Nobody likes being the bearer of bad news, but rejection letters are an essential part of the hiring process. Rejection letters are your company’s last opportunity to build good will with the candidate and establish your organization as an “employer of choice.” Rejection letters show your company’s professionalism and genuine consideration for people’s time and effort, and leave even rejected candidates with amicable feelings toward your organization. When drafting your candidate rejection letter, keep the following points in mind:

  • Keep rejection letters short and simple. Avoid going into too much detail by only including information essential to the candidate.
  • Personalize the letter as much as possible. Always address the candidate by name and refer to the position for which they were applying.
  • Be respectful and considerate. Remember that while this may be a simple candidate rejection letter to you, this letter will be an enormous disappointment to the person who receives it. Thank the candidate for their time, interest, and effort throughout the application and interview process.
  • Consider if the candidate would be a good fit for another position within the company or would be a good candidate to keep on file for future openings. If so, invite them to reapply in the future.
  • To soften the blow, include a sentence acknowledging their skills, qualifications, experience, or enthusiasm.
  • In closing, wish the candidate luck in their future endeavors.
  • End the letter professionally by closing with “sincerely” or “best wishes.”

While rejections by nature are disheartening, following the above guidelines will help you craft the most professional and considerate letter to inform your unselected candidates of your final hiring decision.

Written by Katie Fidler

Investing in a Lifetime of Success,

Angela Roberts


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