How to Write Job Rejection Emails to Applicants

As a human resources professional, you might be receiving various applications for a job opening at your company.

Each corporate job posting attracts approximately 250 resumes. Out of these, four to six candidates are called for interviews, and only one will be hired.

When you are rejecting so many candidates, it becomes difficult to send a job rejection email to every candidate. However, it is crucial and healthy to inform a job applicant if they are not selected for the position. This way, they can carry on with their job search.

Otherwise, applicants might spend more time on your job listing by sending follow-up emails or calling; only to find out that they are no longer in the running. When candidates have bad experiences like these, it can hurt your employer’s brand.

Sending a job rejection email is easier than you think. Let’s discuss how you can draft a rejection email that works best for your company and helps your candidates still feel valued, even in rejection.

What Is a Job Rejection Email?

A job rejection email is a message sent by an employer to a job applicant to inform them that they have not been selected for the position they applied for. The email typically explains the reasons for the rejection. It also offer suggestions for improving the applicant’s chances of success in future job applications.

It builds more transparency into the system when organisations communicate the reason for rejection to the candidate. Ghosting candidates without a reason certainly leaves them to figure out what the reason could have been.

It is professional courtesy to send a rejection email to candidates as soon as you know you won’t be moving forward with their application.

Importance of Sending a Rejection Email

According to a Workplace Trends study, 80% of job seekers would not apply for jobs at a company that didn’t follow up about their application.

By informing candidates that you will keep them in mind for other roles that may be a better fit, you can build your company’s goodwill. It also helps you build an image of an organization that empathizes with an individual. However, when sending a rejection letter, templatizing the mail only checks the box.  It does not make it sound real. What helps is if you can personalize it to some extent. It helps soften the blow and shows the candidate that you appreciate the time they spent learning about your organisation and applying for a job there.

Other benefits of sending a job rejection email include:

  • Professionalism: A rejection email is a professional way to communicate with candidates and helps to maintain goodwill. It shows that you respect the candidate’s time and effort and value their interest in working with your company.
  • Closure: Receiving a job rejection can be disappointing. So, it becomes important to provide candidates with closure so they can move on to other opportunities. A job rejection email helps to clarify the situation and allows candidates to plan their next steps.
  • Future opportunities: Even though a candidate might not fit for a particular role, they may be interested in future openings. By sending a job rejection email, you can encourage candidates to reapply in future job openings.
  • Legal considerations: In some cases, it may be legally required to notify candidates about their status in the hiring process. A job rejection email helps to document this communication. It ensures that you are in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Overall, sending a job rejection email is a courteous and professional way to communicate with candidates. It also helps to maintain positive relationships with potential future employees.

Tips to Write Rejection Emails to Applicants

Here are some tips for writing a candidate rejection email:

  • Be prompt: It is important to send rejection emails as soon as possible after the decision has been made. This conveys that you are efficient in your processes and that you respect the candidate’s time.
  • Be professional: While it can be difficult to deliver negative news, it is important to remain professional in your communication. Avoid using language that could be seen as harsh or dismissive and try to be as understanding as possible.
  • Explain the decision: Without going into detail, it can be helpful to provide some context for the decision. For example, you may say the candidate didn’t fit the opening or that another candidate had more relevant experience.
  • Offer feedback: If possible, try to provide some constructive feedback to the candidate. This can help them to understand what they could do differently in future to improve their chances of success.
  • Keep it brief: Job rejection emails don’t need to be lengthy, but they should be concise and to the point. A simple, straightforward message is often the most effective way to communicate the decision.
  • Be sincere: Above all, it is important to be sincere in your communication. Show appreciation for the candidate’s time and effort. Expressing hope that they will find a role that is a better fit for their skills is also crucial.

What to Include in a Job Rejection Email?

In general, a job rejection email should include the following elements:

  • A subject line that clearly indicates the email is a rejection.
  • A brief opening that thanks the candidate for their time and effort in applying for the position.
  • A statement that the candidate has not been selected for the role.
  • Information about the next steps, if applicable. This might include suggestions for other opportunities within the company. And also a request that the candidate keeps an eye on future job openings.
  • A closing that thanks the candidate again and wishes them luck in their job search.

It’s important to keep the email brief and to the point and to use a respectful and professional tone throughout. It is also a good idea to personalize the email, rather than using a generic template or language.

Job Rejection Email Sample

Subject: Your application for [Position Title]

Dear [Candidate],

Thank you for your interest in the [Position Title] position at [Company]. We appreciate the time and effort you put into your application and interview process.

After careful consideration, we have decided not to move forward with your candidature for this position. Here’s what our panellists had to say about your fitment in the context of the position of [position name]:

–          Lack of experience in [skill1], [skill2]
–          Inability to convey your prowess in content structuring

We understand that receiving a job rejection can be disappointing. However please trust that we hire on the basis of the minimum skills required to succeed in the given role.
We encourage you to keep an eye on future job openings within the company and wish you luck in your job search.

Thank you again for your time and effort, and we wish you luck in your job search.


[Your Name]


Candidates will always feel disappointed when they get a rejection letter. But what they should not feel is devalued or diminished. When writing a job rejection email, remember to be friendly, and open, and to include at least one personal touch. Take a few minutes to do those things, and you will find it easier to give bad news.

Job Rejection Email


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