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How to Reply to a Query Letter: Your Guide to Effective Responses

It is not a great thing to get a query. It’s even worse when you do not know how to reply to a query letter. The guidelines below will help you go through this very easily.

How to Reply to a Query Letter

Answering a query letter is not as difficult as one may think. As query letters, reply letters are formal, short, and straight to the point.

If you are an employee or even an employer, you need to know how to reply to a query letter. 

The sad truth is that anyone can get queried, It may not be out of misconduct, but a mere office misunderstanding can cause it. A well-written query letter will help defend your good motives and excuse your mistakes.

This article is for everyone that has a job or intends to get one. Chances are, if you do not have a query letter now, you may get one letter.

After reading through this article, you will have full knowledge of how to answer a query professionally and save yourself the shame of losing your job.


What is a query letter?

A query letter is a formal letter issued to an employee or a team of employees due to their ill performance of duties or no performance of duties at all.

Usually, this letter is given after several verbal warnings. Sometimes having several query letters can cause demotion or even sack.

Included in a query letter is the offense you committed or the area where you breached the employment contract. Also, the specified time range you are to reply within is written on the letter.

The issue is always how to reply to this query letter since you are always required to answer it, and sometimes within short notice.


How to Reply to a Query Letter

How to Reply to a Query Letter

Replying to a query letter is not hard at all. Remember to read the query letter you are given carefully before you reply.

We will first give you the structure of how to reply to the query letter. Then we will give you a sample of a query letter and a sample of the perfect way to reply to it.

Structure of a reply letter to a query 

A reply letter is structured as a normal formal letter, with all its features. If you know how to write a formal letter, then little brush-ups here will help you.

If you don’t know how to write a formal letter or are unsure if you can remember the steps, follow closely. This will put you through too.

This is the structure of the reply letter. Keep your paragraph short and straight to the point. There may be more than these paragraphs, but be sure to keep them in this order.

Recipient address

This is the address of whoever served you the letter. If you’re unsure about the person’s name or official portfolio, you can check for the name and other details at the closing of the query letter given to you. 

Check the name and portfolio of the person who signed the letter and address yours to him.


A simple Dear Sir, Dear ma or any other official greeting will do here. Nothing too long.

Introductory Paragraph 

This is the first paragraph in this paragraph. You explain why you are writing the letter. For instance, “I am writing as regards the query I received on the 25th of May 2023.”

It is usually one or two lines long with not more than two sentences.


Analysis Paragraph

This is the second paragraph. It is the longest of all the paragraphs. You can split it into two if you like.

When replying to a query letter, this is the paragraph where in your reply where you explain how the situation occurred and what excuse you have to breach your employment contract.

Remember not to be defensive or too conversational. If you had an emergency, state what the emergency was in straight words. It is good to be detailed, but avoid wordiness and unnecessary detail.

Details like time, date, place, and what you did or did not do should be stated clearly.

Apology paragraph

Whether you think you’ve done wrong or not, make sure you attach an apology paragraph to your letter.

It is more professional, to begin with “I apologize” than “I am sorry”.

You should apologize for the inconvenience or discomfort your official misconduct or absence should have caused.

This is a very important paragraph as it shows that you are responsible and care about your company’s growth or success.

Re-assurance paragraph 

Here is another important paragraph when you want to reply to a query letter. In this paragraph, you show how much you would like your company to grow by reassuring them that you will be diligent in your duties henceforth.

You can merge this paragraph with the one above. But make sure you make a sentence or two about how you will put more effort into making the company move forward.


Always use professional and formal closings when writing this type of letter. Then your signature, your name, and, if necessary, your portfolio. 


Sample of a query letter in Nigeria and how to reply

How to Reply to a Query Letter

Here is an example of a query letter. We will then answer the query in the later paragraphs of this write-up.

So read on!

Query letter sample

Mr. Ebi Sam 

SDM Construction Ltd 

Accounts Department 

Dear Mr. Ebi, 

Query on misconduct

You were absent from your office on the 23rd of March, 2023. After signing in for the day, you left your station at 10:00 am and returned by 2:00 pm without signing the movement sheet or taking any due permission.

The company is not pleased with your regular absenteeism and has warned you severely about this matter.

You are hereby requested to explain your absence and why disciplinary action should not be taken against you.

Kindly reply within 24 hours.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Eze Amadi

Head of the accounts department

SDM Construction Ltd.

Reply to query letter

Dr. Eze Amadi

Head of the accounts department

SDM Construction Ltd.

Dear Sir, 

RE: Query on misconduct

I am writing as regards the query I received on the 23rd of March, 2023.

On that day, I reported for work by 8 am as duty required, but just a while before 10 am, I had an emergency call, and my niece was rushed to the emergency ward in Darmart hospital. 

I immediately dashed out of the office, forgetting to sign the movement sheet and follow due protocol, and left my station without permission.

I apologize for my actions and all the inconveniences caused to the company through this oversight.

Be assured that this will not occur again. With diligence, I promise to work to move this great company ahead.

Yours sincerely

Mr. Ebi Sam

What Tone should be Used in Responding to a Query Letter

When replying a query letter, do not forget it is for an official purpose which calls for the use of professional tone instead of a conversational tone.

How Long should You Take to Respond to a Query Letter

  • You should respond to the query as soon as possible
  • Start by appreciating the management
  • Take time to understand the content of the letter
  • Give a detailed answers to all questions asked
  • Offer your availability for future enquiries in the concluding part

Should You Respond to All Query Letter?

Yes, you should respond to all query letter.

Query letter mistakes


Nobody wants to receive query letters, but you’ll have to reply if they come. We’ve shown you how to reply to a query letter above. You can always visit our site for more articles like this.


Nobody wants to receive query letters, but you’ll have to reply if they come. We’ve shown you how to reply to a query letter above. You can always visit our site for more articles like this.

Esther Gad
Esther Gad
I am a freelance writer, who loves to convey information through written contents. I build simple and conversational content tailored to the specific audience which can help industries build customer trust and in long term increase sales


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