Tough Stuff: How to Write a Job Application Rejection Letter for an Applicant

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5 MIN READ

As many hiring and recruitment staff will tell you, many job applicants do not successfully pass the application process. There are many reasons behind not getting accepted: they could be underqualified for a position; overqualified and firm on a salary that’s way above the job position’s pay grade; or their personality exam for employment or pre-employment integrity test suggest they may not be a good addition to the company.

Regardless of the reason, it’s important to let applicants know that they didn’t get the job. While some companies tend to ghost candidates after certain steps of the hiring process, nowadays it’s important to let applicants know whether or not they should hope they earned the position.

Writing a rejection letter for job applicants may be tough, but it’s a lot better than simply ceasing contact with them. For the applicant, they may be in a difficult financial situation and the sooner you let them know that you will not be hiring them, the sooner they can go back to finding other job prospects. On your part, not writing a rejection letter can be a sign of disorganization as no one bothered to get back to applicants.

So for recruiters who have never written a rejection letter, it’s best to start doing so as soon as possible. Here’s how to write an applicant rejection letter you can send via regular mail or email.

Basic Job Application Rejection Letter Format

Here’s what a basic job application rejection letter should look like.

(Date)
(Name of Applicant)

(FOR REGULAR MAIL: Applicant's Address)

Dear (Applicant),

Thank you for your interest in (Company Name) and your application for the position of (Position They Applied For).

After reviewing your application and all other applications received for the same position, we regret to inform you that yours was not selected for further consideration.

We appreciate the time you invested in your application. We encourage you to apply for posted and advertised positions in our company, for which you qualify, in the near future.

We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Regards,
(Recruiter's Name)
(Position)

It’s straight to the point, succinct, and doesn’t offer false sympathy. This letter does not offer false hope for the future, but it provides the rejected applicant the hope to apply again in the future should they want to re-apply after improving their resume.

For more information and inquiries about personality tests, don’t hesitate to contact Aptitude today.

3 people looking at paperwork

Job Application Rejection Letter with Explanation

If the basic format is a little cold to match your company’s voice and culture, then a better way to word your rejection while still being straight to the point is to add an explanation why the applicant was rejected. Keep your explanations straight to the point.

Also, should you decide to go for this format, every letter must be written specifically to the applicant. Unlike the basic format that can be used for all applicants, the reason for their rejection may not be similar. For reasons like budget cuts or internal hires, using the same explanation may work. But if you did not hire an applicant because of something in their application, you cannot use the same letter for applicants.

Here’s an example of a rejection letter with an explanation for someone who has less experience than most of the other applicants for a managerial position.

(Date)
(Name of Applicant)

(FOR REGULAR MAIL: Applicant's Address)

Dear (Applicant),

Thank you for your interest in (Company Name).

We have reviewed your application for the position of (Position They Applied For). We regret to inform you that we will not be moving forward with your application at this time.

Though your qualifications are impressive, we have received applicants from many more experienced candidates, some with extensive experience in our industry that meets our needs for this position.

We appreciate the time you invested in your application. We encourage you to re-apply for positions in our company that you qualify for in the future.

We wish you all the best and success in your future endeavors.

Regards,
(Recruiter's Name)
(Position)

Job Application Rejection Letter with Promise

Some recruiters may not be keen on the idea of rejection letters because of how rejection letters may dissuade applicants from re-applying in the future. If this is the case for you, consider writing a letter that assures that there’s a possibility of future employment. Just be careful when wording your letter so that there isn’t false hope that the applicant isn’t guaranteed a position the next time they apply.

(Date)
(Name of Applicant)

(FOR REGULAR MAIL: Applicant's Address)

Dear (Applicant),

Thank you for your interest in (Company Name). We appreciate you taking the time to meet with our team for the initial stages of the application process.

Unfortunately, we will not be moving forward with your application. (Company) receives many competitive applications, and we often have to make the difficult choice of choosing between outstanding candidates.

Rest assured, we will keep your resume on file in case of future openings that better fit your profile. We invite you to re-apply for similar job positions in the future.

We would be happy to answer any additional questions or requests for feedback about your application.

We wish you the best of luck with your job search.

Regards,
(Recruiter's Name)
(Position)
recruitment-employee

Job Application Rejection Letter with Feedback

When an applicant receives a rejection letter, the first question they may ask themselves is what they think they did wrong that you chose to go with another applicant. By providing feedback, you are improving employer branding as it shows you are taking the time to help applicants grow and improve their job applications to other potential employers.

(Date)
(Name of Applicant)

(FOR REGULAR MAIL: Applicant's Address)

Dear (Applicant),

I would like to thank you for your interest in (Company Name). The (company) Human Resources/Recruitment Team appreciates you taking the time to undergo the initial stages of the application process.

I regret to inform you that we will not be moving forward with your application. While you have impressive education and job qualifications, we have decided on a different candidate with more experience relevant to the position you applied for. I'd like to note that, in this industry, the position of (Position) is a very competitive one.

Rest assured, we will keep your resume on file in case of future openings that better fit your profile. After you have gained more experience, we hope you will consider re-applying to (Company) in the future.

We would be happy to answer any additional questions or requests for feedback about your application.

We wish you the best of luck with your job search.

Regards,
(Recruiter's Name)
(Position)

Applicants took the time to send in their application and follow the application process, so it’s only fitting that they receive a rejection letter rather than ignoring them if they don’t make the cut. So, should you decide to trim the fat off your list of prospective job applicants, sending a brief rejection letter can do a lot in terms of professionalism and company branding.

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