Crafting Professional Rejection Letters: Samples and Best Practices

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The guide outlines all the information employers and HR managers need to know to craft a rejection letter, including sample letters to help you get started.

What is a rejection letter?

A rejection letter is an official document that notifies candidates that they have not been selected for a job after applying or interviewing. It may also be sent to applicants who were not chosen for reasons at the employer's discretion.

The following basic details are typically included in rejection letters:

  • Company name
  • Candidate name
  • Contact information for hiring or management staff
  • Job title or position
  • Date of application or interview
  • Reason for rejection

The length of rejection letters may differ depending on how much information you want to convey to a specific candidate. It's possible to provide constructive feedback courteously. Some employers send rejection letters by email, while others prefer to mail them for a more professional appearance.

Types of rejection letters

Rejection letters can be sent for a variety of reasons. Here are several types of scenarios an employer may encounter:

  • Unqualified applicant: The applicant has been rejected due to inadequate qualifications or less than the desired level of qualification.

  • Mismatched applicant: The applicant may not be a good fit for the current job opening, there might be another available position that aligns better with their skill set.

  • Internship rejection: There are various reasons why the applicant may not be a suitable fit for the internship, such as conflicting availability or different compensation expectations.

  • Post-interview rejection: During the interview process, the applicant either showed inadequate communication skills or created a negative impression.

  • Internal candidate rejection: A person who works for your company applied for a job at another place. They cannot work at both places.

  • Late application: Although the applicant meets the desired qualifications, their application was submitted too late to be evaluated alongside other equally qualified candidates. If the applicant is still interested, you can help them submit their application early for future job openings.

  • Undisclosed reason: Your company has rejected the applicant, but they do not provide any information regarding the specific reasons for the rejection.

How employers benefit from rejection letter templates

Using rejection letter samples can greatly improve efficiency by allowing employers to spend more time reviewing other qualified applicants.

Using templates can make your hiring process more efficient because they are customizable. Often, the details in rejection letters remain the same for each candidate, so modifying a template for the appropriate response is quicker than creating a new letter every time.

In addition to rejecting candidates, templates can provide job-seeking advice, allowing unsuccessful applicants to use the experience as an opportunity for career growth by reevaluating their career path or identifying what they want from a position.

Tips for writing a good rejection letter

When writing a rejection letter, it's important, to be honest, clear, and concise in your communication. Your language and tone should be professional to leave a positive impression on your business. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.

  • Address rejection ASAP: When candidates don't receive any feedback or explanation for their rejection, they feel unsure and confused about what went wrong. This can lead to decreased productivity at their current job, added stress, or even depression.

    On the other hand, a clear rejection letter provides candidates with an understanding of their status. It prevents them from waiting for updates, particularly when applying or interviewing for multiple roles.

  • Avoid unnecessary fluff: Limiting personal comments and avoiding making excuses when expressing gratitude to candidates is advisable.

  • Use a template: To provide pertinent details about why a candidate is not considered for employment or another role, rejection letters should be relatively short. You can use a template that offers customization options to prevent your letter from sounding generic and help you avoid typos or unprofessional mistakes.

Rejection letter samples

job description

You may utilize any of the given rejection letter samples either as it is or customize it as per your requirement. Ensure to add a proper header including first and last names, addresses, contact details, etc., if drafting a formal letter or put the job title/position as the subject line if composing an email.

Sample letter #1

Dear [applicant name],

We conducted interviews with multiple candidates for [job title or position] and have chosen to proceed with another candidate.

Thank you for showcasing your credentials and experience during the interview. However, we regret that we cannot move forward now. On a positive note, we would like to consider you for another position as [job position or title]. Please review the enclosed job description and let us know if you want an interview.

If you are interested in discussing the second opening with us, please get in touch with me at [email and phone number] to schedule an interview as soon as possible. Please note that first-round interviews for this position are already underway.

Thank you for your interest in joining [your company’s name] and for meeting with our interview team. If you meet the qualifications for future open positions, we encourage you to apply again.

We wish you the best of luck with your job search. Once again, thank you for your interest in our company.


