When you get a new job offer it can be one of the most exciting feelings in the world! However, once you have come back down to earth, you soon realize the reality of the situation and what you need to do next – write your resignation letter!
Although you may be itching to start your new job and leave your old employer behind, it will pay you to show your appreciation for the opportunity they gave you by writing them a considerate two weeks notice letter.
What are Two Weeks Notice Letters for?
When you plan to leave most jobs of your own accord, you will need to give some sort of notice to your employer. The actual length of notice you need to give may vary from company to company, but the most common notice period is usually two weeks.
Your two weeks notice letter is a formal announcement to your current employer of your plans to leave their employment. Two weeks is usually a long enough period to allow them to make the proper arrangements for your leaving.
Your current employer may use this notice time to advertise your position and interview your replacement. You may be asked to introduce your replacement to the role to ‘show them the ropes’ and answer any questions they may have about the tasks and day to day duties they need to perform.
This two-week period will allow your employer to fill the gap created by your leaving and will prevent them from struggling to complete your tasks after you leave.
When should I hand in my two-week notice letter?
As the name suggests, your two-week notice letter should be handed into your employer a full two weeks before you plan to leave your job.
Handing in your letter is your confirmation to your current employer that you intend to continue to work for them for the next two weeks from the date you hand in your letter.
Although you could request to leave earlier should you need some time to prepare yourself for your new job, in most cases, you will be expected to remain in your current position for the whole two-week notice period.
Being loyal to your word and committing yourself to honor your two-week notice period will show your new employer that you are treating your current employer with great respect. It will also help your case should you need to draw a positive reference from him/her in future should you decide to change jobs again.
So, how do you write a good one?
Writing your resignation letter needs just as much careful consideration as you applied to create your cover letter that went with your resume when you applied for your new job.
Here are our top tips for crafting the perfect two-week notice letter:
- Make sure your letter is kind, informative and polite (see example letter below)
- Address your letter to your direct line manager or your immediate boss
- Include the date that will be your last day of employment with the company
- Leave space for your signature and type your name underneath the space
- Print out and sign your letter
- Fold your letter business style – with two folds dividing the letter into three equal parts
- Place your letter into an envelope and seal it
- Address the envelope to your immediate supervisor
Handing in your two-week notice letter
Take your sealed resignation letter in person to hand into your direct supervisor. You should verbally tell them that you wish to leave and are handing in your notice. Hand over your letter and thank your boss for their considerate supervision during your time with the company.
Your boss may be quite taken aback by your news, so he/she may want to discuss your reasons for wanting to leave. Be prepared for this by rehearsing what you wish to say, but make sure that your discussion with your boss is calm and reasonable.
Discussing your reasons for leaving
Although you may have been seeing the signs that you need to change your job, don’t make any negative digs about the company or make any personal remarks about a co-worker or manager that you don’t particularly like or get along with.
This is a time to make a clean break with the company and leave on a positive note that could help you further in the future. You don’t want to let any bitter feelings you have to influence the final impression you leave behind you.
The same day as you hand in your resignation, confirm your letter with an email to your supervisor reiterating your intention to leave and attach a copy of the letter to your email.
Don’t forget to sign off the confirmation email with a positive note thanking them for their guidance and support during your time working with them.
The dos and don’t of writing a two weeks notice letter
Now we come to the part where you write out your letter. There are three big mistakes to avoid when writing and delivering your letter:
1: Don’t hand in your letter and run. We all know that leaving a job can feel a bit awkward. You may be tempted to leave your letter on your boss’s desk or leave it with their assistant to hand over.
This can give off the wrong impression and leave your boss wondering if they have done anything to make you want to leave.
2: Do put your letter in writing. Although sending an email is an appropriate form of notification, it will come across as much more professional and thoughtful in writing.
You can follow up your printed letter with a confirmation email and attach the letter with your message. This will help your paper trail should you need to chase up the details of your resignation.
You can tell your direct supervision verbally about your intention to leave, but you will need to submit an official written notice letter to confirm your plans. This can help to clarify the exact date of your leaving should your supervisor forget the finer details of your conversation.
3: Don’t be nasty or bitter. It may be difficult to reign in your frustrations if your employment hasn’t been the most enjoyable of experiences. However, there is nothing to be gained by leaving under a storm cloud.
Think of your future. You will want to be able to list some positive work history references on your resume, so leaving in such a negative way can harm your chances of landing your perfect job in the future.
Look at this time as just another chapter in your life. By leaving with grace and positivity you will only help to enhance your working reputation.
Two weeks notice letter example
Here is an example of a short and sweet two weeks notice letter that will give you an idea of the tone you should set for your resignation letter:
Dear Mrs Jones,
I would like to thank you for the opportunity of working as part of your team. The last three years with Smith & Co. have been very rewarding and I have gained a lot of valuable knowledge and experience under your guidance.
This is my official notification that I will be leaving the company and thus confirming my two weeks’ notice. My final day will be [insert the date of your last day].
One final note
Once you have left your current employer for your new job, don’t forget to update your resume with your details while they are still fresh in your mind.
Include your leaving date and details of your job description that you can draw on in the future should you decide to change jobs again further down the line.
Keeping a professional resume template on file is a handy thing to do. This will allow you to keep an updated record of your employment plus important dates and contacts for job references.
Good luck in your new position – we hope you enjoy your new role!