It’s customary to send an applicant rejection letter email when you’re ready to notify a job applicant that you won’t be moving their application along any further in the hiring process. The delivery of the applicant rejection letter email in their Inbox alerts the applicant that their chance of getting the job have ended.
Applicant rejection letter emails should be very brief—one to two paragraphs at the most. Employ a courteous, thankful tone in your communication—you’re letting someone down, and the goal is to allow them to move forward with an impression of your company that is both positive and professional.
There’s a level of anonymity to applicant rejection letters that makes them easier to turn out than some other types of correspondence. Why is that? It’s because no relationship has typically been established prior to the sending of an applicant rejection letter email since the applicant typically hasn’t yet come in for interviews.
You start writing an applicant rejection letter email by specifying, in the subject heading, the applicant’s name, the title of the position applied for, and the company name. Personalize the greeting by writing the applicant’s name again, and thank them for their interest in the position and company. Next, state that after a review of their credentials, you’ve decided to not move forward with their application. Thank them for a second time and wish them the best in the future. Include your name, title, and company name in the sign-off.
That’s it! That’s about as complicated as an applicant rejection letter email needs to be. Check out the sample applicant rejection letter email below to get a feel for yours should look.
Applicant Rejection Letter Email
Subject line: Morgan Michaels – Head Barista at Sunrise Coffee
We appreciate your interest in Sunrise Coffee and the position of Head Barista, for which you applied.
We’ve carefully reviewed your credentials, and have decided to not proceed any further with your application. Thank you so much for taking the time to submit an application for consideration.
We greatly appreciate your interest in Sunrise Coffee and wish you all the best in your future endeavors! Long live caffeine.
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You’ll notice how short the applicant rejection letter email example is and that’s the goal – to make it short, and make it sweet! Get right down to business so that the applicant knows ASAP to move on with their career search. Your primary goal is to provide the applicant with closure.
Observe the email’s tone—it’s appreciative and polite. It’s important to reiterate how important tone is. The applicant must be left with a professional impression of your company so that there’s no negative reaction on their end toward your company.
Never mention any of the following in the email: who else applied, other candidate’s skill sets or where you are in the hiring process. This information doesn’t concern the applicant you are rejecting, and it should be kept confidential.
Proceed with caution when considering extending a helping hand, or word that will lessen the rejection’s sting. You might think to direct the applicant to another open position or offer to keep their resume at your side for future openings but unless it’s a perfect match you stand a chance of giving the applicant false hope if you do either.
But if you feel the applicant really could rock another open or future position, consider noting it in the email and provide further direction.
If you’re unsure about language in your applicant rejection letter email, deliver it to your legal department for a review. You have to be certain it contains no content that could be interpreted as discriminatory. There’s not a lot of room in an applicant rejection letter for any language that could be deemed controversial or offensive—you have a simple, rather impersonal message to get across. But it’s best to get a legal stamp of approval before sending. You never know what could boomerang back if you tee someone off!