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Writing a Rejection Letter

How you treat candidates for your jobs is incredibly important. When reviewing CVs and cover letters you will undoubtedly come across numerous applications that are not fitting for the role. However, the steps that you take from here will influence how those candidates perceive your company and whether or not they apply for future vacancies.

Sending a candidate rejection letter

Also known as a “thanks but no thanks” letter, candidate rejection letters explain to the candidate that he or she was unsuccessful for the position they applied for.

They are a great way to engage with an unsuccessful candidate as they have been clearly communicated with and know where they stand with regards to the position. In addition, they will not be left in the dark following the application procedure.

How to write a thank you letter

Start by opening the letter with a thank you. Thank the individual for their application and explain that this time around they were unsuccessful for the position.

If you feel that the candidate would be useful for a future position then do not fail to mention this in your letter. Otherwise simply thank the applicant for their time and explain that unfortunately they were unsuccessful for the role. do not include such information if it is not true as it will mislead the applicant.

Don’t waffle in the letter. Be direct and to the point, kindly explaining they didn’t land the position.

Typical layout of a rejection letter:


Name of applicant

Applican’s address

Dear (name of applicant)

Explanation regarding the position interviewed for, and the purpose of the letter (to clarify that the individual has not been selected for the position).

Thank the individual for their time and explain that you were happy to meet them for interview.

From here, if this is the truth, explain to them that you will be happy to receive applications for future vacancies.

Wish them luck and success for the personal and professional futures.

Close the letter

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