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How to Write a Candidate Rejection Email

Let’s face it, the market is ripe with talented candidates seeking new opportunities. Whether aspiring to begin a new career, change careers or simply find employment, there are many reasons why people are applying to work for your company. However, there are more potential prospects than job availability in the market. An expert method to handle candidate rejection emails will benefit the company and prospects.

Maintaining a reputable image is essential for any business. No company wants to tarnish its brand with a poor hiring reputation and miss out on the fantastic talent that exists in the marketplace. This is why it’s crucial to know how to write a professional candidate rejection email.

Why is a Candidate Rejection Email Important?

A job rejection email allows the company to inform a candidate of their placement status in a timely manner. Studies reveal that 44% of candidates reported waiting two weeks for a response, and another 15% waited for months. Prolonging a candidate’s status undermines the company’s reputation and can deter others from applying to work with your organization.

Rejection is a trigger that can affect mental health. An applicant rejection letter is important, because it can seriously impact someone’s life for the better or worse. All corporations need to incorporate sensitivity in the way that they communicate with candidates who want to invest their time and talent in the company.

Perhaps the candidate has much to offer but is not suitable for the position they applied for. A polite rejection letter can inform the candidate that they do not meet eligibility for the current job opening and encourage them to consider other opportunities available in the future.

This type of job denial email serves to keep talent plugged into the company network. It also reinforces a positive image of the company and the hiring process. A professional candidate rejection email also helps the candidate to feel important and valued. Investing in a system that offers various ways to reject a candidate helps to make an uncomfortable process efficient.

Different Ways to Submit a Candidate Rejection Email

Advanced technology and CRM systems have created dynamic ways to notify candidates of a rejection. You can submit rejection letters via email, mail and automation. These methods serve to inform candidates of their status based on specific junctures in the hiring process.

Automated Rejection Prior to Interview

When there is a high volume of applicant submissions, an automated response process in conjunction with CRM technology makes it easier for HR to weed out applicants who do not meet eligibility requirements to advance to the interview stage.

Applicants will receive an automated rejection email template informing them that they will not be moving forward in the process.

Email Notification

A direct representative of the company can submit an email notification. This form of communication is more personable and specific. Often, this type of candidate rejection is submitted after the candidate has completed an initial interview.

There are many email rejection letter templates available online that you can use to notify a candidate about their rejection.

Written Letter

A written letter notification is a more formal way to address a top candidate who completed the interview process for the position. An organization needs to recognize that someone invested time to apply for a position. Showing appreciation earns a candidate’s respect and keeps them loyal to the company brand.

How to Structure a Candidate Rejection Email

There’s a structure to incorporate in the candidate rejection email. Make sure the subject line provides clarity. This will help the candidate recognize it is the company of interest contacting them about the job position. Knowing how to structure a candidate rejection email is important for staff, to ensure that they send information to unsuccessful candidates without tarnishing the company’s reputation.

It’s also important to thank the candidate for taking the time to apply for the position. This serves to create positive energy for the reader and alleviates the sting of the rejection. The next step is to explain why the company rejected the candidate. This will provide clues to the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses and what they can do differently to create future opportunities.

If the candidate has qualifications that can make them eligible for future opportunities within the company, the candidate rejection email will inform the applicant of that information. Preserving candidate loyalty can serve as a resource for alternate opportunities in the organization.

The goal of the candidate rejection email is to:

These objectives are achieved when the candidate’s rejection letter thanks the candidate, delivers the disappointing news, clarifies the reasoning for the rejection, and uses positive reinforcement that will keep the candidate motivated in their job search. It is important to proofread the letter to ensure accuracy and professionalism.

Staff can review reputable job search engines to study the resources available on candidate rejection emails via email and mail.

Unusual Circumstances

Sometimes, a candidate is a perfect fit for the company, but a change in the budget can affect the company’s ability to hire a candidate because the position is no longer available. What happens when an offer has been extended but must be rescinded due to operational restrictions? This is a challenge that can be fixed with creative and compassionate communication.

Informing the candidate of the situation and inviting them to apply again later is one way to address this dilemma.

There will also be times when there are no qualified applicants available in the submission pool. This can cause the position to be posted longer than usual and confuse candidates who may have been initially informed via an automated notice that the company has moved forward with other candidates.

If the applicant applied for the position via a job search engine or career website and initially received a candidate rejection email, but later received a notice about the same available position weeks or months later, it can create confusion. The candidate may even contact the company for further information.

Even under unusual circumstances, the company needs to maintain its integrity by being transparent. Numerous templates are available to HR teams that can professionally generate employment correspondence to applicants who are not qualified for the posted position.

Finding a solution for the following issues will help a business remain successful.

Responding quickly with precise information builds the company brand and helps unqualified job applicants move forward in their job search. Using professional resources provided by Flowrite, Occupop and TalentLyft provides HR teams with templates and information that help to make a difficult task easier. Content from these sources will provide staff, who may not be familiar with rejecting applicants, the tools needed to reject applicants professionally and compassionately.


Advanced technology has changed the way companies hire and reject talented candidates. The increased number of applicants makes it challenging for corporations to screen prospects and identify a proper match. Establishing CRM solutions helps HR staff navigate their journey to find the best talent in the market.

Learning how to write candidate rejection emails helps the company maintain a positive brand image. It expands the talent pool for future opportunities. Also, it can empower applicants who aren’t a good match. This can protect their emotional well-being during a stressful time in their lives.

Use a streamlined strategy that communicates with applicants before the interview, after and during the final selection process. This gives the hiring team a methodology that makes task delegation more efficient. Investing in these resources and procedures collapses time frames that tend to drag out the hiring process.

Companies that build a reputation for having the best talent and reasonable operation margins become more desirable for premium talent and investors.