How to prepare rejection emails to job candidates

Posted by   admin   |   Categories :   Recruitment

A part of being a recruiter is rejecting job applicants. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, but it’s common decency to inform them that your company has decided to move on with other Jobstreet candidates. If a job applicant put the effort to attend the interview and answer your questions, it’s the least you could do.

There are generally three types of rejection letters you can prepare for job candidates. Depending on how far the candidate progressed in your hiring process, you can choose a style to send it to the candidate. The styles are a short rejection letter, an expanded rejection letter and a personalised rejection letter.

Short rejection letter

A short rejection letter is straightforward and gets directly to the point. Its only purpose is to inform the job applicant that they didn’t qualify for the job. You can also use this type of letter as a template and set it to send to a rejected applicant automatically.

An example of a short rejection letter:

“Hello NAME,

Thank you for applying for POSITION TITLE at our company. We reviewed your application, but we’ve decided to proceed with other candidates. We wish you the best on your search for your next career opportunity.”

You can also encourage the rejected applicant to apply again in the future to soften the blow.

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Expanded rejection letter

If you think sending a short rejecting letter is too harsh to a candidate that you’ve interacted a few times, you can go for an expanded rejection letter instead. This type of message is more personal and acknowledges the candidate’s effort and time.

An example of an expanded rejection letter goes like this:

“Hello NAME,

It was a pleasure to speak to you regarding the POSITION TITLE at our company. We decided to move on to other candidates, but we would like to thank you for taking the time to share your qualifications with us. We appreciate it, and we wish you the best with your job search.

You can add more details as you see fit.

Personalised rejection letter

These letters are for candidates that you’ve met and formed a relationship. After all they’ve done to attend the interviews, they don’t deserve a rejection letter from a ready-made template. In these letters, you can tell the candidate why you decided to proceed to other applicants and provide feedback based on their interview performance.

However, you should only send these letters after your ideal candidate accepts the job offer. It’s alright for the rejected applicant to reply but avoid having a conversation with these emails.


There’s nothing more frustrating than companies that don’t give replies to candidates. Make an effort to reply to job applicants as it could affect your employer branding.

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March 5, 2019