Job Rejection: Communicating with Candidates Email Template

How To Tell A Candidate That They Didn't Get The Job Email Template To Tell Someone About A Job Rejection

In the fast-paced world of recruitment, finding the right candidate for a position is often likened to fitting pieces of a complex puzzle. However, not every puzzle piece will perfectly align, leading to the delicate task of informing a job seeker that they didn’t secure the job. This crucial aspect of the hiring process demands a blend of empathy, professionalism, and effective communication.

The hiring process isn’t just about finding the right fit for the job—it’s also about nurturing relationships and preserving the dignity of all candidates involved. One integral part of this process is communicating job rejections with grace and empathy.

How to Reject a Candidate: Understanding the Candidate’s Perspective

Receiving a job rejection can evoke feelings of disappointment and self-doubt. Candidates invest time and effort into their applications, writing cover letters, creating their resumes and preparing for the interview. This often creates a personal connection with the opportunity. As a result, it’s crucial to approach the rejection conversation with empathy and respect.

Email Template to Tell a Candidate They Didn't Get the Job
Email Template to Tell a Candidate They Didnt Get the Job

Email Template to Tell a Candidate They Didn’t Get the Job

Preparation for Rejection

Crafting a rejection message isn’t a task to be taken lightly. The hiring team must invest time in planning and formulating the message to ensure it’s both respectful and encouraging.

Choosing the Right Medium

The medium through which the rejection is communicated plays a significant role. While email is a common choice, certain situations might warrant a more personal approach, such as a phone call. The choice of medium should reflect the relationship built during the recruitment process.

Crafting the Message

The rejection message should be structured with clarity and professionalism. While honesty is key, it’s equally important to focus on the candidate’s strengths and efforts. Express appreciation for their interest and time invested in the interview process.

Emphasizing the Positive

Despite the rejection, candidates should be left with a sense of hope. Point out their strengths and highlight the potential for future opportunities. This approach not only encourages a positive outlook but also contributes to maintaining a positive employer brand image.

Delivering the News

The timing of delivering the rejection news matters. It’s recommended to do so promptly but with consideration for the candidate’s feelings. The message should convey respect, empathy, and a genuine understanding of their disappointment.

Examples of Emails. Examples You Can Use to Tell Someone They Didn't Get the Job Offer
Examples of Emails Examples You Can Use to Tell Someone They Didnt Get the Job Offer

Examples of Emails. Examples You Can Use to Tell Someone They Didn’t Get the Job Offer

Example 1: 

Dear [Candidate’s Name],

Thank you for taking the time to apply for the [Position Title] role at [Company Name]. We appreciate your interest in our organization and considering us as your potential employer. 

After careful consideration of your application and interview, we regret to inform you that we have decided not to move forward with your candidacy at this time. While your qualifications and experience are impressive, we have identified candidates whose skills align more closely with the requirements of the position. 

Please note that we received a high volume of applications, making the selection process highly competitive. We understand that receiving this news can be disappointing, but we encourage you to further develop your professional skills and explore other opportunities. We will keep your application on file for future reference.

We thank you once again for your interest in [Company Name] and wish you the best of luck in your job search.
[Your Name]
[Your Title]
[Company Name] 

Example 2:

Dear [Candidate],

Thank you for taking the time to interview with our company. We appreciate your interest in the [Job Title] position and your enthusiasm for joining our team. After careful consideration, we have decided to move forward with another candidate who we believe is better suited for the role. 

Please know that this decision was not easy, as we had many qualified applicants. We were impressed with your qualifications, experience, and passion for the industry. Unfortunately, we could only choose one candidate for the position. 

We want to encourage you to continue pursuing your career goals and exploring opportunities that align with your skills and interests. We appreciate your understanding and hope that you will consider applying for future positions with our company. 

Once again, thank you for your time and interest. We wish you the best in your job search.

[Your Name]
[Company Name] 

Follow Up After Informing Candidates of Interview Decisions
Follow Up After Informing Candidates of Interview Decisions

Follow Up After Informing Candidates of Interview Decisions

Handling Follow-up Queries

Candidates may have questions or concerns after receiving a rejection. It’s essential to address these inquiries promptly and professionally. A well-prepared response can ease any potential negative feelings.

Avoiding Generic Responses

Templated rejection messages can come across as impersonal and insincere. Taking the time to personalize the message, even in a small way, can go a long way in showing respect for the candidate’s effort.

Maintaining a Positive Brand Image

The rejection communication isn’t just between the candidate and the hiring team; it’s also a reflection of the company’s values. A respectful and empathetic communication approach contributes to a positive brand perception.

Feedback Loop for Improvement

Unsuccessful candidates can offer valuable insights into the hiring process. Encourage feedback and take it as an opportunity to refine and improve your recruitment process.

Training the Hiring Team
Training the Hiring Team

Training the Hiring Team

Recruiters and hiring managers should be well-prepared for rejection conversations. Training should emphasize empathy, professionalism, and the importance of representing the company’s values.

Post-Rejection Engagement

Even though a candidate might not be the right fit for the job, they might be suitable for another job in the future. Keeping candidates engaged and informed about new job openings maintains a positive connection.

Handling Rejection Gracefully

Candidates who respond to rejection with professionalism should be acknowledged. Their behavior reflects well on their character and their potential suitability for future roles.


Navigating the delicate task of communicating job rejection requires finesse, empathy, and a commitment to maintaining a positive relationship. By approaching rejections professionally and thoughtfully, companies can uphold their brand image, foster relationships, and contribute to a more positive candidate experience.


Q1: Is it better to send a rejection email or make a phone call?

A: The choice depends on the candidate’s preference and the relationship built during the recruitment process. Both options can be effective if handled with empathy.

Q2: Should I include feedback in the rejection message?

A: Providing constructive feedback can be helpful, but it’s crucial to do so tactfully and positively. Focus on strengths and areas for improvement.

Q3: How do I handle negative reactions from candidates?

A: Respond calmly and professionally, addressing their concerns. Remember, emotions can run high, so maintaining composure is essential.

Q4: What if a rejected candidate asks for reconsideration?

A: If the candidate meets the company’s requirements, discuss the possibility of considering them for future opportunities. Keep the dialogue open.

Q5: How can I ensure our rejection communication aligns with our brand voice?

A: Craft rejection messages with the same tone and values that represent your company. Professionalism, respect, and empathy should shine through.

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