Sooner or later, you will leave your current job for a better opportunity, perhaps with higher pay or more professional development resources. Whatever the case, you should know how to write a two-week notice letter to your immediate 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 step-by-step how to write a two-week notice letter, as well as some tips you can use to ensure your letter hits all the right marks.
What is two weeks notice?
A two-week notice letter is a formal notice that you intend to resign from your position within two weeks. Two weeks is the standard time for notifying an employer of this intent – that way, they have enough time to start looking for a replacement, and you have time to finish any final duties.
Let’s say you are working on a large project with several other co-workers. You get an exciting opportunity to work in a different company for more money. Naturally, you want to seize this opportunity, but it is disrespectful to just walk up and leave in the middle of a project.
Instead, you give your employer a two-week notice letter. In this way, you can put your affairs in order regarding the project, and the employer can start looking for a replacement as soon as possible. Sometimes, they can even replace you before the two weeks are up.
Why are two-week notification messages important?
Although letters of notice for two weeks are not legally required, they are important primarily as a gesture of respect. It shows the employer that you still respect their time and efforts even though you know letting them go will upset the company. Likewise, it gives you enough time to finish any final projects or company work that you may need to finish before leaving for another organization.
Most importantly, a two-week notice prevents you from cutting bridges with your employer (assuming they are similarly respectful and understand that you should do what works best for your profession or family). If you send an employer a two-week notice letter before you quit, they are more likely to write you a letter of recommendation for a future employer or school program.
On the flip side, if you don’t provide your employer with a two-week notice letter, they may not recommend you to a prospective company. They may also ask you to leave immediately, preventing you from being charged an additional two weeks’ wages.
Related: What should employers learn from the Great Resignation?
How do you write a good two weeks notice letter to your boss?
Writing a strong and respectful two-week notice letter to your boss isn’t as hard as you might think. Here is the step by step process that you have to follow each time.
Find a template
First, find a two-week notice letter sample online. Many websites, including job sites and sites like LinkedIn, have resignation notice letter templates available, which you can download and fill out using Microsoft Word or another word processor.
Which model you choose doesn’t matter; They’re just handy, so you don’t have to outline your notification letter two weeks from scratch.
Forward the message
Now is the time to address the letter to its intended recipient. This is generally 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 their official address if possible.
State your resignation
The central part of the letter will be your statement of resignation. In the opening paragraph of your two-week notice letter, just state that you are notifying your employer that you will be resigning from your position within two weeks of the current date. Always include the current date you are writing a letter (and you must consistently deliver your two-week notice letter on the same day you write it). This way, the two-week countdown doesn’t start when your boss gets the message.
In the latter case, your boss might pretend not to receive the letter for some time after delivery, extending the time you “have” to stay with your current company.
Express gratitude for the opportunities
Adding a second paragraph to thank the employer for the positive opportunities and experiences you’ve had is essential. You do not need to tell your employer why you are leaving. It is usually not necessary. If you meet your supervisor or boss in person, you can provide them with additional details of a conversation if you wish.
This part of the two-week notice letter is necessary so that the employer knows there are no bad feelings on your part. This will be a crucial element if you ever need to be rehired by the same organization.
Make it clear that you will fulfill your last duties
In the third and final paragraph, clearly state that you plan to fulfill your duties until the last day of your job. This takes some of the pressure of finding your replacement off your employer’s shoulders, as well as highlighting the respect with which you approach the entire process.
Sign the letter
Finally, sign the letter with an official seal, such as, “Sincerely.” Sign your name in cursive and write your name above it.
Related: Have you had enough of your job? 5 tips for writing a resignation letter
3 Top Tips for Writing an Effective 2 Week Notice Letter
In practice, the bi-weekly notice letter will be the same and follow a similar template to the one described above. However, you should also consider some tips and strategies when crafting your letter to ensure it has the right impact.
1. Keep it short and simple
First, and perhaps most importantly, always keep your two-week notice letter short, sweet, and to the point. Don’t get too detailed and don’t make the reading too long.
When you hand your two-week notice letter to your boss, he’ll know right away what’s what. If you have a good relationship with them, they should be especially surprised by your decision.
In any case, keeping your letter short is crucial because the actual contents don’t matter much. In some ways, a two-week notice letter is documentation that you are following a responsible and respectful resignation process. Giving your employer an extra read fluff won’t get you any benefits or make you look better.
2. Be respectful
While crafting your letter, you should be as respectful as possible. Always use your boss’ official job title, and avoid overly informal or friendly language. Keep your words formal and professional at all times. Again, one of the primary purposes of a two-week notice letter is to show respect for your employer while still exercising your right to terminate your employment contract at will.
3. Plan to leave immediately, just in case
Unfortunately, the two-week notice letter doesn’t always have the intended effect. Some employers are less than stellar; If your boss is upset that you are leaving the company, they may lash out at you. It’s unfair, but it’s something you need to prepare for.
By far, the most common unintended side effect of handing in a two-week notice letter is that your manager tells you to get out right away. In this case, you may be fired, in which case you can collect certain benefits. But don’t worry about it now – instead, go back to your desk and clean everything up.
To prepare for this eventuality, you should plan to leave immediately after the two-week notice letter has been delivered, 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 start 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 an excellent two-week notice letter?
Now you know how to write a two-week notice letter. With this information, you can safely withdraw from any job position in pursuit of a better opportunity.
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