Rejection Letter Samples for Unsuccessful Applicants

Sending a Rejection Letter Makes a Good Impression on Applicants

This illustration depicts a scenario of a rejection letter being sent to a job applicant.

Theresa Chiechi © The Balance

Many employers skip sending a rejection letter to unsuccessful job applicants who they haven't invited to come in for an interview. Employers rationalize that they have never had any contact with the applicant so no response to the application is necessary. You could not be more wrong. As long as an applicant hears nothing, he or she feels as if their application is still under consideration, or worse, lost in the ether.

This is unkind and unfeeling and your applicants deserve better. At least, consider sending a customized form letter that lets the applicant know that you received the application. The second goal of a rejection letter is to let the candidate know they will not be invited to your organization for an interview. This is kind and professional.

Sending a letter is a courtesy and can emphasize your position as an employer of choice. Your reputation, built one candidate at a time, is critical to your ongoing ability to attract the best and most skilled talent to your firm. Don't make a lasting bad impression when your opportunity to shine is so easy.

Your rejection letter should be straight-forward and officially notify an applicant of their status. The following samples should serve as your guide when you write your own applicant rejection letters.

Rejection Letter Sample #1 for Unsuccessful Applications

This is a rejection letter example for unsuccessful applications. Download the rejection letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples. It is a template that you can use in the future when you need to reject job applicants.

Screenshot of a rejection letter sample for unsuccessful applications
©TheBalance 2018

Rejection Letter Sample for Unsuccessful Applications (Text Version)

September 1, 2018

Thomas Rodriguez
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 1234

Dear Thomas,

We appreciate that you took the time to apply for the position of (name of position) with our company. We received applications from many people. After reviewing your submitted application materials, we have decided that we will not offer you an interview.

We appreciate that you are interested in our company. Please do apply again in the future should you see a job posting for which you qualify. Again, thank you for applying. We wish you all the best.


Bill Lee (Human Resources Staff Signature)

Bill Lee (Human Resources Staff Name)

Applicant Sample Rejection Letter #2

This second sample applicant rejection letter is not so much a template as you saw in the first sample. Rather it is a fully written sample that reinforces the appropriate contents for an applicant rejection letter. Download the sample rejection letter (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online).

sample application rejection letter
 @ The Balance 2020

Sample Rejection Letter #2


Ellen Johnson

8888 Munger Ln.

Santa Fe, NM 87501

Dear Ms. Johnson,

The Norton Company wanted to let you know that we received your application for our position as Director of Marketing. Thank you for taking the time to send your resume and cover letter as we know how time-consuming this effort is.

After reviewing all of our applications, you were not selected to come in for an interview. Please don't take this as notice that we are not interested in your qualifications. We reacted favorably to your application materials and encourage you to apply for another role within our company when an appropriate role becomes available.

We wish you all of the best in your current job search and trust that you will find a position that will suit your needs.


Avram Prudhomme

Manager of Human Resources

Email Address

Smartphone Number

More Related to the Rejection Letter Samples

Remember that the rejection letter is your last opportunity to build a relationship with the applicant. A rejection letter following this format should cause the applicant to think favorably of your company.

Hopefully, the second applicant rejection letter sample will reinforce the positive approach that is essential in an application rejection letter.

Your reputation as an employer is affected by this applicant's opinion and the opinions of the people who hear this applicant's opinion.

Don't ever believe that sending a rejection letter is unimportant for your reputation as a potential employer for desirable employees.

Please note that the information provided, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality. The site is read by a world-wide audience and ​employment laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources, to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct for your location. This information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance.