7 Rejection Letter Samples to Send Unsuccessful Applicants

Sending a proper rejection letter or email is important when responding to unsuccessful applicants. In addition to freeing up resources and allowing employers to focus on other candidates, rejection letters help alleviate disappointment or confusion. Using rejection letter samples make it easier to send a clear message to each job seeker, which can build a positive reputation for your brand and help attract potential employees in the future.

 

There are several things to consider when composing a rejection letter or template. If you’re unsure of where to start, everything you need to craft your document is outlined below—with sample letters included.

 

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What is a rejection letter?

A rejection letter is an official document sent to candidates who weren’t considered the best fit for an open position after applying or interviewing. However, it can also be sent in response to applications that weren’t selected for any reason—the employer’s discretion is final.

 

Rejection letters typically contain the following basic details:

 

  • Company name
  • Candidate name
  • Contact information for hiring or management staff
  • Job title or position
  • Date of application or interview
  • Reason for rejection

Rejection letters can vary in length depending on how much information you wish to share with a given candidate. You can also include tips for improvement in a polite manner. Some employers prefer to send rejection letters via email, while others opt to send a rejection letter by postal mail for its sense of professionalism.

 

Types of rejection letters

Rejection letters can be sent for a variety of reasons. Here are several types of scenarios an employer may encounter:

 

  • Unqualified applicant: The applicant is rejected because they lack the necessary qualifications or are less qualified than desired.
  • Mismatched applicant: The applicant isn’t suitable for the specific job, but another open position may be right for their skill set.
  • Internship rejection: The applicant isn’t a good fit for an internship. Possible reasons for this type of rejection are mismatched time commitments or expectations of compensation.
  • Post-interview rejection: The applicant demonstrated poor communication skills or left a negative impression during the interview process.
  • Internal candidate rejection: A candidate working for your business or organization applied for a position outside of company boundaries, particularly for a role that excludes current employees.
  • Late application: The applicant has the desired qualifications but applied too late to be evaluated with comparable talent. If the candidate is still interested, you might assist them with early resubmission for a future position.
  • Undisclosed reason: The applicant has been rejected, but your company doesn’t comment on the nature of the rejection.

How employers benefit from rejection letter templates

Efficiency is one of the biggest benefits of using rejection letter samples. Using a template rejection letter allows employers to spend more time reviewing other suitable applicants.

 

Since templates are easily customizable, they help streamline your hiring workflow. Many of the basic details in sample rejection letters don’t change from candidate to candidate, so it’s much faster to tweak templates according to the type of response needed than to create new ones every time.

 

Templates are also good for including job-seeking advice that helps candidates move forward after receiving your rejection letter. Unsuccessful applicants can then use the rejection as an opportunity to change certain aspects of their career path or reevaluate what they want from a position.

 

Tips for writing a good rejection letter

A rejection letter should be honest, clear and to the point. How you communicate within it can reflect positively or negatively on your business, so it’s important to be professional in both tone and language used. Other helpful tips include:

 

  • Address rejection ASAP: Not receiving feedback or any explanation for the rejection leaves candidates wondering what went wrong, which may result in loss of productivity at their current position, unnecessary stress or even depression. A clear rejection letter lets candidates know where they stand and stops them from waiting around for updates, especially when they’re applying or interviewing for multiple jobs.
  • Avoid unnecessary fluff: While many candidates might appreciate sincere personal thanks, it’s best to keep asides to a minimum and stay away from making any kind of excuses.
  • Use a template: Rejection letters are relatively short but still need to provide pertinent details about why a candidate isn’t considered for employment or another role. A template provides enough customization options to prevent your letter from sounding generic, and it can also cut down on typos or unprofessional gaffes.

Rejection letter samples

You can use one of the following rejection letter samples as-is or tweak it further to create original templates. If writing a traditional letter, include a formal header (first and last name, address, contact information, etc.); if writing an email, put the job title or position as the subject line.

 

Sample letter #1

Dear [applicant name],

 

We interviewed a number of candidates for [job title or position], and we’ve decided to move forward with another candidate.

 

Although your interview demonstrated your credentials and experience well, [reason for rejection]. However, we’d like to offer the opportunity to interview for a second position as [job position or title]. We’ve enclosed a job description for you to review.

