What to include in an applicant rejection letter
There’s no formal standard for what to include in a job applicant rejection letter, but there are a number of things that we recommend including — all of which you’ll find in our free rejection letter template above — both out of consideration for the applicant themselves, and to protect your business.
Here are our tips for writing your next applicant rejection letter:
1. Speak to the person
Be sure to address your applicant by name — never be tempted to send out a generic “Sorry, you didn’t make the cut” letter to all of your unsuccessful candidates as this will deter them from applying for other, more suitable, roles that might open up in the future.
2. Get straight to the point
After mustering the courage to apply for a job, sending in your application, and going through the interview process, all applicants really want is an answer: is it a “yes” or a “no”?
Thank your applicant for their time, then move straight to the bad news: unfortunately, your application has been unsuccessful at this time.
3. Be kind
It’s always best to end on a positive note. If they did well, talk about the applicant’s performance during the interview. If they didn’t make it that far, mention some of their skills and experience that stood out to you as valuable.
4. Explain your reasons
It’s not enough to simply say that the applicant was unsuccessful — as a business owner, you owe it to them to explain why they didn’t get the job so that they can learn from the experience and address any gaps in their skill set.
5. Leave the door open
Remember: today’s rejection could end up being your best employee someday, so always end your letter by thanking the applicant for their time and interest in your business and, where appropriate, invite them to consider applying for other roles in the future that they might be right for.
Questions & answers about this free resource
Who can use this job offer letter template?
This rejection letter template was made for managers and business owners to help streamline their recruitment processes and save them time. It can be used in relation to both full-time and part-time positions and can be copied and sent to unsuccessful applicants via email printed out and sent by post.
Can this resource be opened in Word or Pages?
This sample letter has been saved as a “docx” document, so it’s compatible with the majority of Mac and Windows-based word processing software. Simply download the file via the link at the top of the page and save it to your device’s hard disk.
We recommend making a duplicate copy of the file before you begin tailoring the letter so that you always have a copy of the original template to refer to.
Is this job offer template free to download?
Yes. This is a free resource for managers and business owners — there’s no need to sign up for anything or give us your contact details to access it. Feel free to make copies or share this template with others in your business or organisation.
Why are you giving this resource away for free?
Helping people managers is what we’re all about. At RotaCloud, we build tools to help managers organise their teams and simplify their admin processes, giving them more time to focus on growing their business.
Check some of our other free resources.