7 Templates for the Hardest Work-Related Emails

7 Templates for the Hardest Work-Related Emails

How many emails do you send daily at work? And how many of them make you want to cry inside a little bit?

When the time comes that you have to write yet another uncomfortable email, you must have wished (at least once) or prayed that someone could take this tedious assignment away from you. Unfortunately, I can't help you with that, but I can offer a different solution. This solution comes in the form of email templates.

Great work templates can be somewhat of an office superhero. They will be there when you need to take care of an unfortunate situation. Templates can be customized to fit the purpose of the email and recipient, and you won’t have to write those tough work emails from scratch. I've done some research about the hardest and most awkward work emails, and have also created templates that will save you from your emailing miseries (or at least lessen them). Are you ready for some life-changing templates?

1. The One When You Can’t Understand What the Sender Is Trying to Say

Is there anything more annoying than trying to decipher an elaborate email that makes no sense? There are so many words but no clear statement on what the sender wants. The next time this happens, skip the whole “I’m going to read this one more time” process. Use the following template to ask for clarification right away:

Thank you [name] for your email. In the interest of getting back to you as soon as possible, could you specify/prioritize/provide more context on what you’d like me to assist you with?

Learn how to cherish your valuable time. Let the individuals who rushed that incomprehensible email give it another go.

2. The One When You Need to Say No

Who likes to say no to people? Probably not many of you could say that they do. “I have trouble with saying no, I admit it. Especially when I start thinking about how someone took their time and invested an effort to compose a nice email for me. It’s like you have to reject the cuddliest dog with puppy-dog eyes,” says Andrew, the head of the content department at, a free source of flashcards and essay samples. If you are anything like our Andrew here, the “NO” situation will hurt much less if you have a pre-written email that you could just ship off. That’s when this little template steps in:

Thank you so much for reaching out [name]! As amazing as your offer sounds, we are all set in that department. However, I will keep you in mind for any future projects that might demand your skills/services/products. Wish you all the best!

The “NO” thing can also be difficult to spill out when you need to (or want to) reject business events or events organized by colleagues. Here’s a template for that case as well:

I would really wish to come to your event/birthday/son's bar mitzvah, but unfortunately, I have already said yes to a family gathering. Since I missed the last four, I don’t think I’ll still be a part of the family if I don’t show up for this one as well. Have fun!

You see, saying “no” doesn’t have to be harsh or dismissive as you imagine it. With the help of these templates, you can reject any offer or invite and still be seen as polite and respectful.

3. The One When Your Boss Is Asking for Too Much

Saying no to a random email sender or service provider is one thing. But saying no to your boss is a whole different ordeal. That’s when the real pressure kicks in. How do you reject yet another project that the boss is throwing at you and still keep your job? The following template can help you with that:

Hello, [boss’s name], and thank you for the detailed instructions. Currently, I’m working on the top priority tasks that we discussed in the last meeting. As this new project would demand my full attention, do you want me to pause the other tasks or pass on this project to a different department? Let me know your thoughts.

If you find that the assigned project is kind of out of your league and will give you nightmares, resort to this template:

Hello, [boss’s name], and thank you for the detailed instructions. Unless I have misunderstood the requirements, I think that this falls outside of my department and skill set. The person/team/department that is usually in charge of such projects is [the name of the person/team/department]. I could forward them your email if you want me to.

Play around with these templates and customize your own “No boss, I don’t want to do this” email. These templates can do more than just speed up saying “no” to your boss. They can help you stand up for yourself and teach your boss that you have your limits.

4. The One When Your Colleague is Over-Complicating a Task

Even the lonely wolf of the office sometimes needs to team up on a task. Or maybe communicating within a team is a regular part of your workday. Either way, it will happen that a “smart” guy in your team wants to make things more complicated than they have to be. How do you express that his plan is stupid without saying that? This is how:

Hey, I’ve been thinking about our project, and I have some ideas that could make it a bit easier. What do you think about doing [your approach] rather than [his approach]? It could simplify the process and save us some time while achieving the same result.

If that “I know best” colleague persists with his intent, just shift some words within the template and send it over once again. You can win this!

5. The One When You Need to Turn Down a Job Candidate

Crushing someone’s dreams of working at your company can be a pickle, don’t you think? If you work in the HR department or you run a business, sending “you didn’t get the job” emails is a must. Rip off that band-aid efficiently by using the following template:

Hello [name], Thank you so much for applying for this job. This was a tough decision, but unfortunately, we can’t offer you the job. We need someone with more experience/different skills for this position. However, we will keep you in mind if we have a more fitting role in the future. Please do not hesitate to keep in touch. Wish you all the luck!

In situations when you have met the candidate, or they’ve passed a few rounds of interviews, you can add at the end that it was nice meeting them. It doesn’t hurt to be polite.

6. The One When You Need to Email a Network during the Job Hunt

Turning to your friends when in need is a given. But what happens when you need to turn to people whom you barely know? Getting in touch with your networks during the job hunt can help you turn your “unemployed” status to “employed” much faster. Instead of going through the pain of asking for help over and over again, use a template. Just personalize it and send it to every network you have. Remember, there is no room for shyness when you are in need of a job. With that being said, here’s template you’ll need:

Hi [name], I hope you are doing well! I’m reaching out because I’m looking for a new job challenge. As you already know, I worked for 4 years as a marketing director at [name of company], but the time has come for a new chapter. If I remember correctly you have worked at [name of company], and I have always had my eye on that company. Do you have a contact number of anyone there or can you refer me to someone? I would highly appreciate it if you could make an introduction. Also, if you hear of any job opportunity that I would be suited for, could you please let me know? I will attach my resume for reference and you can pass it along freely. Thank you so much in advance and I would be happy to return the favor at any time!

If you want, you can add in the beginning some kind of personal information such as “I heard that you got that big promotion, I am so happy for you!” Or, mention the last time you saw them.

7. The One When You Want to Quit

If you finally decided that it is time to say goodbye to this job, you have to deal with the unpleasant moment of letting your boss know about it. It’s always helpful if you leave on good terms. You’ll probably need a recommendation letter so you’ll need to approach this email strategically. Imagine it as breaking up with someone and convincing them that you should stay friends. Do you think that’s impossible? Well, this template will prove that it is not:

Dear [boss’s name], Please accept this email as my formal resignation letter. I am resigning from my position as [position title]. Considering the two weeks notice, my last day would be [date]. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to work for your company. I truly appreciate the experience I have gained and I enjoyed working here. Working here has taught me a lot and I will always be grateful for that. During these last two weeks, I will dedicate my full attention to wrap up my obligations and train new employees if needed. If I can do anything else to make this transition smoother, please let me know. I wish you and this company continued success.


There you go! You have in your possession email templates that can help out with some of the dirty work. Hopefully, you’ll find these templates useful and make the most of them in the future. Wish you successful emailing!

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Millennial Moderator Author

Marques Coleman

Marques Coleman is a professional writer and editor. Currently, he is cooperating with some of the top essay writing websites like Marques’ writing expertise lies in the fields of technology and business development.