10 Sample Job Candidate Rejection Letters

You are bound to receive various job applications from aspiring employees as an employer. If the particular job candidate does not qualify for the job position, it is necessary and respectful to inform them to continue with their job search. The best way to do that, as an employer, is by using a job rejection letter.

You will formally tell the candidate that they did not get the job with a job rejection letter. This will help create a good impression for you and your company or business. It will also improve your company’s brand and hiring experience. Therefore, it is best to write and send this job rejection letter as soon as possible.

The letter should always be positive and also encouraging for the aspiring employee. Apart from this rejection letter, you can also write them a job rejection email to save time and get the message faster. However, you will have a personalized and more professional way of informing the aspiring candidate that you are not considering them for the job with a letter.

A job rejection letter is usually a formal letter written by an employer and sent to a job applicant who did not qualify for the job position they applied for. This letter is also known as an employment rejection letter or a candidate rejection letter. It is essential to write this letter to inform the aspiring employee if they are still being considered in the hiring process.


You should send a job rejection letter immediately after realizing that the job candidate does not fit the job requirements. This should be within a week of interviewing them.

Free Sample Letters

As an employer, delivering rejection news can be challenging, but utilizing these samples offers several technical benefits. They provide a structured framework to ensure clarity and professionalism in your communication, save you time by offering pre-drafted templates, and serve as a guide to crafting thoughtful and respectful rejection letters. Explore the following templates and streamline your candidate rejection process today.

Great Editable Job Candidate Rejection Letter Template 01 in Word Format
Great Editable Job Candidate Rejection Letter Template 02 in Word Format
Great Editable Job Candidate Rejection Letter Template 03 in Word Format
Great Editable Job Candidate Rejection Letter Template 04 in Word Format
Great Editable Job Candidate Rejection Letter Template 05 in Word Format
Great Editable Job Candidate Rejection Letter Template 06 in Word Format
Great Editable Job Candidate Rejection Letter Template 07 in Word Format
Great Editable Job Candidate Rejection Letter Template 08 in Word Format

    Significance of a Job Rejection Letter

    An employer needs to write a job rejection letter for different reasons. It offers constructive and essential feedback that is useful for job candidates searching for other jobs. It also indicates to the aspiring employee how much you respect their effort, which helps to avert any negativity towards the company and its brand. With this letter, you will reduce the check-ins from job candidates who want to know about the status of their applications.

    As an employer, you can help to ease the future hiring process by being in contact and on good terms with a candidate whose skills you might need in your company in the future. You will have connections to them and even have their resume, making future hiring processes more accessible and faster. Finally, not only sending a rejection letter but sending it early will help improve your company’s image.

    Writing a Job Candidate Rejection Letter

    A job rejection letter is essential, as it benefits the job applicant and helps improve the image and brand of the company. Therefore, you need to write a positive and impactful job rejection letter as an employer.

    Here is how to write this letter:


    The letter’s header is the first part written in a job rejection letter. It usually contains the following information: the date when the letter was written, the name of the candidate, the contact details of the candidate, a subject line, followed by greetings. You should always include a greeting to indicate your respect for them.

    The subject line should be brief, informative, and easiest to spot in the letter.


    “Subject: (Name of Organization)—Job Position.”


    For the introduction of the letter, you will need to include the following information:

    • Thank the candidate for applying: You should thank the candidate for their time and efforts to apply for the job.


    “Thank you for taking the time to send in your application documents and attend the job interview for the job position.”


    The body part of the letter is the most important and must contain the details highlighted below.

    • Give them the total number of candidates who applied: You can inform them of the number of candidates who applied for the job. You can choose to mention “a large group of candidates” instead of giving an exact number.


    “With the opening in the marketing and sales department, we received about 120 job applications here at ABC Company.”

    • Tell them they are not selected: Inform the candidate that they were not chosen for the job. It would be best to inform them that they are no longer considered. It is best to say “declined” rather than “rejected.”


    “We really appreciate the effort, but unfortunately, your application was declined, and hence you were not chosen for the position.”

