Candidate Job Rejection Letter and Email Examples

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You've just interviewed for a job, and you're wondering if you'll receive a notification if you're not chosen for an interview or offered a position. Or you're an employer notifying an applicant that they weren't hired.

What does a rejection letter look like? What's included in a candidate job rejection letter or email? Will the company even send one? If you're the hiring manager, should you notify applicants who weren't offered a job?

If you're a candidate looking to decline a job offer from an employer, here's a job rejection email template you can use.

Many companies no longer send rejection letters to applicants who are not selected for a position. Often, there are simply so many applications that sending rejections would take the company a lot of time.

Companies may also be concerned about the contents of the rejection letter, fearing everything from a lawsuit to recipients' incorrectly reading a promise of a potential opportunity in the future.

In some cases, companies may also be hedging their bets—if they haven't sent out an official rejection, they can still reach out to candidates in the future if a prospective hire doesn't work out.

However, some companies do notify candidates who haven't been chosen. If a company does send job rejection letters, you may be notified by email or mail that another candidate has been selected for the position.

Here's information on what is included in a job rejection letter, with examples.

What's Included in a Candidate Rejection Letter

As you can see from the examples below, rejection letters tend to be light on specifics. This is both because of the volume of rejections that companies may have to send out and the fear of lawsuits.

Sending the same generic letter with every position, to every rejected candidate, is efficient and allows the company to have lawyers review the language a single time. A brief letter also doesn't leave any room for a candidate to make assumptions about the hiring process or whether they will be considered for future openings.

Typically, rejection letters will simply convey the information that the position has been filled and also include some polite expression of wishing the candidate luck in job hunting.

Since these notes are typically form letters, do not expect to see specifics for why your candidacy was not a good match.

Candidate Job Rejection Letter and Email Examples

The following are examples of the candidate rejection email message or letters you may receive.

Example #1

Subject: Marketing Associate Job

Dear Ronald,

As I mentioned during our recent phone conversation, we have offered our Marketing Associate position to a different candidate. 

We also want you to know that we appreciate the time you invested in coming into our company for an interview. The team is grateful for the opportunity to speak with you.

Best wishes as you continue your job search.


Ethan Windsor
HR Manager for the Hiring Team

Example #2

Subject Line: Job Application - John Ryan

Dear John,

Thank you very much for your interest in employment opportunities with ABCD company.

This message is to inform you that we have selected a candidate who is a match for the job requirements of the position.

We appreciate you taking the time to apply for employment with our company and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Best regards,

Miguel Guerrera
Hiring Manager

Example #3

Hiring Manager
Company Name
Company Address
City, State Zip Code  

Dear Candidate Name,

Thank you very much for your interest in employment opportunities with ABCD company.

I am writing to inform you that we have selected the candidate whom we believe most closely matches the job requirements of the position.

We appreciate you taking the time to interview with us and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Best regards,

Hiring Manager

What to Do After You Receive a Rejection Letter 

Getting a rejection is never pleasant, no matter what form it takes. However, it’s better to have a definitive answer about a job than it is to wonder when or if you'll hear back from the hiring manager.

Give yourself a moment to mourn the missed opportunity after reading the rejection email, and then move on.

You also might want to take the time to write a thank you letter, even though you didn't get the job. It could open up future opportunities that may be a better fit.

Should You Ask Why You Weren't Hired?

Is it appropriate to ask for information on why you didn't get selected for an interview or, if you were interviewed, why you didn't get offered the position?

 If you have progressed to the interview stage, and have contact information for your interviewer, it is appropriate to reach out and request feedback.

Here's how to ask why you did not get the job. As with rejection letters, many people will be reluctant to share information because of legal concerns. However, if a hiring manager or interviewer is willing to share feedback, it can be tremendously helpful.

For example, that information could help you realize that you need to be answering a certain question differently, emphasizing different skills, or just presenting yourself in a slightly different manner.

Take any feedback you receive to heart, even if it is difficult to hear. Then, perhaps, if the job becomes available again, you can reapply even though you were rejected before.

How to Cope With Being Rejected

Here's some advice on how to handle job search rejection. Getting a rejection letter allows you to cross a job position off your list and turn your focus toward other job applications. 

Key Takeaways

  • Many employers no longer send out rejection letters, both out of legal concerns and because they’ve had a huge applicant pool for the position.
  • If you do receive a rejection letter or email, it will probably be a generic, impersonal form letter.
  • It's fine to send the interviewer a query for advice about what you might do better in future interviews. They may not answer, but at least you will have tried—and this keeps you on their radar should the position reopen.
  • Take a minute to regret the lost opportunity, but then turn your energies and focus on exploring other job possibilities.