Rejection Letter for Job Applicants

A job applicant’s worst experience is not hearing back from a potential employer after sending in an application. They might wonder whether the position is still available, and the process is taking longer than expected or if they were rejected. As the employer, you can make things easy on rejected applicants by sending them a brief rejection letter.

Sending a rejection letter to job applicants is considered professional. It helps improve candidate experience and public opinion about your company. When well-written, it could also encourage applicants to send in future applications.

If the idea of sending a rejection letter feels daunting to you, here is all you need to know to draft an effective rejection letter for job applicants.

Tips for Writing a Rejection Letter for Job Applicants

Aside from providing information to job applicants, a rejection letter acts as your representative in the public world. It shows potential employees the kind of employer you are. This is why it should be written well and professionally. Here are some guidelines to help you:

  • Mention the application – State the open position for which the applicant applied. Mention when you received the applicant’s application documents.
  • Thank the job applicant – Express gratitude for the application and the interest to work with your company. Make them feel valuable.
  • State the rejection – Use exact but courteous terms to inform the applicant that their application has been rejected. Don’t leave them guessing.
  • Mention the applicant’s redeeming qualities – State what you liked about the applicant’s application. Make sure you don’t exaggerate your praise, so it doesn’t feel false.
  • Give a reason for the rejection – After praising the applicant’s good qualities, explain why they did not make the cut. Remember to be polite.
  • Offer constructive advice – Provide recommendations that could make the applicant successful in the future. Try not to sound patronizing as this could embarrass the applicant.
  • Invite the applicant to make future applications – If you like the applicant, encourage them to apply for future positions for which they are qualified.
  • End on a positive noteThank the applicant again for expressing their interest in working with you.
  • Include your company letterhead – This will make the letter more official.
  • Close with your official information, including your name, job title, and signature

Rejection Letter for Job Applicants (Format)


{Applicant’s Name}

{Applicant’s Address}

{City, State, Zip Code}

Re: Application for {Job Description} Position

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

This is in reference to your application for the {job designation} position at {company name}, which we received on {date}. thank you for your interest in working with us. Unfortunately, I am sorry to inform you that you have not been shortlisted for an interview.

The selection committee found your application {mention positive qualities}. However, we are currently looking for candidates with {mention desired qualities not possessed by applicant e.g., experience}. We urge you to apply for future openings for which you qualify,

Thank you again for your interest in our company. All the best in your job search.


{Your Name}

{Job Title}

{Company Name}

Sample Job Rejection Letter for Job Applicants

12 September 2020

Hannah Kennedy

123 Grove Road

Los Angeles, CA 34567

Re: Application for Sales Representative Position

Dear Ms. Kennedy,

We received your application for the Sales Representative position on 10 September 2020. Thank you for your interest in working with ABC Company. Sadly, I am writing to inform you that you have not been shortlisted for an interview for the position.

The selection community found your resume impressive. The mock sales pitch you sent in was riveting and convincing. However, we are currently searching for applicants with more experience in the Marketing field.

As we believe you have real potential, we encourage you to apply for future openings for which you are better qualified.

Thank you for your time.


Grace Goodwin

Hiring Manager

ABC Company

Rejection Letter for Job Applicants (Word Template)

File Format
  • MS Word

Final Thoughts

The knowledge that they have been rejected for a job can help a job applicant move on to other opportunities. It could also give them a high opinion of you as an employer. Though your rejection letter for job applicants, you can even offer pointers to help them improve their approach. Remember always to keep your letter short, precise, and to the point. Use a polite tone and professional language. When offering advice, don’t be overly critical of the applicant. This could break their spirit. Finally, try to send your letter in a good time, so the applicant is not left in limbo for too long.