Sooner or later, you will leave your current job for a better opportunity, perhaps with a higher salary or more professional development resources. Whichever the case, you should know how to write a two-week notice letter to your direct supervisor or boss.
However, writing an effective and respectful two-week notice letter can be challenging, especially if you don’t know exactly what to say. Read on to learn how to write a two-week notice letter step-by-step, plus some tips you can use to make sure your letter has all the right qualifications.
What is a two week notice?
A two-week notice letter is formal notice that you intend to resign from your position in two weeks. Two weeks is the standard time to notify your employer of that intent; That way, they have enough time to start looking for your replacement, and you have enough time to finish any final tasks.
Let’s say you’re working on a big project with several other coworkers. You have an exciting opportunity to work at a different company for more money. Naturally, you’ll want to take advantage of that opportunity, but it’s disrespectful to get up and leave in the middle of a project.
Instead, you give your employer a two-week notice letter. That way, you can get your affairs in order regarding the project, and your employer can start looking for your replacement as soon as possible. Sometimes they can even replace it before the two weeks are up.
Why are two-week notice letters important?
Although not required by law, two weeks notice letters are important primarily as a gesture of respect. It shows your employer that you still respect his time and efforts even though he knows leaving will make the company uncomfortable. Likewise, it gives you enough time to wrap up any capstone projects or company business you need to finish before leaving for another organization.
More importantly, a two-week notice prevents you from burning bridges with your employer (assuming they’re equally respectful and understand that you need to do what suits your career or family). If you send a two-week notice letter to your employer before you quit, you’ll be much more likely to get a letter of recommendation for a future employer or school program.
On the other hand, if you don’t provide your employer with a two-week notice letter, they may not recommend you to a future employer. They may also tell you to leave immediately, preventing you from collecting two more weeks of pay.
Related: What Entrepreneurs Should Have Learned From The Great Quit
How do you write a good two week notice letter to your boss?
Writing a solid and respectful letter two weeks in advance to your boss isn’t as hard as you think. Here is the step by step process that you need to follow every time.
find a template
First, find a decent two-week notice letter template online. Many websites, including recruiting websites and sites like LinkedIn, have resignation notice letter templates available, which you can download and fill out using Microsoft Word or another word processor.
The template you choose doesn’t matter; they’re just useful tools, so you don’t need to build your two-week notice letter outline from scratch.
Now is the time to send the letter to its recipient. This is usually your direct supervisor or boss. You must include the date, the name of the company and the name of the person to whom the letter is addressed. Use your formal title if possible.
indicate your resignation
The central part of the letter will be your statement of resignation. In the opening paragraph of your two-week notice letter, simply state that you are informing your employer that you will be resigning in two weeks from the current date. Always give the current date you write a letter (and you should always give your two-week notice letter the same day you write it). That way, the two-week countdown doesn’t start when your boss gets the letter.
In the latter case, your boss might pretend not to get the letter for a while after delivery, extending the time you “have” to stay at your current company.
Express gratitude for opportunities.
Adding a second paragraph to thank your employer for the positive opportunities and experiences you’ve had is essential. You do not need to tell your employer why you are leaving. Usually it is not necessary. If you are meeting with your supervisor or boss in person, you can provide additional details during a conversation if you wish.
This part of the two-week notice letter is essential to let your employer know that there is no ill feeling on your part. This will be a crucial item if you ever need to be rehired by the same organization.
Make it clear that you will fulfill your final duties
In the third and final paragraph, clearly state that you plan to perform your duties until the last day of your employment. This takes some of the stress of finding your replacement off your employer’s shoulders, as well as highlighting the respect with which you’re handling the entire process.
sign the letter
Finally, sign the letter with a formal closing, such as “Sincerely.” Sign your name in italics and write your name above.
Related: Have you had enough of your job? 5 tips for writing a resignation letter
3 essential tips for writing an effective notice letter two weeks in advance
Practically every two weeks the notification letter will be the same and will follow a model similar to the one described above. However, you should also keep a few tips and strategies in mind when composing your letter to ensure it has the right effect.
1. Keep it short and simple
First, and perhaps most important, always keep your two-week notice letter short, sweet, and to the point. Don’t go into excessive detail and don’t make the reading too long.
When you give your two-week notice letter to your boss, you’ll immediately know what it’s about. If you have a good relationship with them, they should be particularly surprised by your decision.
In either case, keeping the letter short is crucial because the actual content doesn’t matter as much. In a way, your two-week notice letter is documentation that you are following the responsible and respectful resignation process. Giving your employer extra fluff to read won’t buy you any favors or make you look any better.
2. Be respectful
When composing your letter, you should be as respectful as possible. Always use your boss’s formal title and avoid language that is too casual or friendly. Keep your words formal and professional at all times. Once again, one of the main purposes of a two-week notice letter is to show respect to your employer while continuing to exercise your right to terminate your employment contract at will.
3. Plan to leave immediately, just in case
Unfortunately, a two week notice letter does not always have the desired effect. Some employers are less than stellar; If your boss is upset that you are leaving the company, he might lash out at you. This is unfair, but it is something you should prepare for.
By far the most common unwanted side effect of delivering a two-week notice letter is that your boss tells you to leave immediately. In that case, you can be fired, in which case you can collect certain benefits. But don’t worry about that right now; instead, go back to your desktop and clean everything up.
To prepare for this possibility, you should plan to leave immediately after you give your two-week notice letter, just in case. You can never know with 100% certainty how someone will react to your intention to leave, so it’s best to be prepared to begin your job search or prepare for your new job as soon as possible.
Related: 8 Keys to Keeping Employees Happy and Engaged During the Big Quit
How do you write a great two week notice letter?
Now you know how to write a two week notice letter. Armed with this information, you can gracefully retire from any job in search of a better opportunity.
Verify Other entrepreneur articles for more information on resignations and other professional topics.