Letter of Apology

by Evil HR Lady on November 28, 2007


I am in the process of trying to get rehired by a company. To be honest I was terminated about 1 1/2 years ago basically due to job abandonment. It’s no excuse, but to explain my circumstances I was getting divorced-becoming a single mother (not by choice) & to sum it up had a meltdown and stopped showing up for work. They tried to contact me & I never responded. The rest is history.

Aside from this I was well liked & did an excellent job. I was recognized by the General Manager of the company as an exemplary employee. Everyday I regret leaving and the way I handled it. This is a top notch organization which I was proud to work at.

Recently a position became available for which I am very well qualified. I left a message for Human Resources that I am interested in the position, expressed my apologies & regrets etc. I asked if that if they would consider me for rehire to please contact me. Well, 4 hours later they contacted me & advised me to send a resume along with a letter of apology to get the process going. I am very encouraged by this, however I have never written a letter of apology for rehire and have no clue. I have searched the internet for a template of such a letter and have had no success.

Thank you in advanced for your help. I am so hopeful to regain a position within this company and would really appreciate any guidance you can provide.

I don’t know of any such template. However, it seems like you have a pretty good chance, given how fast they responded. Since you mentioned your past mistake in your voicemail and they still called you back–so quickly–means that they are willing to over look the past. (Or they are incredibly desperate for candidates.)

They would have pulled your personnel file, and (hopefully) called your previous manager. He would have had to have given a positive review or you wouldn’t be considered.

So, what to write? I don’t know. “I’m terribly sorry for leaving without notice. My personal life was in turmoil. My life is now stable and I look forward to working for blah, blah blah”

That’s probably terrible. I’m hoping that my brilliant readers will weigh in. Please?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Just another HR lady... November 28, 2007 at 3:29 pm

It is rare that this opportunity would be offered to someone who was terminated for Job Abandonment, so you must have had an exemplary record before this issue happened. No doubt HR contacted your former manager when you called and asked if they would be willing to give you a second chance before calling you back.

From my own personal experience with exemplary employees and Job Abandonment, when I face these cases, I honestly worry that the person is laying in a ditch somewhere and that’s why they are not responding to my calls, e-mails, letters, etc. etc. because I know it’s not in their nature to not at least explain why they are not showing up for work.

My guess is that the same happened here, one day one of their top employees simply stopped showing up, and they were perplexed and worried, and at the same time they probably knew you were having personal issues. If they are truly giving you a second chance and asking you to write an apology letter, I believe that your best bet is to be totally honest about what you were going through at the time and what led up to your Job Abandonment. Not an enjoyable letter to write, but these people probably cared and worried about you and didn’t understand why you didn’t explain your situation instead of choosing to disappear. They likely feel that they are deserving of a very good explanation as to what happened before they consider you again. Think of it as your “Explanation” letter rather than an “Apology” letter.

And good luck, hopefully you get the chance here to rectify a past mistake.


Lance @ YourHrGuy.com November 28, 2007 at 5:34 pm

I would say keep it short and simple. “I made a major mistake when I hit a really rough patch in my life and I want to apologize for the position that put the company in and the concern it brought. I am looking forward to rectifying this when I am hired on with exemplary work.”

That’s probably too HRish but you get the point. Don’t drag it out too long or go into more details than necessary. It was a bad mistake but obviously one that time has healed.


Daniel November 28, 2007 at 8:51 pm

Apologies work best when they are short, sweet and genuine. Everyone can tell a “fake” apology from a real one. No need to grovel, but don’t use that “Mistakes were made” line. Speak directly: I made a mistake. I was wrong. I’ve made changes in my life to ensure it won’t happen again and I’d appreciate another opportunity to let me show you how I’ve changed.

You don’t often get a second chance to correct a past regret. Take advantage of it!


Anonymous November 28, 2007 at 10:48 pm

Personally, I think it’s a little strange they asked you to write an apology letter – what are you in 2nd grade? If they are willing to take you back they should do it without an apology letter. You must have some specific skills or they must have difficulty in filling the position to be willing to take you back. I think this is a tough thing to get over – moreso for you. Can you get over it? Personally, if it was such a bad time in your life, I think you need to move on and start fresh (just like you did in your personal life), this apology letter will be part of your personnel file and will always be with you.


Anonymous November 28, 2007 at 11:03 pm

My suggestion would be that you don’t focus on the causes of your meltdown – this is not something you should have to go over in a letter. Show them instead that you truly understand the impact your actions had on them (manager, team and their business) – I think this is more relevant to the company than knowing your personal misfortune, and if you can, give them some evidence of why this is not going to happen again. And then remind them of all the good reasons why they should hire you. Let them end the letter with positives in the front of their mind, particularly if you can add new information/experience gained since you left.


MJ November 30, 2007 at 12:45 pm

It could be the HR need a proof (the letter) from you saying you’ll not repeat the same mistake and you truly regretted it or HR could report to a higher level mgt. In case anything happens again in the future, they may use the letter to control you or even penalize you.

IF the new job is really great and you really want it, by all means, go for it.


KarthikKaraikudy December 1, 2007 at 2:45 am

Listen to the Apology podcast in Manager tools.


Karthick July 10, 2016 at 8:18 pm

Apology without interred resgin job I want format apology


Marfo Deborah June 17, 2018 at 8:43 am

Please how do I write an apology and resignation Leter to my principal in my former school as a teacher for no notice and quitting the job for a month


Marfo Deborah June 17, 2018 at 8:46 am

After quitting from a job for a month,I feel guilty and want to write a formal apology and resignation letter to the principal of the school.please how do I write it?.AM FROM GHANA.


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