    • Explain why you didn’t select them: Give clear reasons why you did not choose them. This information should not be negative but should instead focus on what made you choose your final candidate. In addition, you can provide them with positive feedback on what they can do better next time.


    “As a company, we are looking for a candidate with a higher education level than what your application documents indicated about you. That was the main reason why the final candidate was selected for the job.”

    • Explain the positive qualities you observed during the interview: It is also essential to include the positive qualities that the candidate had during the interview. This will help them highlight their qualifications and strengths as they apply for another job.


    “However, the hiring team appreciated your leadership qualities and team member abilities. You will be a great employee when it comes to handling projects that involve many people who require supervision.”

    • Encourage them to apply again in the future: You should end the body part of the letter by encouraging them to apply again shortly. You should explain why you will consider them for future opportunities. Ensure your tone is positive ad sincere as you write this information.


    “With your set of skills, abilities, and qualifications, our company will consider you in the future when international projects are launched. So please feel free to apply for a job with us again in the future.


    The conclusion of a job rejection letter should include the following details: closing the letter with a positive note, signing off, and writing your name as the employer, your designation, and your contact information at the end. The ending should be positive and appreciative.


    “Thank you once more for your time, and we wish you good luck as you embark on searching for a new job.

    Job Rejection Letter Templates

    Here is a template and sample you can use as a guide when writing a job rejection letter:

    template 01


    [Name of the candidate]
    [Contact details of the candidate]

    Subject: [Name of Company] – Job Position

    Dear [Name of candidate]

    [Start by thanking them for their time and appreciate the effort they took to apply for the job position].

    We received [state the number of applications] for the [state the job position] here at [name of company]. Sadly though, [inform them that were not selected as the final job candidate for the job]. [Provide brief but detailed reasons why they were not selected].

    However, [mention their positive skills, education level, and qualifications] observed during the interview [praise and give them positive feedback]. [Also, encourage them to apply in the future for other job positions at the company].

    Once again, thank you for your time and effort, and we wish you all the best in your future activities.

    [Employer’s name]

    [Job title]


    template 02

    [Your First and Last Name]
    [Your Company and Title]
    [Your Company’s Street Address]


    [Candidate Name, First and Last]
    [Candidate Street Address]
    [Town,State,Zip Code]

    Dear [Candidate Name],

    Thank you for your interest in the [Insert Name of Position Here] position with [Insert Company Name Here]. As you know, we interviewed a number of candidates. It was a very difficult decision to make. We regret to inform you that you have not been selected for the position.

    Thank you for taking the time to interview with us. The team appreciates your time. The candidate that was selected demonstrated [Insert Skill 1 Here] and [Insert Skill 2 Here]. We believe these are qualities of a good [Insert Name of Position Here] candidate.

    We want to wish your luck with your ongoing job search. Thank you for your interest in [Insert Company Name Here].


    [If you are sending a handwritten letter, this should be signed]

    [Insert Your First and Last Name]

    [Insert Your Title]
    [Insert Company Name]

    Sample Letter

    Within this section, you will find a free sample letter designed to extend thoughtful guidance when communicating a job rejection to a candidate. The provided sample serves as a guide, offering a framework for crafting personalized and empathetic rejection letters. 


    Subject: Job Application Update – Marketing Specialist Position

    Dear Jonathan Smith,

    Thank you for taking the time to send in your application documents and attend the job interview for the Marketing Specialist position at Zenith Innovations. We genuinely appreciate your interest in joining our team.

    With the opening in our Marketing and Communications department, we received applications from over 150 talented candidates, reflecting the high level of interest and expertise in the field. Each application, including yours, was reviewed with great attention.

    We wanted to inform you that, after careful consideration, your application has been declined for the Marketing Specialist position. This decision was not easy, and it reflects more on the specific needs of our team at this time than on your qualifications.

    One of the key factors in our decision was the search for a candidate with an advanced degree in Digital Marketing, which we found essential for this role. This was a primary criterion that guided our final selection.

