Polite Rejection Letter (Template & Example)

There are many situations that could call for a rejection letter. Businesses, schools, charity organizations, and religious institutions are all entities that could use a letter to reject a proposal or request. Whatever your reason for declining an offer, you should always do it politely and professionally. Try to help the recipient understand your reasons so you can maintain a good relationship with them.

A well-written rejection letter can make a denial more palatable to the recipient. It can also allow them to make plans to deal with rejection. For instance, sending a job rejection letter enables the applicant to continue their job search.

Are you stuck on how to reject a bid, proposal, or request? Here is everything you need to know to draft a polite rejection letter.

As mentioned, there are many situations that could call for a rejection letter. Both entities and individuals can utilize it to communicate their decision to decline an offer or opportunity. Here are some scenarios where this letter could come in handy in the corporate world:

  • When an employer rejects a job application – This can be done before or after an interview. The letter informs the applicant that the company has awarded the job to someone else.
  • When a potential employee rejects a job offer – People sometimes receive job offers they cannot accept. When this happens, they can express their regret through a job offer rejection letter.

Tips for Writing a Polite Rejection Letter

A rejection letter can be well received if it is written in a polite and professional manner. With the proper wording and tone, you can leave the recipient feeling valued and hopeful of future success. The following are some guidelines to help you draft a polite rejection letter:

  • Keep your message short, precise, and to the point
  • Use professional language and a courteous tone
  • Help the recipient understand the reason for the rejection
  • Mention any useful advice that could ensure future success
  • Avoid patronizing or humiliating the recipient
  • Thank the reader for reaching out to you
  • Express your willingness to work on future projects with the recipient

Polite Rejection Letter Format


{Recipient’s Name}

{Recipient’s Address}

{City, State, Zip Code}

Re: {Nature of Rejected Proposal/Bid/Client Request}

Dear {Mr./Mrs./Ms. Last Name},

Thank you for your {proposal/bid/request} titled {project name}, which we received on {date}. We appreciate your interest in working with {institution/company name}. Unfortunately, we are unable to meet your request at the moment.

Following careful consideration, we believe your proposal is not a good fit for our company/institution. This is because of {give reasons for rejection}.

If you are interested, we recommend {suggest possible solutions, such as a later timeline or a more suitable company/institution}.

Please know that we value you as a {client/supplier/contractor, etc.}. We sincerely hope this letter will be well-received and will not affect our current relationship.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, contact us at {contact information}.

Thank you for your time.


{Your Name}

{Job Title}

{Company/Institution Name}

Sample Polite Rejection Letter for Client Request

12 September 2020

Faith Johansen

HGJ Limited

345 Garden Avenue

Jefferson City, MO 34567

Re: Proposal to Supply Lumber for Housing Project

Dear Mrs. Johansen,

We received your proposal to supply lumber for your 30 September 2020 to 30 October 2020 housing project. We appreciate your interest in working with us on this. Unfortunately, we regret to inform you that we are currently unable to meet your request.

Following recent budget cuts at Highwood Lumbers, we have lost a total of 50 employees. The remaining personnel is currently involved in a large project from the state. We are, therefore, unable to free any resources to work with you at the moment.

We recommend that you contact Shelf Woodworks with your request if you are interested. Feel free to mention we referred you.

Thank you for your continued support. All the best in your project.


May Kennedy

Managing Director

Highwood Lumbers.

Polite Rejection Letter (Word Template)

File Format
  • MS Word

Final Thoughts

It is impossible to accept every request that comes your way. As a business, you won’t hire every job applicant you interview. You also cannot work on every project you receive from clients. Rejecting a proposal or bid that you are unable to meet is a business decision. It should never be influenced by feelings of guilt or fear.

That said, however, a rejection letter should be polite. It should explain your decision without harming your relationship with the recipient. It should also not stand in the way of future collaborations.

The tips provided in this article should help you draft a polite rejection letter that your recipients will appreciate.