Sample Rejection Letters

Let Applicants Down Easy with These Sample Rejection Letters

Want to professionally, thoughtfully, and kindly reject job applicants? You can use these sample rejection letters as a guide. These samples will assist you to reject job applicants: when they apply, after the interview, and when not selected for the job.

You owe your job candidates professionally communicated rejections at each step of the hiring process. Don't allow them to feel that their efforts have disappeared down a dark hole when they hear nothing from you for weeks. There is nothing more unkind than to leave a candidate waiting and wondering.

And, yes, I know how busy you are. But, busy is a poor excuse to fail to treat your job candidates with all due respect. Use these sample rejection letters as a guide while you develop the employment letters that you use in your organization.

How to Write Rejection Letters

Thoughtful woman typing on a laptop
Writing Legal, Kind Rejection Letters Is a Challenge. Mike Kemp/Getty Images

Wonder why you would send professional rejection letters to job applicants, when so many employers don't? Sending rejection letters to job applicants who were not selected for the job is an extra, but positive step, your company can take to build good will with candidates.

Professional, thoughtful rejection letters help establish your organization as an employer of choice. See how to write a professional rejection letter—and find out the big why.

How to Reject Your Job Applicants Kindly When Not Selected for an Interview

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It's a kindness on the part of the employer to communicate with job candidates at each step of your hiring process. Candidates invest incredible amounts of time in applying for jobs. They are owed respectful communication.

Here's a sample rejection letter to let an applicant know that he or she was not selected for a job interview. You have the opportunity in these cases to use more of a form letter because you have not yet developed a relationship with the candidate. 

At this stage of the hiring process, to save your staff time yet still respond to every candidate who applies, you may also send these rejection letters automatically and electronically.  More

Applicant Rejection Letters

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Writing Rejection Letters Is Never a Pleasant Task. Klaus Vedfelt/Iconica/Getty Images

Do you need a sample applicant rejection letter? Here is a sample rejection letter for the applicants you didn't choose to interview for the job. Use this sample applicant rejection letter to develop your own rejection letters to politely and kindly, yet definitely, turn an applicant down. More

Rejection Letter Sample: Applicants Not Chosen for an Interview

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Do you need a sample rejection letter to send to unsuccessful applicants for your jobs? Here is a simple, standard rejection letter for applicants you choose not to interview. As a courtesy and to emphasize your position as an employer of choice, you want to send a rejection letter. More

Rejection Letter: Good Cultural Fit

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When you must reject a candidate because you have identified another candidate who is more qualified for whatever reason, use this sample candidate rejection letter. This is a sample candidate rejection letter for a candidate who seemed to be a good cultural fit for your company. More

Sample Rejection Letter: Bad Cultural Fit

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Rejection Letters Are Disheartening. Gianni Diliberto/fStop/Getty Images

Do you use applicant rejection letters? You do if you are earning a reputation as an employer of choice. Here is a sample rejection letter for the applicants who did not get the job and appear to be a poor fit with your culture. Use this sample rejection letter to develop your own rejection letters to politely and kindly turn a candidate down. More

Candidate Rejection Letter: Would Hire for the Right Job

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Some Rejection Letters Encourage a New Application. Westend61/Westend61/Getty Images

Here is a sample rejection letter for an applicant you’d like to hire in your company. You had a more qualified applicant for the current position, but you'd consider this candidate for a different position. More

Rejection Letter After a Job Interview

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In many companies, a job applicant is invited for an initial interview during which a basic assessment of his or her skills, experience, and potential cultural fit occurs. In some companies one individual conducts this interview. Increasingly, companies recognize the power of a candidate meeting more employees. This is a sample rejection letter for a candidate who did not qualify for a second interview. More

Job Rejection Letter Sample: Following an Interview

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Following a job interview, all but one candidate must receive a job rejection letter. Sooner is better to send a job rejection letter to help your job applicants get on with their job search. Sending a rejection letter in a timely manner marks you as an employer of choice, too. Here is a sample job rejection letter that employers can send to candidates who were rejected following the job interview. More

Job Rejection Letter: After Second Interview

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Do you need a sample job rejection letter? This sample job rejection letter is for candidates who interviewed with your organization twice. It is painful to send a job rejection letter to a candidate whom you found qualified enough to tap for a second interview. But, it happens. Use this sample job rejection letter to professionally and politely, with care and concern, tell second interview candidates that they did not get the job. More