What is a rejection letter and why are they important?

A rejection letter informs a candidate that they have been disqualified from the hiring process or are no longer being considered for the position they applied for. Rejection of any form is never an easy thing for a candidate or company alike. However, a rejection letter is the best way to thank a candidate for their time and effort and allow them closure to move on. 75% of candidates never receive a reply after sending an application and 60% never received any feedback after an interview according to Lawrie Jones’ blog in Flowrite. Following up with a declined candidate is important for an employer. A job seeker can become emotionally invested in the recruitment process. Closing on a bad note can leave a candidate angry, disappointed, and frustrated. Writing a formal rejection letter is essential so that an employer can thank the candidate for all their efforts, retain professional integrity, and allow the candidate to continue their career search.

Writing a Rejection Letter; the In’s and Out’s

Include a subject line – Keep it simple and professional. Include company name and job title.

    • “Company B – Process Engineer”

Thank the candidate for their time – Let’s face it, there are many options for candidates to consider and you have had the luxury of interviewing this particular one.

    • “Thank you very much for all of your time and effort!”

Share the bad news – Tell the candidate you are no longer considering them for the role. Sustain a soft, yet direct tone.

    • “Unfortunately, after a thorough review, we have selected another candidate.”

Explain why you are no longer considering the candidate

  • Be genuine, straightforward, yet not harsh or overly critical. There is no need to be overly apologetic about picking the best candidate. Remember, no one likes rejection and this can cause animosity. Remain empathetic and keep in mind that the candidate might have invested hours of effort, preparation, and possible travel.
    • “With great consideration, we have offered the position to a candidate that is a bit more aligned with our business needs.”
    • “After much review, we have extended an offer to a candidate whose experience is more closely aligned to our needs.”
  • Be professional and be sure to avoid any overly negative feedback. If applicable, provide them with constructive and useful feedback that they could change for future interviews. Do not make up or add false positives just to let a candidate down easily. It is important, to be honest, and insightful.
    • “Even though we offered the position to another candidate, we were really impressed with your presentation and exposure.”
    • “It was a challenging decision for us to make but we ended up going with a candidate who had previous ________ experience.”

Close with a positive message – Always end on a positive note.

    • “We thought that you provided a lot of insight and exposure to the role and if another opportunity were to arise, we would greatly appreciate considering you again.”
    • “Thank you again for all your efforts. We wish you success in your next endeavors.”
    • “Best of luck in your search for the ultimate position. Thank you for all your time and consideration!”

Sources: Indeed , Flowrite

Rejection Letter Templates

Standard Rejection Letter

Dear [Name],

Thank you for interviewing for [position] on [date of interview] and taking the time to learn about our company. After careful consideration, unfortunately, we have selected another candidate for the position.

We do hope you will keep us in mind when we advertise roles in the future and encourage you to apply again.

We wish you the best of luck in your job search and thank you for your interest in our company.

Sincerely,

[Name]

Feedback Rejection Letter

Dear [Name],

Thank you for interviewing for [position] on [date of interview]. It was a very tough decision, but we have selected another candidate for the position.

Our team was particularly impressed with your [skills] but decided to move forward with another candidate with [skill/experience]. We would recommend [taking a course/obtaining a certificate/gaining project experience] to improve.

We believe you are a quality candidate and would like to consider you for future opportunities that might be a better fit.

Thanks again for taking the time to apply and come in to meet the team. We wish you the best of luck in your job search and thank you for your interest in our company.

Sincerely,

[Name]

Redirection Rejection Letter

Dear [Name],

Thank you for interviewing for [position] on [date of interview]. After careful consideration, we have decided to move forward with another candidate.

Though our team was impressed with your [skills], we have chosen to move forward with a candidate that is more qualified to fit our needs. However, we believe your skillset would align better with [position] and would love to consider you for it.

Please let us know if you would be interested in discussing it further.

We would like to thank you again for your time and wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

[Name]

Short Rejection Letter

Dear [Name],

Thank you for interviewing for [position] on [date of interview]. After careful consideration, we have decided to move forward with another candidate.

We thank you for your interest in the company and we wish you the best of luck in your job search.

Sincerely,

[Name]

Source: Hubspot