Rejection Letter Samples to Job Candidates

Use These Sample Rejection Letters to Politely Reject a Job Candidate

Female creative taking notes on paper
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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.

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. Candidates will tell you that bad news is preferable to 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 qualifications fell short of those of several other candidates for the current opening. However, you've decided he is a good potential employee, he interviewed well, and he seemed compatible with your organization's culture.


Name of Applicant

Applicant's Address

Dear (Applicant Name):

We interviewed a number of candidates for the (Name of Job) 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 (Job Title) 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 (Name) 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 (Company Name) 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.


Real Person's Name and Signature

Example: 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 that he was not selected to return for a second interview. But, you don't want to encourage him to spend the time applying again in the future.


Name of Applicant

Applicant's Address

Dear (Applicant Name):

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.


Helen Whitebread

HR Director on behalf of the Employee Selection Team


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 the identical sentiments to each candidate.

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

Disclaimer: Please note that Susan Heathfield makes every effort to offer accurate, common-sense, ethical Human Resources management, employer, and workplace advice on this website, but she is not an attorney, and the content on the site is not to be construed as legal advice. The site has a world-wide audience and employment laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country, so the site cannot be definitive on all of them for your workplace. When in doubt, always seek legal counsel.

The information on the site is provided for guidance only, never as legal advice.