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5 Tips to Write Respectable Rejection Email (With Samples)

5 Tips to Write Respectable Rejection Email

Writing a rejection email is never an easy task, especially knowing how much effort candidates put in the application and how competitive the job market has been due to the pandemic. How you handle a rejection is a critical aspect in the candidate’s experience and can make or break your employer brand. It is important to write a rejection email to all rejected candidates to show your appreciation, and to write one that is sensitive and does not burn bridges.

The Tone of Rejection Email

Although the email for rejected candidates always has a negative tinge, it is important to thank them, show appreciation and optimism, and maintain relationships with your candidates. Some candidates might not be a fit for the particular position; however, you do not want to burn bridges for other roles or opportunities that may arise in the future.

If the candidates are promising, you can encourage them to apply to other job vacancies you may have or inform them that the candidate’s profile will be saved for another position more appropriate to their skill sets.

Ideally, you want to keep a friendly and neutral tone while still including all the necessary information for the rejection, so that the candidate understands the decision you have made.

Certain cases require a little more effort from the recruiter’s stand point. Candidates who have reached the final stages of a recruitment process and have gone through several interviews and tests usually require treatment commensurate with the time and effort they have invested. The content should be more personalized, alluding to the specific reasons for the rejection and proposing particular areas for improvement.

Overall, rejection letters demonstrate that you appreciate the candidate’s time and effort. This also improves your candidate experience and employer brand, which can go a long way in building relationships with candidates and extending a talent pool for future opportunities. 

Tips to Write An Ideal Rejection Email

A rejection email might be unpleasant to write and unpleasant for the applicant to read – especially if you have already met in an interview. It is imperative to try to formulate the rejection email in a friendly and gentle way but not lose clarity. Here are some tips to do so.

  • Get straight to the point in a compassionate way. Be concise, clear, and straight to the point. Do not write multiple paragraphs only to include the rejection at the end. 
  • Give them feedback. You are welcome to give honest feedback to an applicant, whether it is about clarity in the CV or a performance aspect in the interview. In fact, good candidates usually appreciate genuine and constructive feedback, as it is an opportunity to improve professionally. 
  • Let them know that there might still be a chance. It might not have worked out with the particular role, however there might be other roles in the company or opportunities that arise in the future that this candidate can apply to. You want to keep them interested and encourage them to apply again. 
  • Be personal. Your applicants probably have spent hours preparing for the application and interviews. Let them know that you have spent time looking through their application, instead of sending a generic rejection email template. Avoid standard phrases wherever possible and give your email a sense of a personal touch. Your letter can be personalized according to which stage they have gone through in the recruitment process.
  • Thank them and wish them good luck. Somewhere in your email, you should thank the candidate for applying and wish them all the best in their next journey. 

Rejection is always there as part of the recruitment process, but you can minimize your rejection rate by utilizing software like Shortlyst that can optimize your recruitment funnel and help you find the most suitable candidates for your job vacancy. Learn more about how Shortlyst filters out top talents, automates candidate engagement, and reduces overall hiring time

Rejection Email Samples

Rejection on Application Document – Sample 1

“Dear [Candidate Name],

Thank you for your application and your interest in our company.

Due to the large number of applications received, we now, unfortunately, have to inform you that we can no longer consider you for the [Position Name] position. We are looking for ___ [It’s best to provide a reason eg. looking for someone with more experience]

We encourage you to apply again in the future, if you find an open role at our company that suits you. 

We thank you for your time spent and for your trust. We wish you all the best in your job search and future professional endeavors.

Regards,

[Your Name and Signature]”

Rejection on Application Document – Sample 2

“Dear [Candidate Name],

Thank you very much for taking the time to consider [Your Company Name].

We have reviewed your application and we’d like to inform you that we are not able to advance you to the next round for the [Position Name] position at this time.

We think you could be a great fit for other future openings with us and we will reach out to you if we find a great match. We will keep your profile in our database for potential opportunities in the future.

Thank you once again for applying to [Company Name] and we wish you all the best in your job search.

Regards,

[Your Name and Signature]”

Rejection After Interview – Sample 1 

“Dear [Candidate Name]

Thank you very much for the fruitful conversations, your interest in the [Position Name] position, and your patience. We were very pleased to get to know you personally.

Although your qualifications are undoubtedly very impressive, we regret to inform you that we have chosen to proceed with another candidate. We are looking for ___ [Provide a reason why eg. looking for someone with xyz skill sets].

We thank you for your time spent and for your trust. We wish you all the best for your future professional endeavors, and please stay in touch.

Sincerely,

[Your Name and Signature]”

Rejection After Interview – Sample 2

“Dear [Candidate Name],

Thank you very much for your application and a fruitful interview. We make decisions every day – even those that are neither easy nor pleasant for us. Unfortunately, we have to inform you that we are not able to advance you to the next round for the [Position Name] position. We were able to talk to a few other applicants who came closer to our needs and requirements for the role.

We thank you very much for the time and effort you have invested in the preparation of your application and interview with us. We regret not being able to send you any positive news. We wish you all the best and much success in your future career endeavors.

If you would like to receive feedback from our team, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always at your disposal for a feedback meeting.

Sincerely,

[Your Name and Signature]”

Rejection After Interview – 3

“Dear [Company Name],

Thank you very much for a great conversation during our interview. There are a number of things that we like about your profile; unfortunately, we do not think there is a great fit at this very moment. 

We encourage you to keep an eye on our job openings on our career site [Link to your career site]. We would be delighted if you apply again to other future openings if you find a role that suits you.

We are also happy to answer your questions if you would like any specific feedback about your application.

Thank you once again for your time and we wish you all the best.

Regards,

[Your Name and Signature]”

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Written by

Shortlyst Team

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