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How would you refuse to write a recommendation letter? Here’s a refusal letter sample you can use as a guide.

REFUSAL LETTER SAMPLE – This is how you can gracefully turn down someone asking you to make a recommendation letter for him or her.

A reference or recommendation letter is a document that tells and highlights the achievements and admirable traits of someone made by a person who is credible. It can help someone get a new job, apply for graduate school, and other circumstances. However, if you don’t know much about that someone who had requested you to write one or there’s a conflict of interest, what would you do? In tactfully and gracefully dropping the request, a sample letter of refusal is shown below!

See some tips here before proceeding:

  • Explain why you cannot or would rather not write the letter in an inoffensive way and express your well-wishes for him or her.
  • Express your regret for not being able to write a strong recommendation letter.
  • You can definitely suggest someone whom you see best fits to complete the task.
  • Avoid putting your personal opinion in the letter. Don’t make it sound like a personal criticism or a professional rejection.
  • You can say no most especially if the person who requested is someone you don’t know personally.
  • If you have other things you see as more important to do, you can formally do something to turn it down.
  • Send your letter as soon as possible so as you won’t waste the time of the sender.
  • Don’t feel bad about turning down someone.

Here’s a format to use and some guide in writing: Business Sample Letter Format, Tips, and Guide

Check out a sample below:

Dear Mr. or Ms. (insert sender’s last name):

I received your request for a letter of recommendation yesterday and it is flattering for my part that you have chosen me to do it for you. As much as I want to do this, such a letter holds the most weight if it is from a colleague who knows you, your skills, and your work habits.

Unfortunately, we work in entirely different departments. Also, I have only known you for such a short time and I can hardly speak with authority about your characteristics. I feel like I don’t know you well enough yet to write an accurate reference letter for your job search. I think someone else would be a better choice whose endorsement would truly benefit you.

I wish you the best and I hope you make it.




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