    However, it is important to mention that your application stood out in several ways. During your interview, we were particularly impressed by your leadership qualities and your ability to work effectively as a team member. Your approach to handling projects involving supervision and coordination demonstrates a strong potential for leadership roles.

    We encourage you to consider applying for future opportunities with Zenith Innovations. Your skills and experiences are valuable, and we believe there could be a role that aligns more closely with your profile in the future. Please keep an eye on our careers page for upcoming opportunities that might be a better fit.

    Thank you once again for your interest in Zenith Innovations and for the effort you put into your application. We wish you the best in your job search and professional endeavors.


    Alexandra Hughes

    Human Resources Manager

    Zenith Innovations


    The provided rejection letter serves as a model for crafting professional and empathetic job rejection communications. Its clarity is evident from the outset with a straightforward subject line, crucial for sensitive contexts like job rejections. The letter maintains a balanced tone, acknowledging the recipient’s efforts in the application and interview process while providing detailed feedback on the decision, fostering transparency and offering valuable insights for future job searches.

    A notable feature is the letter’s focus on personalization, addressing the candidate by name and referencing specific details from their application and interview. This thoughtful touch elevates the communication, making it more considerate and less like a standard template. The conclusion maintains a courteous and optimistic tone, thanking the candidate for their interest, expressing appreciation for their efforts, and wishing them success in their future endeavors.

    In summary, this rejection letter is an excellent template for crafting respectful, informative, and empathetic communications. It effectively balances organizational requirements with consideration for the candidate’s feelings, making it a valuable guide for those tasked with writing rejection letters.

    Letter Writing Tips

    There are some special considerations that you should always have in mind when writing a rejection letter. You will write a proper and positive letter to the job candidate with these tips.

    Here are some of the tips you need to consider:

    Thank them

    It would be best to always thank the job candidate when writing a job rejection letter. Appreciate them for applying for the job. Also, you can thank them for taking the time to attend the job interview.

    Personalize the letter

    As an employer, you should personalize the job rejection letter. This will ensure it sounds more truthful and authentic. Also, it is more beneficial to you if you do not send an aspiring employee a “cold” rejection letter.

    Give feedback

    The job rejection letter must not only stop at informing them that they were not picked for the job. You should provide the job applicant with feedback regarding the decision you made. The feedback should be about what caused them not to qualify and highlight the qualities suitable for another job.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What do you write in a rejection letter?

    In a rejection letter, you should include the following information: the date when the letter was written, the full name of the job candidate, thank the candidate, provide the number of job applications that arrived at the company, give the reasons why you cannot hire them and wish them well as they continue with their employment search.

    How do you politely reject a candidate?

    To politely reject a candidate, you should first appreciate their effort to apply for the job. The next step is to thank them and provide them with valid reasons why they were not picked for the job position. Finally, your rejection letter should be brief and contain sensitive words that will not sound abusive to the candidate.

    How do you sign off a rejection letter?

    When you sign a rejection letter, ensure a polite tone to leave the candidate with a good impression. Also, always be thankful for the efforts before signing off the company’s name and letterhead.

    What do you put in the subject line of a rejection letter? 

    For your subject line, when it comes to writing a job rejection letter, you will need to include the name of the candidate, the position title, and the name of the company.

    About This Article

    Zhaniece Hill
    Authored by:
    Human Resources Specialist | Masters of Business, MBA, BAS Operations Management and Supervision
    Zhaniece Hill, an accomplished author, and writer, possesses an extensive 9-year journey as a seasoned Human Resources professional. With a Master's degree in Business Administration, Hill's profound insights into human capital management have been shaped by a diverse background spanning public and private sectors. Expertise in talent acquisition, onboarding, employee engagement, and benefits define Hill's remarkable HR acumen. With an unyielding focus on results, Hill's legacy is characterized by innovative HR solutions that elevate employee satisfaction, retention, and overall business performance. Continuously seeking fresh challenges, Zhaniece Hill utilizes her expertise to create a lasting impact in the realm of HR.

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