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10 Jun 2020 Austin Belcak

How To Write A Two Weeks’ Notice Letter And Leave On Good Terms

14 days. That’s it! The only thing standing between you and the next chapter in your career is a short two weeks. Congratulations! Of course, this countdown to your last day depends on whether or not you’ve already sent your boss an official resignation letter – also known as a two weeks’ notice letter.

Maybe you already knew this, but if you haven’t gotten around to writing that yet, there’s no need to worry!

Your 14-day countdown can begin tomorrow and I’ll teach you everything you need to know on how to write a short and sweet two weeks’ notice letter.

And the best part: after reading this post, you’ll know more than just the standard advice you might have heard somewhere else! You’ll also have a strategy on how to use your two weeks’ notice letter as a tool that helps ensure you leave your job on good terms.

Alright, let’s dive in!

6 Tips For Giving A Two Weeks’ Notice Letter

Giving two weeks’ notice before leaving a job is a standard practice that the average employee knows to do. But that doesn’t mean everyone goes about it in the same way.

Some people use their resignation letter to exit their job gracefully. And others… not so much.

So, here are 6 tips to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

#1. Keep It Short And To The Point

An effective two weeks’ notice letter clearly states the following information:

  1. Your intent to resign from your current role
  2. When your last day will be
  3. An expression of gratitude
  4. An offering to help with the transition

And that’s it! Just the essential information will do.

#2. Use The Same Tone You’d Normally Use When Communicating With Your Boss

There’s no need to be super formal when writing your two weeks’ notice letter – unless that’s how you normally communicate with your boss.

But, if you normally start your emails to her with, “Hi Angela, I was hoping to speak with you about….” there’s no need to switch it up here and write, “Dear Angela, I would like to inform you that…”.

Using your natural tone and language will help avoid making your departure feel awkward for you and your boss.

#3. Hold Back On Sharing Any Negative Feelings

If you weren’t particularly fond of your job, it may be tempting to write in one or two passive aggressive comments to show why you’re resigning from your role.

But here’s the thing: your two weeks’ notice letter is not the appropriate place to air your grievances.

And going into detail about any negative reasons for quitting could come back to bite you later in your career.

You may need your boss as a professional reference for a job down the line. You may even end up needing to work with them again. You never know.

Stick to the essential information and save all the details regarding what you didn’t like about your time there for the next get together with your close friends.

#4. Express Gratitude (Even If You Don’t Want To)

Whether you’ve enjoyed your current job or not, it’s always a good idea to reflect back on what did go well when writing your two weeks’ notice letter.

This doesn’t mean you need to tell your boss that they’re the best person you have ever worked for if that’s far from the truth.

But, you can simply express gratitude for what you’ve learned or how you’ve grown during your time at the company.

You don’t even need to go into much detail with this. I’ll show you what I mean later on.

#5. Offer To Help With The Transition

“Oh no! Are we still going to be able to get that project done on time without him? Can anyone else take over his core responsibilities until we find a replacement?”

These will likely be some of the first thoughts that cross your boss’s mind after reading your two weeks’ notice letter. So, why not do them a favor!

End your letter by clearly stating that you plan to help make the transition out of your role go as smoothly as possible and offer your assistance where you can.

(Later on, we’ll look at a tactic you can use to really drive home that you’re a team player and leave on the best of terms!)

#6. Send Your Two Weeks’ Notice Letter By Email

The common advice for resignation letters tends to say that you’ll need to print out a physical letter. But I find this advice to be a bit outdated.

Nowadays, email tends to be the best way – if not preferred.

That’s because email quickly lets you inform everyone that needs to know about your decision to resign.

Email also creates a digital copy of your resignation letter that you, your boss, HR, and any other relevant party can easily refer back to.

But if you want to err on the side of caution, ask HR to review your contract and see if you’re required to submit a physical resignation letter instead.

If not, save some paper and write your two weeks’ notice letter as a well formatted email. Let’s take a look at how you would do that now!

Two Weeks’ Notice Letter Template

Alright, so by now, you know that an effective two weeks’ notice letter includes:

  • Your intent to resign from your current role
  • When your last day will be
  • An expression of gratitude
  • An offer to help with the transition

But what should you actually say when giving two weeks’ notice?

