- Unfortunately, you occasionally will be required to write bad-news letters. These letters might reject a job applicant, deny an employee a raise, tell a vendor that his or her company’s proposal has not been accepted, or reject a customer’s request for a refund. Sometimes, you might need to write a bad-news letter to fire an employee.
Criteria of Writing a Bad-News Letter
- Letter essentials
- Maintain an effective technical writing style
- Achieve audience recognition
- Avoid grammatical and mechanical errors
- In addition, you must accomplish the following tasks:
- Begin bad-news letter with buffer. Start your letter with information that your reader can accept as valid but that will sway your reader to accept the bad news to come.
- Once you have provided the buffer, you can no longer delay the inevitable. The discussion paragraph states the bad news. However, to ensure that the reader accepts the bad news , preface your assertions with quantifiable proof.
- If you end your bad-news letter with the bad-news, then you leave your reader feeling defeated and without hope. Therefore, you need to conclude your letter by giving your readers an opportunity for future success.
- Provide your readers options which will allow them to get back in your good graces, seek employment in the future, or reapply for the refund you have denied.
- Leave the readers as happy as possible.
Example of Bad-News Letter
Thank you for your recent letter of application. As you can imagine, we received many letters from highly qualified applicants.
Although we appreciate your inner interest in Acme, the advertisement specifically required that all applicants have an M.S. in computer science and at least five years of experience in telecommunications. We also suggested that knowledge of fiber optics would be preferred. Your degree met our criteria. However, your years of experience fell below our requirements, and your resume did not mention fiber optics expertise. Therefore, we must reject your application.
If you have fiber optics knowledge or have acquired additional job experiences which pertain to our work requirements, we would be happy to reconsider your application. In any case, we will keep your letter on file. When new positions open up, you application will be reassessed. Good luck in your job search.
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