 

If you decide you’re interested in talking with us about this second opening, please contact me at [email and/or phone number] to schedule an interview at your earliest convenience. First-round interviews are currently in progress for this position.

 

Thank you so much for your interest in joining [your company’s name] and taking the time to meet our interview team. If you qualify in the future, please feel free to apply for other open positions with our company.

 

We wish you the best of luck with your job search. Once again, thank you for your interest in our company.

 

Regards,

 

[your first and last name]

 

[your job title or position]

 

Sample letter #2

Dear [applicant name],

 

We thank you for applying for an internship at [your company’s name]. Regrettably, we only require one intern, and we received a large volume of applications. After a vigorous selection process, we’re writing to inform you that your application for an internship was unsuccessful.

 

We decided to proceed with another candidate because [reason for rejection]. As a result, that candidate was better suited for our current opening.

 

We encourage you to apply for another internship in the summer, at which time we’ll be hiring three interns. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,

 

[your first and last name]

 

[your job title or position]

 

Sample letter #3

Dear [applicant name],

 

Thank you for your application for the [job position or title] at [your company’s name]. We really appreciate your interest in joining our company, and we’re pleased that you decided to invest time and effort in applying for one of our positions.

 

We carefully reviewed a large number of applications; unfortunately, at this time we won’t be able to invite you to the next stage of the hiring process. Though your resume was impressive, we have decided to move forward with a candidate whose qualifications are better suited to this particular role.

 

However, we hope you’ll apply again in the future if you see a job opening more suited to your qualifications.

 

If you have any questions or need additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact me by email at [email address] or phone: [phone number].

 

We wish you much success in your future endeavors.

 

Once again, thank you for your interest in working for our company.

 

Sincerely,

 

[your first and last name]

 

[your job title or position]

 

[email signature and contact information]

 

Sample letter #4

Dear [applicant name],

 

Thank you for your interest in working as a [job title or position]. Unfortunately, we’ve decided to move forward with another candidate for this position.

 

We appreciate the effort you put into your application and your desire to take on a new challenging role, but at this time we’re looking for someone with [list relevant qualifications].

 

Based on your skills and the experience you have in your role as [candidate’s current job title or position], we hope you’ll consider applying for [alternative job title or position] as soon as we begin accepting applications on [date]. Please don’t hesitate to apply for any other positions that interest you.

 

Our staff at [your company’s name] wishes you all the best.

 

Regards,

 

[your first and last name]

 

[your job title or position]

 

[email signature and contact information]

 

Sample letter #5

Dear [internal candidate name],

 

We sincerely thank you for taking the time to apply and meet with our team about the [job title or position]. We enjoyed learning more about your past achievements as well as your skills and qualifications.

 

We regret to inform you that we’ve selected another candidate. We received many applications at [your company’s name] from experienced and qualified applicants, and competition is extremely high.

 

In the event any openings come up, we’ll keep your information on file.

 

Please feel free to contact me for more detailed feedback about our hiring process.

 

Regards,

 

[your first and last name]

 

[your job title or position]

 

[email signature and contact information]

 

Sample letter #6

Dear [applicant name],

 

I want to thank you for your interest in [job title or position] within the [department name], as well as the time you devoted to the interview process.

 

Although your [skills and/or qualifications] were very impressive, we’ve chosen a candidate who has more [qualifications or experience]. However, we’d like to keep your resume on file in case a position better suited to your talents becomes available. You’re welcome to reapply at that time.

 

Additionally, you may be able to gain more [lacking skill or qualification] experience through working with [recommended mentor].

 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [phone number and/or email address].

 

Sincerely,

 

[your first and last name]

 

[your job title or position]

 

Sample letter #7

Dear [applicant name],

 

We appreciate your interest in [job title or position]. We ended up selecting another candidate, but we appreciate your interest.

 

In the coming months, [your company’s name] will be advertising more positions. If you’re still interested at that time, we encourage you to apply again.

 

Best of luck with your job search, as well as your personal and professional endeavors.

 

Regards,

 

[your first and last name]

 

[your job title or position]

 

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