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A two weeks’ notice is a short letter or email that formally tells your employer that you’re leaving and when your last day will be. It can often be just a sentence or two, and is a sort of formality that shouldn’t replace a face-to-face conversation with your manager, career experts say.
Below, you’ll find some templates for different two weeks’ notices that you can customize for your needs. You’ll also find expert tips on how to deliver your notice to your manager or supervisor, as well as what to do if you signed a contract requiring a two weeks’ notice.
How to write a two weeks’ notice letter
When it comes to a two weeks’ notice, less is more.
All you need to include is that you’re leaving and when your last day will be. If you’d like, you can also mention your appreciation for your time at the company. But keep your letter “short and sweet,” says Andrea Misir, a career coach based in the New York City metropolitan area. Don’t include information about why you’re leaving, Misir says, or what your next role will be.
“They definitely don't need to know where you're going, especially if you do have another job lined up,” Misir says. “I have heard horror stories.”
Those “horror stories” involve former managers leaving bad references about a departing employee for their new employer. Those situations are pretty uncommon, she says. Still, don’t put yourself in a position to be the rare exception.
Two weeks’ notice templates
Before you send in a two weeks’ notice, schedule a time to talk to your manager and tell them that you’re quitting. Once you’ve had that conversation, ask your manager how to officially submit your two weeks’ notice. See if they’d prefer an emailed or printed statement, for example, and check to see if you should deliver the notice to your manager or the human resources department.
If you’re emailing your two weeks’ notice, write your notice in a Word document or separate file, then attach that file to your email.
Note: While you don’t have to thank your boss for their support or express gratitude for your time at the company, including those sentiments in a two weeks’ notice can ensure you leave the job on a positive note.
Standard two weeks’ notice template
This two weeks’ notice should be sufficient for most employers and industries.
Hi [Manager’s Name],
I am submitting my two weeks’ notice of resignation. My last day of employment will be [X date]. If I can be of any assistance during this transition, please let me know.
Formal two weeks’ notice template
For those in more traditionally professional fields — such as law, finance or politics — a formal resignation letter may be more appropriate.
Dear [Manager’s Name],
Please accept this letter of my formal resignation from the position of [Job Title] at [Company]. My resignation is effective two weeks from today, [today’s date].
I am grateful for the time I spent at [Company], and value the experience I gained in [industry] throughout my tenure. Please let me know how I can best assist with the transition.
I wish the company and my colleagues nothing but the best.
How to give two weeks’ notice
Before you submit your two weeks’ notice, talk to your manager face-to-face — or via video conference, if you work remotely — and tell them you’re quitting or resigning, says Eliana Goldstein, a career coach based in New York City.
“You don't want to do those things over email, regardless of the relationship you have — even if you can't stand your manager,” Goldstein says.
On a human level, having a face-to-face conversation is simply more courteous and kind than sending notice via email.
And consider that anytime somebody leaves a company, workflows are disrupted, and responsibilities have to be divided among the remaining employees. Talking to your manager gives you an opportunity to offer to help with this transition, which can go a long way in maintaining the relationship even after you leave the company.
Once you’ve had that conversation, you can ask your manager how to officially submit your two weeks’ notice. See if they’d prefer an emailed or printed statement, for example, and check to see if you should deliver the notice to your manager or the human resources department.
Is two weeks’ notice required?
U.S. workers are not legally required to write a two weeks’ notice, according to Nolo, an online legal encyclopedia. Most workers are considered at-will employees, meaning their employer is allowed to fire them without cause at any time — as long as the reason isn’t discriminatory or based on factors like race or gender, of course. On the flip side, at-will employees are allowed to leave their jobs anytime, for any reason, according to Nolo.
But if you signed a contract at the start of your employment, go back and read the fine print, Goldstein says. If your contract requires a two weeks’ notice and you don’t provide one, you may be in breach of contract, according to Nolo.
That doesn’t necessarily mean your employer will sue you. Employment contracts mandating a certain amount of notice are most often used for “highly skilled employees” or those with a financial stake in the company, according to Miller Law Firm, an employment law firm in Rochester, Michigan.
If you signed a contract that requires you submit a certain amount of notice, and you’re unable to do so, consider speaking with an employment lawyer to make sure your bases are covered.