Candidate Rejection Letter Template
[City, State, and Zip Code]
Dear [Candidate Name],
Thank you so much for your interest in the [Job Title] role at [Company Name]. We appreciated your patience and time during the application [and/or] interview process and enjoyed meeting you to discuss your qualifications, and how they tie to the job.
We have decided to offer the position to another candidate who we feel is the best-qualified person for the job. Please know that we had many terrific and highly qualified candidates for this role, and the decision to go with someone else was an incredibly difficult one.
Thank you again so much for your interest in [Company Name]. We wish you all the best in your future!
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Notice the brevity of this candidate rejection letter template—you always want a rejection letter to be to the point because, at this juncture, the candidate who you’re letting down is eager for word about the role. You must deliver firm closure so that the candidate knows that it’s time to move on.
You must break the news in a gracious manner, so be sure to use a thankful tone. Keep in mind that the candidate has likely put forth a lot of energy trying to snag the job. It’s of the utmost importance that they continue to have a good impression of the company.
Note what’s missing here—there’s no mention of who got the job or any specific mention of who applied or interviewed. Never reveal this information as it’s confidential and irrelevant to the point of the letter.
Think twice before promising that you’ll keep the rejected candidate’s resume on hand, or about directing them to other current or future openings. You could create false hope for the candidate if you do one or both. In rare cases it’s acceptable to redirect a stellar candidate to a different job opening but use this offer sparingly so as not to create additional expectations.
When you create your candidate rejection letter template, take it to your legal department when you are done writing. You need to be sure it contains no language that could be deemed discriminatory.
Having a candidate rejection letter template on hand can be a major time saver since most of the information you need to communicate is already nailed down in the template. And they’re easy to customize. Say you hit it off in an interview with a candidate that you have to turn down—consider retooling the opening and closing thank you statements so that they’re more personalized to your experience with the candidate. That will go a long way towards leaving the candidate with a positive impression of the company.