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How to Craft Effective Job Rejection Emails

Job rejection emails are a standard part of any recruitment process, but unfortunately, many companies fail to prioritize this critical step. 

Statistics show that over 75% of job-seekers never hear back from an employer after applying for a job. And 60% never receive any feedback after an interview. 

However, ignoring job-seekers can damage your company’s reputation as disappointed candidates share their negative experiences. Therefore, you must be mindful and learn how to write job rejection emails.

This post will cover how to write job rejection emails that impress applicants and reflect well on your company culture and overall image.

What to Include in a Rejection Email?

When writing a rejection email, you must maintain a professional and formal tone. Here’s a basic structure you can follow:

  1. Greeting: This is where you address the recipient politely, using their appropriate title or name.
  2. Appreciation: Here, you express your gratitude for their application, interest, or effort. 
  3. Announcement of Decision: This is where you gently say the candidate has been rejected.
  4. Reason (Optional): This section provides a brief, general reason for the rejection. 
  5. Encouragement or Best Wishes: Here is where you offer encouragement or wish them the best in their future endeavors. 
  6. Closure: This is your email conclusion. If applicable, this is also where you invite them to apply or contact you again in the future.
  7. Signature: This is your official sign-off. It includes your name and any relevant contact information or signature block.

Here’s an example from a SaaS SEO agency. The job rejection email contains the majority of the components.

Following this structure will help ensure your rejection email is effective in conveying the intended message. 

Why Send Job Rejection Emails?

You must understand that sending job rejection emails isn’t only about delivering bad news. It’s also about maintaining professionalism and building positive relationships that can benefit both parties in the long run. 

Sending rejection emails demonstrates your organization’s professionalism and appreciation for the candidate’s time and effort. Even if they weren’t successful in their application, providing closure shows that you value their application and the time they invested in the recruitment process.

That can reflect on your employer’s brand. Treating candidates respectfully, even in rejection, contributes to a positive reputation for your organization. On the other hand, ignoring candidates or providing impersonal rejections can damage your employer’s brand and deter top talent from applying in the future.

The following tweet, for instance, could damage the organization’s reputation if the candidate mentions it. This candidate’s experience gained widespread attention after being featured in the Newsweek magazine and going viral online.

Also, remember that job candidates could potentially be future customers, clients, or business partners. So, maintaining a positive relationship can lead to future opportunities, referrals, or positive word-of-mouth about your organization.

Tips for Writing a Good Candidate Rejection Email

So, how do you write job rejection letters? Using best practices can help you convey the rejection effectively and respectfully.

Here are tips to help you write an effective rejection email:

  1. Be Timely: Send the rejection email as soon as the difficult decision has been made. Delaying the notification can prolong uncertainty for the candidate and diminish the overall candidate experience.
  2. Personalize the Message: Use the candidate’s name and mention specific details from their application or interview to show that you carefully evaluated their candidacy.
  3. Provide Clear Feedback (optional): If possible, offer constructive feedback on why they weren’t selected. Keep it objective and focus on areas they can improve rather than personal critiques. However, if providing feedback isn’t feasible or appropriate, it’s okay to skip this step.
  4. Keep It Concise: While it’s important to be respectful, avoid overly lengthy explanations. Keep the email concise and to the point, delivering the news clearly and straightforwardly.
  5. Offer Encouragement: Even though it’s a rejection, offer words of encouragement and wish them success in their future endeavors. This shows empathy. You can also encourage them to follow your company on LinkedIn or sign up for your newsletter. This way, they can stay updated on any future opportunities from your company.
  6. Leave the Door Open (if applicable): If appropriate, mention that you will keep their application on file for future opportunities or encourage them to apply again in the future. This leaves the door open for potential future engagement. 
  7. Close Professionally: End the email with a polite closing, such as “Best regards” or “Sincerely,” followed by your name and any relevant contact information or signature block.

Remember that delivering a rejection is never easy, but by following these tips, you can ensure that the candidate feels respected and valued throughout the process.

To ensure your emails look professional and are delivered well, you can use email marketing platforms like GetResponse. You can use them both for your HR communication and general email marketing campaigns.

Candidate Rejection Email Templates

The emails below can be sent after employment rejections:

1. For Those Who Are Not a Good Fit Based on Sent Resume

Here’s a template you can use as a guide for writing your rejection email:

Subject: Application Status Update – [Position Title]

Dear [Candidate’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to personally reach out and thank you for your interest in the [Position Title] role at [Company Name]. We sincerely appreciate the time and effort you invested in the application process.

After careful consideration and review of all applicants, we have concluded that your qualifications and experience may not be the best match for the specific requirements of this position. We recognize that this decision may be disappointing, but please know that it is not a reflection of your skills or abilities.

We genuinely value your interest in joining our team and encourage you to explore other opportunities with [Company Name] in the future. Your application will remain on file, and we will keep you in mind for any suitable positions that may arise.

Thank you once again for considering a career journey with [Company Name]. We wish you all the best in your job search and future career endeavors.

Warm regards,

[Your Name] 

[Your Title] 

[Company Name]

2. After the Final Interview

The following is a rejection letter template sent via email following an interview:

Dear [Candidate’s Name],

We appreciate you coming in for the [Position Title] interview at [Company Name] on Tuesday. It was a pleasure to discuss your experience and qualifications with you.

I regret to inform you that another candidate has been selected for the position after careful consideration. However, I hope this does not deter you from applying for a position with [Company Name]. Please consider reapplying with us at a later date.

May your job hunt be filled with success.


[Your Name] 

[Your Title] 

[Company Name]


Employers should provide updates to improve their hiring process and show respect to candidates. That’s why they should know how to write job rejection emails.

Maintaining an air of professionalism will go a long way toward making prospects feel valued. Personalizing, being empathetic and providing constructive criticism help as well. 

Overall, with a good job rejection email, you can improve your company’s image. You can get better employees–and even future customers or business partners–down the road.

Author bio: Meet Michal Leszczynski, Head of Content Marketing and Partnerships at GetResponse. With 10+ years of experience, Michal is a seasoned expert in all things online marketing. He’s a prolific writer, skilled webinar host, and engaging public speaker. Outside of business hours, Michal shares his wealth of knowledge as an Email Marketing lecturer at Kozminski University in Warsaw. You can reach out and connect with Michal on LinkedIn.

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