Making an apology is an art very few of us seem to comprehend. Be it a personal relationship or a professional one, mistakes can happen anywhere. Apologizing to a friend or family member doesn’t come with a set of rules apart from one, i.e. your apology should be sincere.
However, a mistake that has occurred at a workplace needs a formal apology which is done by writing an apology letter. But, your apology letter cannot be a random note. In a professional environment, you need to follow a proper apology letter format when you are apologizing to somebody.
Also, click here to read more Job Application Letter Format for Perfect Application Letter it is as important as a resume.
How to write a sincere apology letter?
To write a sincere apology letter, make sure that your letter contains each of the following elements:
- Saying “I’m Sorry”: As obvious and simple as it may sound, starting off with the good old “I’m sorry” is the best way to start your letter.
- Own Your Mistake: Make sure to own up to the mistake you did. Do not make it sound like you are doing them a favor by apologizing to them. Show them that you are owning up to your mistakes and ready to make things right.
- Understanding: Tell that person that you completely understand why your actions hurt them. Tell them that you would have felt the same way had you been in their place.
- Fix-It: Make sure you have a plan to make things right with them. Tell them that you intend to make it right and fix whatever has been wronged.
- Admit The Mistake: Tell them that you are aware of what you did and that you know it was wrong on your part to act that way.
- Sincere Promise: Make a sincere promise to never repeat those actions which proved to be hurtful to the other person. Tell them you are going to change your ways and never let this kind of thing happen ever again.
- Ask Forgiveness: And lastly, remember to ask them for their forgiveness. It will not only prove how genuinely sorry you are but also show that you are sincere in making this effort to apologize formally.
Components Of An Apology Letter
A formal apology letter format consists of the following components:
- Sender’s Address: In a professional environment, most of the communications take place through emails. So while making an official apology, make sure to send your apology from your official mail id.
- Subject Line: The subject line of your email is the first thing the recipient will read. It is important to put the subject line as “Apology Letter”, to immediately clarify what the email is regarding. Avoid using phrases like “Sorry” or “Seeking Forgiveness” for your subject line. Remember to keep it straight forward and professional.
- Salutation: Keeping things simple is key. Start with a simple Dear followed by the name of the recipient.
- Body: When it comes to the body of the apology letter, start off by saying you are sorry. Make sure it sounds genuine and not repetitive. The key to that is to admit what you did was wrong and that you understand why it was hurtful or demeaning for them.
In the ending paragraph, mention that you will keep your actions in check so that this kind of mistake never happens again. Say that you hope the two of you can put this behind and move forward in good spirits.
- Signature: Lastly, end your email with a professional signature. You may write phrases like “Yours sincerely” or “Best regards”.
Sample #1: Apology To Boss
Subject: Apology Letter
Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. [Boss’s surname],
Please accept my deepest apology in regards to sending the wrong reports to our client. I fully understand how I have caused great inconvenience to the client as well as our company.
I know there possibly cannot be an explanation or excuse for what I did, but I would like to tell you that I am handling multiple projects at the same time. Hence, I got confused and accidentally sent the wrong report to the wrong client. I would like to inform you that I have already apologized to our client personally. And just to be on the safe side, I have arranged a meeting with them to avoid any further miscommunication.
I am sorry for letting you down but I assure you such carelessness will never happen in the future.
Sample #2: Apology To Client
Subject: Apology Letter
Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. [Surname of the client],
Please accept my most sincere apology on behalf of our company [Company name]. We regret to learn that you were not satisfied with the software delivered to you on [Date & Day]. Our development team should not have any changes in the approved plan without seeking your validation.
We take full responsibility for our actions and understand how inconvenient this experience must have been for you. We would like to inform you that we plan on providing you with a newer version of the software without any extra cost as a gesture of appreciation from the company. Our team will get in touch with you as soon as possible to discuss the changes you would like to execute in the current version.
We would like to tell you that you are a valued client for us and hope to continue doing business with you. Moreover, we have put in new guidelines to ensure such mistakes are never repeated in the future.
If there are any further issues or confusion, please don’t hesitate to contact me or any other member of our team personally. We are always happy to help.
Sample#3: Apology To A Coworker
Subject: Apology Letter
Dear [Name of the coworker],
I would like to truly apologize for what happened this morning. I realized I was out of line and I should not have called you out in front of the whole team.
Please understand I didn’t mean to call you out by saying that you have been taking very long breaks, much longer than allowed. I only meant to come to you as a friend to help you avoid a messy situation at work. But I understand why you lost your calm. I am sorry for losing my temper as well. And I am aware there is no justification for my actions.
I understand this has created a rift in our relationship but I would really like it if you could give it a chance to fix this. Besides, we are teammates and it’s important for us to get along to make our project a success. Please accept my apology.
Furthermore, I assure you this behavior will never be repeated on my part ever again.
About the Author:
Washija is a content specialist at Receptix. She has an MBA in Tourism and a passion for creating web content. She is an avid reader, a traveler, and a versatile writer. She has been writing on the topics of education, career advice, and related areas for the past 3 years.