How To Write A Rejection Letter

Congratulations. You’ve finally found the perfect person for the job. You sent them an irresistible job offer and they accepted! Once that new hire gets started, then you can just sit back and relax, right? Wrong. Every candidate that applied for the job also deserves to be sent a personalized rejection letter informing them that they didn’t get hired.

Businessman typing emails on computer

Job seekers dedicate time and effort into applying for your job postings. They’ve compiled resumes, written cover letters, attended job interviews, and they are eager to be a part of your team. It can be tough to tell that job candidate that they didn’t get hired, but it is part of your job.

How To Choose Between Two Equally Qualified Job Candidates

Writing rejection letters is not a fun part of the job, but it is a necessary part of the job. Every job candidate deserves to receive a personalized, diplomatic, honest, timely, and concise rejection letter (or email). Many companies do not send rejection letters, but imagine how upset a job seeker would be if they didn’t receive any communication or notification from their top choice employer.

A well written rejection letter will:

  • Thank the candidate
  • Deliver the verdict
  • Tell them why they weren’t hired
  • Invite them to apply again in the future
  • Conclude

When you write a rejection letter, keep it short, sweet, and specific. Let the candidate know the results as soon as you can. Don’t leave them waiting and wondering. If they didn’t get hired, they need to get on with their job search.

If you need a bit of inspiration, feel free to use this sample rejection letter template:

Hi [Job Candidate],

Thank you for the time and effort you’ve spent in applying for the [job title] with [company name].

At this point in time, we have decided to go with a different candidate, but we truly appreciated the opportunity to get to know you. The reason that we went with a different candidate is [one to two sentences of feedback for candidate].

Please consider applying for other positions with our company in the future. We expect other job openings that would be ideal for your skill set to be posted in the next few months.

Best of luck with your job search and future endeavors.

Take care,
[name, position]

Job search rejection is frustrating, but it’s part of the job search and candidates will get over it. Always follow the Golden Rule – treat others how you want to be treated. Try to always provide a positive hiring experience for every job candidate. When you treat applicants with respect, it can help to build a positive employer brand and provide you with a talent pool that will help you fill your job openings in the future.

Rejection letters are a necessary part of the hiring process. Make this practice a regular part of your HR protocols.

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