibility to return to the company in the future.
Important Information to Consider Before Writing a Two Weeks Notice
It’s important to make sure that you’re in the right place before handing in your resignation letter.
An employee who gives their two weeks’ notice before they’ve officially been offered a new position, for instance, may not get the new job and would consequently find themselves unemployed.
Even if you’re certain you have a new job lined up, consider the fact that your employer may decide to let you go before the two weeks have run their course.
Before you jump the gun, ask yourself a few questions about your situation.
- Future employment: This is the most obvious question. Where will you work after you’ve submitted your two weeks notice letter? Do you have a job lined up? Are you taking some personal time to recuperate, deal with a health concern, or spend more time with your family? If so, how do you plan on getting work in the future?
- Finances: How will you pay your bills or cover other expenses if you end up spending any time between jobs without a paycheck? Two or three weeks of missed pay can add up quickly. Make sure you’ve budgeted things out and have a plan in place to cover your expenses as you make the transition.
- HR-related questions: Do you have any vacation days saved up? How will you use them or cash them in (assuming you have an option)? What about any company equipment you may have? Will you need to return it? Does it have any personal information like saved passwords or documents that you need to remove first?
- Project completion: Are there any projects at your current position that need to be properly finished? You don’t necessarily need to stick around to complete a two-year project. Still, you should at least consider how you can properly pass off your responsibilities so that your current company doesn’t suffer from your departure. This consideration will help preserve your reputation for the future.
- Other concerns: Do you have health insurance? What about a 401(k)? How will these be affected by your resignation?
What to Write in a Two Weeks Notice
When writing a resignation letter, it’s important to be professional, courteous, and thankful. Be brief and to the point, while still including all of the essential elements that go into a formal two weeks notice letter.
- Use a professional format: Follow normal business letter writing formatting standards. Write left-aligned, single space your lines, use size 12 font, and stick to a sans-serif font like Times New Roman.
- Clearly state the date of resignation: Don’t beat around the bush. The first thing you should do is state your intention to resign along with the official date of resignation.
- Be positive: It’s important to maintain a positive tone throughout the letter, as this will have a major impact on your reputation after leaving your job.
- Provide reasons for leaving (optional): Next, you can include a brief description of your reasons for leaving. This might be “for health reasons,” “to spend more time with family,” and so on. You don’t need to go into detail. Keep things succinct and to the point.
- Offer to help with the transition (optional): If you plan on helping your boss hire a replacement or train another employee to cover your position, you can offer to assist with this process.
- Say thank you: It’s recommended that you always thank your manager at the end of a resignation letter. Even if your time at a company has been unpleasant, look for the silver lining and focus on that. This will help maintain a positive vibe as you make your exit.
- Signature: Finally, include your signature four spaces below your closing phrase. If you’re sending an email, you should be all set. If you’re sending a physical letter, make sure to sign it with a handwritten signature above your typed name.
- Proofread: Before your letter is sent, make sure to very carefully proofread it. This will be one of your final professional communications within your current company, and you want it to reflect on you as positively as possible.
- Make sure to send the letter to the appropriate people: Once you have your letter, make sure to send it to all of the department heads, managers, HR, and anyone else who may need to be informed about your resignation. Don’t assume that everyone will naturally be in the loop.
Two Weeks Notice Template
If you’re still feeling a little nervous about composing your resignation letter, here’s a template to help you get started. Just fill in the blanks and personalize the information as you go along.
[Your name and address.]
Name and title.
City and zip code.]
Dear [first and last name of employer],
Please accept this letter as formal notice that I will be resigning as [fill in position here] officially on [two weeks from the date the letter is sent].
[At this point, if you opt to include your reasons for leaving, do so here. You may also want to add a few words that reflect positively on what you appreciated during your time at the company.]
I sincerely hope that the company continues to find success in the future. If you need any assistance from me as you navigate through the transition, I will gladly be available to help.
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