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Everything You Need to Know About Giving Two Weeks’ Notice (With Sample Template)

Employee turning in resignation letter to boss when quitting job

Whether a full-time employee or a contingent worker, navigating the resignation process with professionalism leaves the door open for a return to the company in the future. Discover how an effective two weeks’ notice can elevate a person’s professional brand, including key considerations to make during the process, a sample template of what to say when quitting a job and how to provide the notice below. 

Deciding to leave a job can be a difficult decision. Navigating what to say, when to say it and who exactly to provide the notice to can be overwhelming—and that’s just the beginning.  

Regardless of the reason, leaving the position respectfully by submitting a formal two weeks’ notice is important—not only as a professional courtesy and out of respect for the relationships you have built, but also to safeguard your professional brand and as a sign of your personal integrity.  

As the old saying goes, ‘don’t burn bridges.’ When leaving a job, you should strive to leave on good terms and maintain positive relationships, because you never know when you might cross paths with your former colleagues or employer again. Providing two weeks’ notice, at a minimum, can leave a lasting positive impression on previous employers and former colleagues, ultimately adding to a person’s professional brand by expanding their network and growing their pool of references. 

The Importance of a Professional Network 

TopResume recently reported that 77% of recruiters use LinkedIn to identify talent, with a staggering 60% of jobs discovered through networking opportunities, rather than through job boards or career sites. This highlights the importance of maintaining a strong professional network that can serve as a reliable reference for future job opportunities. 

Leaving a position abruptly can negatively impact the effort that has gone into curating and building a professional network. It can leave the organization scrambling to reassign work and backfill the role, and it puts well-established relationships with former co-workers, leaders and clients at risk. These individuals will take on the unassigned work for an indefinite period, which may lead to resentment and cause them to reconsider serving as a professional reference or remaining part of your network at all. Providing two weeks’ notice will go a long way towards keeping these relationships intact, contributing to a stronger network for future job opportunities. 

The Boomerang Effect 

BambooHR defines a boomerang employee as a worker who voluntarily leaves an organization for professional or personal reasons, only to later return and be re-hired by the company. A 2023 Vaco poll on The Great Resignation found that 36% of respondents had joined a new company at the peak of the Great Resignation (spring 2021-mid 2022) and were still there, and an additional 28% said they never left their employer but want to leave. A 2022 UKG Survey found that nearly 20% of people who quit their jobs during the pandemic ended up returning to their previous employer. 

Boomerang employees don’t seem to be going away, either. Recent research from the Harvard Business Review found that 28% of new hires were boomerang workers who had left the company within the last three years and then returned. This highlights the importance of handling a departure the right way, and submitting two weeks’ notice is a critical step of that process. As data shows an increased probability of returning to a previous employer, deciding to leave an organization on good terms helps keep the door open for a return, should you want to. 

Items to Consider Before Submitting a Notice 

Before submitting a formal notice, an overlooked part of the process is preparation. To best prepare for an exit, there are important items to consider that can ease the pressure of the process. Keep in mind that not every topic is relevant to every situation, as each organization has its own unique policies and procedures. 

  • Review available paperwork: Examine relevant documents provided during the onboarding process, including any signed contracts, handbooks or company policies. This helps identify documentation around resignation or separation policies that may exist. It may also be beneficial to check state laws or speak to a lawyer to address any significant legal questions. 
  • Gather important documents and work samples: Forward important documents like contracts, legal agreements, benefit details or important emails in the event access to work accounts is removed after submitting a resignation. Save any relevant work samples that could build or enhance a professional portfolio and remember to not save or share any confidential or sensitive organizational documents. Err on the side of caution by speaking to a lawyer or don’t send the material if there is any uncertainty. 
  • Have a last day in mind: A company could ask about continuing to work beyond a specified date, so it’s important to consider whether that is an option. 
  • Be prepared to leave immediately: Ideally, an employer will accept and honor the submitted two weeks’ notice, but that isn’t always the case. Preparing to leave on the same day notice is provided helps avoid being blindsided or actions that could affect remaining pay or benefits owed. 
  • Have a transition plan: After submitting a written notice, human resources may get involved to assist with the exit process. Prepare to ask important questions like the expiration date of benefits, their policy regarding unused vacation time payout, procedures for rolling over a 401(k) and acquiring copies of available performance reviews. 
  • Don’t tell colleagues before resigning: Outside of immediate family members or close friends (that aren’t co-workers), your direct manager should be the first person to hear about your resignation. This news often spreads quickly and can leave a negative impression internally, or even result in early termination, if the proper communication channels aren’t followed. Submit a written notice first, and then begin having relevant conversations with colleagues as needed. 

How to Provide a Two-Week Notice—and Sample Template 

A formal two-week notice letter should be brief, professional and informative. In short, it should include the following:   

  • A statement of resignation, including a departure date. 
  • Expression of gratitude, highlighting the opportunities gained and lessons learned. 
  • Offering to assist through the transition, with quick details on loose ends and open projects. 

When possible, it’s best to first submit a notice verbally to a direct manager—whether in person, over the phone or in a virtual meeting. Like the written notice, it is important to express gratitude for the opportunity and offer to assist with the transition. After the meeting, provide the formal written notice to the manager via email or letter.  

Here is a sample template to craft a resignation email: 

Subject: Resignation Letter – [Your Name] 

Dear [Manager First Name], 

Please accept this as my formal resignation from [Company Name]. My last day will be [Date], two weeks from today. I appreciate your support and the valuable experiences I have gained here. It has been a pleasure working with you and the team. 

Please let me know how I can help during this transition and make it as smooth as possible. I wish you all the best. 


[Your Name] 

How Providing a Two-Week Notice Contributes to Your Professional Brand 

People often perceive submitting two weeks’ notice as a formality, when they should view it as a strategic move that contributes to growing their professional brand. Taking a thoughtful and professional approach to a two weeks’ notice helps maintain valuable relationships and networks established within the organization, while also opening the door to future work opportunities including the possibility of returning to the company. Attempting to leave gracefully through a formal notice shows a level of integrity and respect that can go a long way in building a professional brand to be proud of. 


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