An employment rejection letter lets applicants know they have not been chosen for a job. It gives your company a template to inform job candidates of bad news respectfully. It allows them to continue their job search instead of waiting to hear if they got a position with your company.
Treating a potential employee rejection can significantly impact your company’s reputation. Individuals you reject now may be talented people you may want to hire later when more positions are available.
A job rejection letter helps end the application process without simply “ghosting” rejected applications. You can get started drafting your rejection letter with this downloadable form.
What is an Employment Rejection Letter?
An employment rejection letter formally informs applicants they have not been picked for the position. A rejection letter after an interview is a courteous way of letting potential employees know they should continue their job search elsewhere.
It allows that person to move on without waiting to see if they will ever get a response.
A formal letter prevents the practice of ignoring applicants who don’t cut. Failing to contact applicants to let them know they have not been chosen is a common practice that breeds unhappiness with a company.
Applicants who don’t feel respected will likely share these sentiments with others and harm your company’s reputation.
With a job rejection template, you can create a simple and easy-to-use letter for your hiring process—and for a successful candidate, use a job offer letter template.
When to Use an Employment Rejection Letter?
Just as there are various application stages, there are ways to craft an employment rejection letter to suit each situation. Those who do not possess the necessary qualifications can receive an early letter that points this out.
It can also convey the organization looks forward to a more in-depth interview as the person’s experience grows.
Some candidates will be eliminated during phone calls or the first wave of face-to-face interviews. Explaining briefly why they weren’t selected for the next round demonstrates respect and professionalism.
By that same token, a more in-depth letter is appropriate for candidates considered deep into the process. After all, you may want to bring them back as their expertise grows.
It makes sense to craft an appropriate employment rejection letter for each stage of the hiring process.
Employment Rejection Letter Example
Below, you can see an example of an employment rejection letter for an unsuccessful candidate:
Importance of an Employment Rejection Letter
Although writing an employment rejection letter may be something decision-makers prefer to avoid, it can prove invaluable. By taking the time to fill out an appropriate employment rejection letter template, you will have taken an extra step your competitors may not.
These are reasons why sending a rejection letter is essential:
The talent pool for skilled positions can be limited, and people within a niche are likely to communicate. Shop talk typically involves employers and how they treat staff members and applicants.
A smartly crafted employment rejection letter keeps the door open to talented people who may be suitable hires later. That type of message resonates with applicants and others in the industry.
When applicants feel like their resume and efforts were appreciated, they are less likely to knock on your brand after missing opportunities. They are also more inclined to recommend your organization to other job seekers. When someone who doesn’t get hired maintains a positive perception of a brand, it speaks volumes about its practices.
People learn when an employment rejection letter provides positive feedback and reasons for not being hired. They can reflect and apply the feedback to improve their professionalism. Constructive feedback is a form of mentorship that can help people succeed.
How to Reject an Employee After an Interview
Working with an employment rejection letter template simplifies the process and helps decision-makers avoid errors and omissions.
Following these steps, you can include the necessary information candidates desire and demonstrate brand integrity after an interview.
Personalize the Post-Interview Rejection Letter
An exemplary employment rejection letter template allows decision-makers to tailor the messaging. Always include the candidate’s name, the position they applied for, and something specific from the conversation.
Including a particular reference from the interaction shows a level of thoughtfulness that won’t demoralize the employee.
Keep the Letter Concise
Briefly highlight key reasons the organization respectfully selected another applicant. Then point out the person’s strengths and areas of feedback about possible resume growth.
Demonstrate Compassion and Respect
Choosing your words to respect the person’s professional dedication and value them as prospective employees is critical. This may be accomplished by indicating you would be open to considering their candidacy after garnering more experience or credentials.
Consider Interview Feedback
If the reason for eliminating an employee from the process came down to the interview, providing feedback and pointers could be helpful. Delicately point out areas where they excelled during the interview and ways to polish other elements.
Note that people are understandably anxious during interviews, and you hope the feedback helps them secure a lucrative position.
Expedite the Letter
Once you have eliminated a person from the talent pool, fill out the employment rejection letter form as soon as possible. A prompt response lets people know where they stand.
Quick turnaround times show your organization understands the competitive job market and empathizes with people looking to further their careers.
How to Write a Rejection Letter for a Job
It is easier to use a template to create your document. You can edit and personalize the template, but you don’t have to start from scratch. Legal Templates has a free employment rejection letter template for you to use.
Below are the steps to get you started in the drafting process:
Step 1 – Format as a Formal Business Letter
A quality job applicant rejection sample is formatted as a formal business letter. It will start with the applicant’s name and address from their resume at the top. Other contact information you know may also be included.
Depending on your preferences, you may send this “letter” as an email, but this formal format delivers respect to the rejected applicant.
Personalize the letter to the person and the position, don’t send an identical email to several rejected applicants.
Step 2 – Use a Standard Salutation
Use a typical salutation such as “Dear Alice” to begin your letters. This simple addition puts their name right at the beginning and shows you care about them—even though you did not pick them for the job. Simple additions like this go a long way.
Step 3 – Thank the Applicant
The first sentence should thank the applicant for their time and application. A sentence like: “We greatly appreciate your application and your interest in our company” or “Thank you for applying for the position of [insert position].”
This simple thank you to show your company cares about the effort it took to apply.
Thank the applicant for their effort, but don’t make promises of future consideration.
Step 4 – State the Reason for the Rejection
The employment rejection letter should inform the applicant why they were denied the position. It should be carefully drafted and make the reason for the rejection very clear.
Do not state that you found a more qualified candidate, as this could result in a request for that individual’s qualifications.
Instead, statements that “many quality applicants were considered” or “we moved forward with another candidate” express the same sentiments without creating the same potential issues.
If an applicant does not meet the qualifications for the position, this may be included in the rejection letter. It helps the applicant know why they were rejected and may prompt them to get the experience they need for the future.
Step 5 – List the Next Steps
The final paragraph should encourage the employee to apply again in the future if you desire or say your goodbyes. This does not have to be complicated. Simple statements are often best and prevent any miscommunication.
You may also choose to:
- Keep the applicant in the hiring pool for the future
- Encourage the applicant to apply for a different position
- Ask that they apply again when they meet the qualifications for the position
You can format the end of the letter how you want to fit your individual needs.
Step 6 – Sign the Letter
A company representative should personally sign the letter and provide their title. This gives a personal touch to the letter that demonstrates your care.
When you’re ready to hire your successful applicant, use an employment contract to make it official.
Job Rejection Letter Sample
A standard employment rejection letter template can help you get started. You can download this free rejection letter template in Word or PDF format.
Employment Rejection Letter Tips
Filling out an employment rejection letter tends to be repetitive because employers may only select one or a few applicants from many. To help streamline the process, these are tips to consider.
- Personalize the Letter: It’s crucial to state the person’s name, the position they applied for, and the interview date. Without those elements, people feel like they received a bland form letter.
- Make Your Point: Don’t spend too much time expressing compassion. Applicants are anxious to know whether or not they got the job. Before providing other information, reach the point within the first sentence or two.
- Provide Feedback: Discuss the applicant’s strengths after explaining why someone else got the position. Also, note where they could augment their experience to be in a better position next time.
- Offer Context: Losing out on a position can be hard to swallow. However, job hunters may feel more hopeful when the employment rejection letter notes the ballpark number of applicants and their experience. It also takes some of the sting out of the lost opportunity.
- Wish Them Well: It’s essential to express a level of professional understanding and a sense you want others to succeed. State that you wish them well in securing a good position or words.