How to Write a Candidate Rejection Email

After completing a round of interviews, hiring managers must consider each applicant’s strengths and skill sets, and determine who will move on to the next round. However, before you proceed with top candidates, it’s important to let the others know you’ve decided not to move them to the next phase.
 

When composing a job rejection email template, it’s important to choose your words carefully. While the recipient may not welcome the news that they haven’t been selected for a role, being kind and considerate will ensure they still have a positive perception of your company.
 

Tips for Writing a Candidate Rejection Email

 

Why should I send a job rejection email?

 
A whopping 44% of candidates reported waiting as much as two weeks for a response and another 15% waited months, according to data from an Indeed survey. In the same survey, 55% of job seekers said the digital hiring process has made the experience more inefficient and their resume seems to disappear into a “black hole.” *
 

For an applicant who has been counting the days since sending their application, the waiting period after submitting an application can feel like a lifetime — and not receiving a response paints a negative image of your company’s hiring process.
 

Of course, if you have dozens of applicants who have applied for a role, sending personalized rejection messages to each person who is not selected for the job can seem like a tedious and time-consuming task. However, it’s crucial you don’t skip or delay this step. Here’s why:
 

  • A job rejection email shows the applicant you recognize the effort they put into applying and/or interviewing, and helps limit any negative feelings toward your company.
  • Notifying applicants will ensure they won’t be left waiting for an answer and may reduce the number of check-in emails you receive from those applicants.
  • If an applicant has impressed you with their skill set and you feel they’re a good culture fit despite not being the right match for the role you’re currently looking to fill, you can encourage them to apply for other positions within the company.

 

By creating a rejection email template, you can reduce the amount of time spent on this task while still providing applicants the information they need.
 

What should I include in a rejection email?

 
A thorough rejection email should include the following elements:
 

  • A “thank you”
    Always thank an applicant for their interest in the company and any time they spent completing an application or interviewing with staff. In addition to being polite, this message also shows applicants your organization values others’ time.
  • Personalization
    Use the applicant’s first name and the title of the position. If possible, you may also include a note from the conversation or mention a specific positive attribute you appreciated.
  • Feedback
    Applicants often value input from employers they’ve interviewed with because it provides insight into areas of improvement and may help them consider the next steps in their job search. For example, if you forgo a candidate in favor of someone with more experience, the applicant may choose to apply for positions better aligned with their career level.
  • Invitation to apply again
    If you feel a candidate is a good fit for the company in another capacity, let them know you would like for them to apply for other opportunities in the future. However, if you don’t feel an applicant is a good culture or skill fit, there’s no need to include this invitation in your message.

 

Job rejection template email examples

 
Here are two examples of emails employers can send to applicants who are not selected for a role.
 

Example rejection email for applications who are a good fit
Hi Ed,
 

Thank you so much for your interest in the Sales Manager position with XYZ Company. We appreciate you taking the time to visit our offices and interview with our team.
 

At this time, we have chosen to proceed with another candidate who has more leadership experience. However, we were impressed with your background and industry knowledge and feel you would be a great culture fit for our company.
 

We will be posting a few sales positions in the coming weeks, and hope you’ll consider applying again. Otherwise, we wish you the best of luck in your career endeavors.
 
 

Thank you!
Jane Chan
Executive Director of Sales
 

Example rejection email for applicants who are not a good fit
Hi Ed,
 

Thank you so much for your interest in the Sales Manager position with XYZ Company. We appreciate you taking the time to visit our offices and interview with our team.
 

While we were impressed with your skill set, we have chosen to proceed with another candidate who has more leadership experience.
 

Again, we appreciate your time, and we wish you the best of luck in your career endeavors.
 
 

Sincerely,
Jane Chan
Executive Director of Sales
 

A rejection email is not required, but sending this message can ensure applicants aren’t left wondering where they stand and help ensure your company retains its positive reputation. And by creating a template, you can make the process of notifying applicants faster and easier.
 

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*Decipher/FocusVision on behalf of Indeed

*Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your career or legal advisor, and none of the information provided herein guarantees a job offer.