Rejection Letter Samples to Job Candidates

Use These Sample Rejection Letters to Politely Reject a Job Candidate

Female creative taking notes on paper
••• Klaus Vedfelt/ Taxi/ Getty Images

Do you need a sample rejection letter? Here are samples that you can use for the applicants who did not get the job. Use these sample letters to develop your own letters to politely and kindly turn candidates down. They deserve your best feedback so they know their status in the job search process.

Sending a rejection letter following a first interview is polite, kind, and professional. You do not want to leave your job candidates in the dark about the fact that you will not invite them to further participate in your selection process.

Employers owe candidates, who have invested a lot of time in the job application process with your company, a professional rejection letter. This letter tells him or her exactly where they stand in your selection process. Most job candidates will tell you that bad news is preferable to receiving no news at all.

Use these sample rejection letters as guides when you need to professionally, kindly, and clearly, end your applicant's candidacy for your open position.

Sample Rejection Letter

This sample rejection letter is for an applicant whom you’d like to hire in your company. His or her qualifications fell short of those of several other candidates for the current job opening. However, you've decided he or she is a good potential employee, the person interviewed well, and they seemed compatible with your organization's culture. Consequently, while you will not currently hire them, you want to remain on their radar as a potential employee.

Download the rejection letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Screenshot of a rejection letter sample
©TheBalance 2018 

Sample Rejection Letter (Text Version)

Marge Lee
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
555-555-5555
marge.lee@email.com

September 1, 2018

Jackson Applicant
123 Business Street
Business City, NY 12033

Dear Mr. Applicant,

We interviewed a number of candidates for the marketing coordinator position, and we have decided to offer another applicant the position. This letter is to let you know that you were not selected for the position for which you applied.

The interview committee was impressed with your credentials and experience. We’re offering you the opportunity to interview for a second job opening as a marketing lead in our company. Enclosed is a position description for your review.

If you decide that you are interested in talking with us about this second opening, please call or email Samuel Jones and we will schedule an interview at your earliest convenience. We are currently doing first-round interviews for this position.

Thank you so much for taking the time to come to Acme Office Supplies to meet our interview team. We enjoyed meeting you and our discussions.

Whatever you decide about interviewing for this second job opening, please feel free to apply for posted positions, for which you qualify, in our company in the future.

We wish you every personal and professional success with your job search and in the future. Thank you for your interest in our company.

Regards,

Marge Lee
HR Director for the Employee Selection Team

Sample Rejection Letter

This sample rejection letter is for an applicant who did not seem to be the type of employee who would fit well within your culture. You need to tell him or her that they were not selected to return for a second interview. But, you don't want to encourage them to spend the time applying again in the future. So, you leave out the encouragement sentiments.

Helen Whitebread
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
555-555-5555
helen.whitebread@email.com

September 1, 2018

Jackson Applicant
123 Business Street
Business City, NY 12033

Dear Mr. Applicant,

You have not been selected to return for a second interview so, at this time, your candidacy for our open marketing position is no longer under consideration.

The interview team enjoyed meeting you. They would also like to express their appreciation for the time you invested in applying and coming in for the interview. We know that this is difficult and time-consuming.

Thank you again for interviewing with the team for the marketing coordinator position.

Regards,

Helen Whitebread
HR Director on behalf of the Employee Selection Team

Conclusion

In any rejection letter, you have the option of conveying different messages to different candidates. Don't make the mistake of using a one-size, cookie-cutter letter that conveys identical sentiments to each candidate. Sometimes, you want to encourage the desired candidate to maintain a relationship with you. Sometimes, you believe the candidate is not a good fit for your organization.

You also do not owe the candidates an explanation about why they are no longer candidates. In many cases, the less you say, the better. Candidates easily misconstrue any communication from the potential employer. Don't give them something to push against.

Standard Application Acknowledgement Letter

More About Sample Candidate Rejection Letters

Please note that the information provided, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality. The site is read by a world-wide audience and ​employment laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources, to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct for your location. This information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance.