Rejection Letter

How to write a professional yet kind rejection letter

After hours of planning and interview, it’s never easy to tell a candidate that you didn’t get the position. The awkwardness also leads to generic emails, such as “We’ve decided to go a different direction” which is often worse than no email!

You might feel like there’s just no good way to tell someone they’ve been turned down. Fortunately, that is not true. You will make it easier for the candidate to hear the news by wording your rejection letter kindly.

The writing format and what needs to be included

Seek to adopt a standardized business letter writing style while writing a Letter of Rejection. Always send your letter directly to the rejected candidate and try to put the contents of the letter in a professional tone and state the reason why the candidate is not chosen.

It’s best to make your point straight and to have integrity in writing. It will help the applicant grasp the company’s selection process and move on to their next career venture. Also, double check your texts when writing your letter to avoid language errors.

You can divide your rejection letter into 4 major sections:

  1. Thanking the applicant to put in the time and effort
  2. Delivering the news
  3. Giving the main reason(s) of why the applicant didn’t get through
  4. Offering hope and encouragement

Having said that, rejection letters do not need to be long, and the reason you give for the rejection does not need to be overdetailed. If you don’t have a close relationship with that person, for instance, if you’ve never met them or just traded some emails, the whole letter may be just a few lines.

You can choose your style when writing a rejection letter depending on your company’s culture, how much you know about the candidate or just your personal preference. But generally, there are 2 types that are more common. An official format and a less formal format. Below you can download a sample for both of these categories to get you started.

Sample Emails for Rejection Letter

Company Name

Dear (Candidate Name),

Thank you very much for taking the time to interview us for the (job title). We appreciate your interest in the firm and the job.

I am writing to let you know that we have decided…