Sample Rejection Letters

Let Applicants Who Didn't Get the Job Down Easy

Want to professionally, thoughtfully, and kindly reject job applicants? You can use these sample rejection letters as a guide. These samples will assist you to reject job applicants: when they apply, after the interview, and when not selected for the job.

You owe your job candidates professionally communicated rejections at each step of the hiring process. Don't allow them to feel that their efforts have disappeared down a dark hole when they hear nothing from you for weeks. There is nothing more unkind than to leave a candidate waiting and wondering.

Yes, of course, you're busy, but, busy is a poor excuse to fail to treat your job candidates with all due respect. Use these sample rejection letters as a guide while you develop the employment letters that you use in your organization.

How to Write Rejection Letters

Wonder why you would send professional rejection letters to job applicants ​when so many employers don't? Sending rejection letters to job applicants who were not selected for the job is an extra, but positive step, your company can take to build goodwill with candidates.

Professional, thoughtful rejection letters help establish your organization as an employer of choice. See how to write a professional rejection letter—and find out the big why.

When Not Selected for an Interview

It's a kindness on the part of the employer to communicate with job candidates at each step of your hiring process. Candidates invest incredible amounts of time in applying for jobs. They are owed respectful communication.

Here's a sample rejection letter to let an applicant know that he or she was not selected for a job interview. You have the opportunity in these cases to use more of a form letter because you have not yet developed a relationship with the candidate. 

At this stage of the hiring process, to save your staff time yet still respond to every candidate who applies, you may also send these rejection letters automatically and electronically. 

After a Job Interview

In many companies, a job applicant is invited for an initial interview during which a basic assessment of his or her skills, experience, and potential cultural fit occurs. In some companies, one individual conducts this interview. Increasingly, companies recognize the power of a candidate meeting more employees. This is a sample rejection letter for a candidate who did not qualify for a second interview.

After Second Interview

Do you need a sample job rejection letter? This sample job rejection letter is for candidates who interviewed with your organization twice. It is painful to send a job rejection letter to a candidate whom you found qualified enough to tap for a second interview. But, it happens. Use this sample job rejection letter to professionally and politely, with care and concern, tell second interview candidates that they did not get the job.

Candidates You Would Hire for the Right Job

Here is a sample rejection letter for an applicant you’d like to hire in your company. You had a more qualified applicant for the current opening, but you'd consider this candidate for a different position.