Rejection Letter Samples

Writing Applicant Rejection Letters? These Samples Can Help You

Rejection letters are disheartening but kind in their own way as they let the candidate know where they stand.
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Do you use applicant rejection letters? You do if you are earning a reputation as an employer of choice. You do if you want your candidates to feel important and that you have communicated with them regularly. You don't if you want to alienate candidates and prospective employees.

Unfortunately, the concept of ghosting has become prominent. Ghosting occurs when a prospective employer cuts off further communication with a job prospect at any point in the recruitment process. The job candidate may call and call but the employer fails to communicate that they have rejected his or her candidacy. This is cruel and disrespectful.

Ghosting is also relevant when a job candidate stops communicating with an employer at any point in the recruitment and selection process. For example, Human Resources managers note that they have set up interviews with job candidates who never show up for the interview.

They have offered a job to a prospect who never responded to their offer. Employers have called and left a message for the employee to return their call when they want to set up a second interview. This is dumb on the candidate's part, too.

In all of these cases, either the employee prospect or the employer has been rejected—but never told about the rejection in a rejection letter, email, or phone call. Come on people, you all can do better than this. Show a little class and reject candidates and employers appropriately.

There are four instances when an employer of choice will want to communicate with their job candidates.

  • They communicate to state the application was received.
  • They tell the candidate whether or not he or she will receive an interview.
  • They tell the candidate the result of the job interview.
  • They reject the candidate or offer them a job.

These sample rejection letters will help you by providing samples of appropriate candidate communication.

Candidate Sample Rejection Letters

Here are sample rejection candidate letters for the applicants who did not get the job. Use these sample rejection letters to develop your own letters to politely and kindly turn a job candidate down. Use rejection letters to kindly and classily communicate with your applicants at each step in your hiring process.

Candidate Rejection Letter Sample: Not Selected for an Interview

The following is a sample rejection letter for a candidate who did not appear to be a good fit for the open position or for your company. You can only learn so much from reviewing a resume and cover letter or an online application but often, what you learn is enough.

For example, a developer who prefers to work alone will not effectively contribute to the team environment in your company where the team sits together in an open format. You will not want to spend precious employee time on this candidate.


Name of Applicant

Applicant's Address


Dear (Applicant Name):

This letter is to inform you that you were not selected to undergo a phone screen or an onsite interview for the position for which you applied. We appreciate your interest in our open position and that you took the time to send us your credentials and an application.

Again, thank you for applying for the (Name of Job) role.


Samantha Kamala

HR Generalist and Recruiter

Candidate Rejection Letter Sample Following an Interview

In this sample rejection letter, the employer wants to let the candidate know the following information.

  • The job candidate is rejected.
  • The reason? They found other candidates with more experience directly relevant to the job.
  • They liked this candidate but not for the current opening but he is encouraged to apply again.


Name of Applicant

Applicant's Address


Dear (Applicant Name):

As you know, we interviewed a number of candidates for the (Name of Job) position, and we have determined that several other candidates we interviewed have more experience that is directly relevant to the requirements of our job opening.

This letter is to let you know that you have not been selected for the position. 

Thank you for taking the time to come to (Company Name) to meet our interview team. The team enjoyed meeting you and our discussions. You are kindly encouraged to apply again in the future if we post a job opening for which you qualify.


Real Person's Name and Signature

Example: HR Director for the Employee Selection Team

The Bottom Line

You can demonstrate your professionalism as an employer by providing ongoing communication to your job candidates. Even if the communication is negative as in rejecting an applicant, job searchers would rather hear something from you rather than hearing nothing at all.

Disclaimer: 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.