[your first and last name]

[your job title or position]

Sample letter #2

Dear [applicant name],

Thank you for being so interested in interning at [your company’s name]. Unfortunately, we received many applications and can only accept one intern. After a thorough evaluation, we regret we cannot offer you the internship position.

We decided to proceed with another candidate because [reason for rejection]. As a result, that candidate was better suited for our current opening.

Please consider applying for another internship during the summer. We will be hiring three interns at that time. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to ask.


[your first and last name]

[your job title or position]

Sample letter #3

Dear [applicant name],

We appreciate your application for the [job position or title] role at [your company's name]. Thank you for your interest in joining our company, and we are glad you dedicated your time and effort to apply for one of our positions.

We regret to inform you that, after a thorough review of numerous applications, we have decided not to proceed with your application to the next stage of the hiring process at this time. Though your resume was impressive, we have decided to move forward with a candidate whose qualifications are better suited to this particular role.

We encourage you to apply again in the future if you come across a job opening that better matches your qualifications.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or require further information. You can reach me via email at [email address] or phone at [phone number]. We wish you much success in your future endeavors.

Once again, thank you for your interest in working for our company.


[your first and last name]

[your job title or position]

[email signature and contact information]

Sample letter #4

Dear [applicant name],

Thank you for applying for the [job title or position]. We regret to inform you that we have selected another candidate for the position.

We appreciate the effort you have put into your application and your interest in a new challenging role. However, we're currently seeking someone with [mention specific qualifications].

Your skills and experience in your current role as [candidate’s current job title or position] make you a strong candidate for [alternative job title or position] when we start accepting applications on [date]. Feel free to apply for any other positions that catch your interest.

Our staff at [your company’s name] wishes you all the best.


[your first and last name]

[your job title or position]

[email signature and contact information]

Sample letter #5

Dear [internal candidate name],

Thank you for applying and meeting with our team regarding the [job title or position]. We appreciate the opportunity to learn about your past accomplishments, skills, and qualifications.

We are sorry to inform you that we have chosen another candidate. We received numerous applications from skilled and experienced applicants at [your company’s name], and the competition was tough.

We will keep your information in our records if there are any new job opportunities. Don't hesitate to contact me for more information about our hiring procedure.


[your first and last name]

[your job title or position]

[email signature and contact information]

Sample letter #6

Dear [applicant name],

Thank you for your interest in the [department name] position of [job title] and for the time you dedicated to the interview process.

While we were impressed with your [skills and/or qualifications], we have selected a candidate with more [qualifications or experience]. However, we would like to keep your resume on file in case a more suitable position becomes available in the future. You are welcome to reapply at that time.

Additionally, you may be able to gain more [lacking skill or qualification] experience through working with [recommended mentor].

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [phone number and/or email address].


[your first and last name]

[your job title or position]

Sample letter #7

Dear [applicant name],

Thank you for your interest in [job title or position]. Unfortunately, we have chosen a different candidate, but we appreciate your interest.

More job openings will be at [company name] in the next few months. If you are still interested, we encourage you to apply again.

Best of luck with your job search and your personal and professional endeavors.


[your first and last name]

[your job title or position]

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Rejection letters are an important part of the recruitment process. The sample rejection letters above provide guidance and the right words to say when declining a job application. Rejection letters should be personalized, polite, and professional to leave a positive impression on candidates even if they weren’t selected. Sending timely and well-written rejection letters can show candidates that their skills and experience were appreciated, leaving a positive impression of your company.

We hope these samples have given you some ideas and inspiration for writing your rejection letter. Writing a clear, concise, and polite rejection letter can help maintain an applicant's interest in future job opportunities.

Topic: HRM
Rinaily Bonifacio

Written by:

Rinaily Bonifacio

Rinaily is a renowned expert in the field of human resources with years of industry experience. With a passion for writing high-quality HR content, Rinaily brings a unique perspective to the challenges and opportunities of the modern workplace. As an experienced HR professional and content writer, She has contributed to leading publications in the field of HR.


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