Here’s a template that you can use! Just copy and paste- remember to change the details to fit your situation!

Subject Line: [Your Full Name Here] – Resignation Letter

Hi [Name Of Your Boss],

I’m writing to let you know that on [Date That Is Two Weeks From The Day You Send The Letter] I will be resigning from my role as [Your Job Title] at [Name Of Company].

I’m truly grateful for all that I have learned from you while working together and how much I’ve grown as a [Your Job Title] while working here.

To help with the transition, I’m happy to work with you to come up with a plan that makes sense for everyone. To get us started, I’ve included some initial ideas on the attached document and cleared some time in my calendar for us to discuss in person. Let me know when would work best for you.

Thank you again for this opportunity. I hope we get the chance to work together again in the future!


[Your Name]

Not too complicated, right? It definitely doesn’t have to be.

Now, let’s look at something else you can do to really ensure you leave on good terms!

Leave On Good Terms

I’ve already given you a few tips on things you should do when writing your two weeks’ notice letter to leave on good terms.

But, if you really want to leave a lasting impression with your boss, you may also consider taking on a bit more initiative. This is definitely optional. But hear me out…

If you noticed in the template I just showed you, there was one line that demonstrates extra initiative. Do you know which line I’m talking about?

It’s this one: “To get us started, I’ve included some initial ideas on the attached document and cleared some time in my calendar for us to discuss in person.”

This line shows your boss that you’ve really thought about how your resignation will affect the company and people you work with.

But what would such a document look like?

Well, for starters, you might include:

  1. How you plan to train a current member of your team to take on some of your responsibilities
  2. A list of all of your core responsibilities so that your boss knows exactly what to look for in a new hire
  3. Steps you will take to wrap up your contribution on any ongoing projects

Here’s an example:

Hi Angela,

In this document, I’ve outlined a few ways I plan to help ensure a smooth transition for the team as I exit my role as Project Manager.

#1 Training Derrick or Laura to lead product status meetings

If you agree that one of the is a good fit to take over the meetings, I’ve blocked out time in my calendar to go over everything with one of them this Friday.

Either of them could also easily take over the following tasks…

And then what comes next?

You actually follow through with the plan you agree on with your boss and leave them no choice but to feel sad to see you go!

What Happens If You Can’t Give A Two Weeks’ Notice?

While two weeks is a relatively short amount of time, you may find yourself in a situation where two weeks is actually too long.

If this is you, you’ll want to check your contract again or speak to HR. Are there any stipulations on how and when you must notify your employer before terminating the contract?

If so, are you okay with the potential consequences? If not, you may want to adjust your departure date.

But if there’s nothing stating that you must give at least two weeks’ notice in your contract, then it’s generally okay.

Keep in mind, though, it will be harder to leave on good terms the shorter the time frame you give for your resignation.

So, try to do it as soon as possible, be apologetic to your boss and team members, and do whatever you can to help make the quick transition as smooth as possible.

You’ll still be able to attach a detailed transition plan like we just discussed in the previous section to help leave on the best terms possible.

Key Takeaways For Writing Your Notice Letter

I hope by now you’re feeling more prepared to write your two weeks’ notice letter!

But to make sure, let’s do a quick refresher.

1. When thinking about how you’ll write your letter, remember:

  • Keep it short and to the point
  • Use the same tone you’d normally use
  • Leave out any negative feelings
  • Express gratitude
  • Offer to help with the transition
  • Send your two weeks’ notice letter by email

2. To make things easier, use a template like the one I shared above.

3. Consider taking initiative to ensure you leave on good terms by giving your boss an outline of how you plan to help with the transition.

4. If you can’t give a two weeks’ notice, make sure you’re okay with any potential consequences and do what you can to help keep things going smoothly until your last day.

Now it’s time for you to begin writing! Good luck and let me know how it goes!

Austin Belcak

Austin is the founder of Cultivated Culture where he helps people land jobs without connections, without traditional experience, and without applying online. His strategies have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, & Fast Company and has helped people just like you land jobs at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, & more.



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