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Letter 2: Negative Message


You are a recent college graduate and are applying for a number of jobs. Unfortunately, you receive two offers on the same day and need to accept one and decline the other. Write a letter to the hiring manager (see below) explaining your acceptance of another offer, keeping in mind the five goals of delivering bad news, found on page 294. You select the scenario that is most applicable to your current situation.


Review Chapter 11: Writing Negative Messages (Especially pages 294-296).


Use the modified block letter format for this assignment. Please refer to pages 584-586 for an explanation of the block and modified block formats. The example in your book on page 585 is a block letter format letter while the example on page 586 is a modified block letter format. Please note the differences carefully.

There are two main ways to format a negative message letter; directly or indirectly. You can find comparisons of these strategies on page 294. For this exercise, you will be utilizing the direct approach, since you do not need to maintain any formal relationship with the organization you are declining. Follow the organization on page 298 as a guide.

The format of your letter tells the reader a lot about you and your professionalism. Since you do not want to completely cut ties, it is important to leave a lasting respectful impression. Pay particular attention to your letter's margins, line spacing, font type and size, and placement of letter parts such as the return address, date, inside address, salutation, complimentary close, and signature block.

The information for the job you are declining is: Assistant Manager, Hilton Corporation.

The contact person for this position is: Terrence Walters, Hiring Manager, Hilton Corporation, 555 SW 8th St., Miami, FL 33199.

Recommended Organization

Introduction/Opening: Begin your letter with the bad news. The indirect approach includes a buffer, however, the direct approach does not. Be sure to remain professional and concise in this section to not sound rude or ungrateful for the opportunity.


In the first paragraph of the body include your reasons for the decision, without too much detail about the other position. Having the right balance of ambiguity is respectful to the employer you are declining. Use creativity when developing reasons for taking the other position over theirs.

Maybe the schedule was more flexible or the other position better fir your skill set. These are just a few examples to consider when writing this section. In the second paragraph you can add a positive spin to the situation if you desire. This could be as simple as saying you’ll keep this employer in mind for future endeavors or that you will recommend a qualified friend who should apply for the position.


Begin your closing paragraph with a courteous transition and thank the employer for the opportunity. Conclude your letter by indicating how the reader may contact you if he has any questions.

The format of the assignment IS ATTACHED BELOW!!!!.

Your mailing address

City, ST Zipcode

Phone Number (optional)

E-mail (optional)

Month Day, Year

Name of Receiver, Title

Company Name

Mailing Address

City, ST Zipcode

Dear Mr. / Ms. / Dr. / Professor / Recipient’s Last Name:

When writing a letter using modified block format, no lines are indented. Include your address

and if you want your phone number where you can be contacted. Skip 2 lines and include the

name and address of the recipient of the letter. Skip 1 line and write the letter’s salutation.

Select the most appropriate title with the recipient’s last name followed by a colon.

The margins for a typical letter are 1.5 inch left margin, 1 inch right margin, and 1 inch margin

and top and bottom of the paper. Margins may be adjusted slightly to make your letter fit on one

page, or to space the information so that page breaks do not happen at awkward places. Create a

straight, left margin and all paragraphs and headings should be lined up with the left margin.

Single space within each paragraph and skip one line between paragraphs.

If your letter exceeds one page, use a second-page heading which includes your name, date and

page number.

Close your letter with an invitation for further discussion and how you can be contacted. Skip

one line, tab two-thirds across the page, and create the complimentary close and signature block.

This should line up with your address and date at the top of the page. Typical customary

closings are Sincerely and Cordially followed by a comma. Sign you name legibly in the 3 blank

lines you skipped between the customary close and your typed name.


Your Signature (script font)

Your Name



Pre-addressed Stamped Envelope