When resigning from a job, what are some points to keep in mind while writing your two‑week notice?
We asked HR professionals and business leaders for their best advice. Here are 11 tips on how to write a two‑week notice: what to include, and what to hold back.
1. Identify What You Have Gained from the Job
Never burn bridges at your current company. Even if your relationship with management or coworkers is strained, leaving on bad terms is never a good idea. Even if you believe you have a rock-solid resume that will get you a new job in no time, you may want to return to your old company at some point. The same goes if you are leaving a company and it is your first job out of college. Leaving on good terms ensures your name will be remembered fondly and that your resume won’t be buried under a pile of applications. To establish goodwill in your two‑week notice, frame your resignation in terms of what you have gained from this job experience. Thank your coworkers, supervisors, and managers for their support. If you have any ideas for improvement, now is the time to share them. And remember to ask permission to use the company’s name as a reference in the future.
Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely
2. Be Genuine and to the Point
Having recently put in my two-month notice, I wanted to make sure my organization and my current boss knew that I truly cared about them and was grateful for all the opportunities that were afforded to me. And I said just that — and of course, included my last day of employment. The hope is that the organization and boss will feel respected and, hopefully, feel the same way toward the employee.
Kenston Henderson, Sr., Chief Empowerment Officer, Live with Lyfe
3. Prepare for Follow-up Questions and Future Steps
Be prepared to offer the information that your manager will probably request as soon as you give your notice. Consider any potential follow-up inquiries, and make your decisions in advance to avoid having to act immediately. Try to decide whether you would entertain that before the encounter. And be prepared to talk about the next steps, such as how to inform HR, the rest of your staff, or clients.
Daniel Foley, Founder, Daniel Foley Consultancy
4. Offer Help with the Transition When Giving Notice
I’ve helped a lot of candidates craft the perfect resignation letter. The tech industry is smaller than many people think, so I always urge workers to end their employment with grace and appreciation for the time spent at the company. One way to convey this is to offer help with the upcoming transition. While most companies will have a process in place to get the new employee up to speed, as the former holder of that position, you have a unique insight into the details of the role. Offer your help in training your replacement, or consider putting together a brief guide they can consult as needed. Last impressions count; remind your employer that you’ve been a dedicated team member, and they’ll write you a glowing recommendation letter.
Rob Reeves, CEO & President, Redfish Technology
5. Express Gratitude
Saying “thank you” in a two‑week notice is a polite and professional way to express gratitude for the opportunity to work at the company and for any experiences or lessons learned during your there. I believe you should express appreciation even if the job wasn’t perfect, as you never know when you’ll run into the people you’ve met there. Thus, try to maintain positive relationships with colleagues and supervisors, at least for the sake of future job opportunities. Additionally, saying your thanks can help to smooth the transition process by demonstrating a willingness to work collaboratively during the remaining time at the company. To conclude, try not to harbor any animosity and leave a positive last impression.
Piotrek Sosnowski, Chief People & Culture Officer, HiJunior
6. Think About a Completion Date
When you tell your boss you’re quitting, they’ll probably ask you when your last day will be, so have a date prepared. To wrap up any loose ends or help with the onboarding of a replacement, your supervisor may ask you to stay on for longer than two weeks. Again, check your contract to determine what they legally expect of you, but extending your stay by a week or two (if you can work out a later start date with your new employer) might be a great way to go out on top.
Frederic Linfjärd, Director of Growth Marketing, Planday
7. Have a Justification for Your Departure
Be ready for people to ask you why you’re leaving or where you’re going as soon as you give them your two‑week notice. Put a positive spin on your decision to quit by saying something like, “I’ve truly liked my time here, but an opportunity presented itself that will allow me to build my talents differently,” and provide as much information about your new job as you feel comfortable disclosing.
Andrew Dale, Technical Director, CloudTech24
8. Double Check for Specific Requirements
Double-checking the employee handbook for any specific resignation requirements is always one of the best practices. Every company is different and may have different processes regarding a two‑week notice. If not in the handbook, check onboarding material, HR apps, and anything else that may contain information about the official company policy on the matter.
Annu Daniel, CEO, Elohim Company
9. Be Professional, Clear, and Concise
While it’s difficult to leave a job, it is essential to maintain a professional tone and be respectful of your employer and colleagues. When writing a two‑week notice, it is important to mention the date of your last day of work and to express your gratitude for the opportunities and experiences you have had while working with the company. You can also include reasons for leaving, but it is best to keep it brief and avoid discussing any negative aspects of the company or your time there. It is vital to keep your focus on your work and to continue to work to the best of your abilities until your last day. This will help to maintain good relationships with your colleagues and to leave on a positive note.
Kimberley Tyler-Smith, VP of Strategy & Growth, Resume Worded
10. Leave on a High Note
Whether or not you like your current job, it is always a good idea to leave on a high note. Don’t throw any shade directly or indirectly. It’s one thing to not express any gratitude, but trying to let out your frustration will lead to burning the bridge. much as all of us feel like giving a piece of our mind on our last day, it is not really worth it. The goal here is to leave with a good reference and leave space to reconnect, even if it’s just for paperwork. Your colleagues and your employers might be part of your professional network, even if you get out of there. Leaving on a sour note can impact your future job prospects. Nobody wants to get the tag of being difficult to work with. Once that gets out in the street, it’s difficult to prove people wrong. All these difficulties can be easily avoided just by being nice during your two‑week notice. Be brief, and try to focus on the good times you’ve had when writing it.
Andreas Grant, Founder, Networks Hardware
11. Be Respectful and Don’t Burn Any Bridges
When writing a two‑week notice, it’s important to be respectful and professional. This will ensure that you don’t burn any bridges with your current employer. Be clear and concise in your communication, respectfully outlining the reasons for leaving. State that your commitment and effort in the role will not be diminished during the two‑week notice period, as you want to leave on a positive note. Thank them for the opportunity and express appreciation for the experience you have gained while there.
Mark McShane, Marketing Director, Birmingham First Aid Courses
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