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Candidate rejection emails for every stage of the application process (FREE TEMPLATES)

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Candidate rejection emails for every stage of the application process (FREE TEMPLATES)
Caroline Gleeson
4 minute read
Candidate Experience

Want to professionally, thoughtfully, and empathetically reject job applicants? The following are different types of rejection email templates for each stage of the interview process. These will assist you to turn down job applicants at various stages in the process, whether when they are not called to interview or rejected following an interview.

It’s crucial you don’t skip or delay this step or fall into the busyness trap and use it as an excuse to fail to treat your job candidates with respect. You owe your job candidates graceful and timely communicated rejections, no matter at what stage they are screened out. 

Use these sample rejection templates as a guide, but they should come with a safety precaution: ‘Handle with care.’ There’s always the risk of sounding hollow and like a bot when you use ‘one-size-fits-all’ templates. Opt for messages that mirror your company’s employer brand tone and style, and are similar to human face-to-face conversations.

Additionally, candidates that progress interviews and commit a significant amount of time to the process, priority should always be given to rejection by a courtesy phone call first. But if time and competing schedules are not on your side, we have also included an email template you can use. 

Sending rejection emails to candidates is an integral part of the hiring process. Signup for free to Occupop’s all-in-one recruiting software for better candidate experience.

So, what should I include in a rejection email?

A thorough rejection email should touch on the following elements:

#1 Say thank you
Always thank a candidate for their time and interest in your company. Whether it was in application, or coming in for interviews in addition to being polite, this message also shows applicants your organisation values others’ time.

#2 Humanise it
Always use the applicant’s first name and the title of the position. If possible, you may also include a note from the conversation or mention something that impressed you.

#3 Where possible, give feedback
Where time permits and especially if candidates have given up a significant amount of time interviewing, provide some feedback as it provides valuable insight for the candidate that may help inform their next move. 

#4 Invitation to apply again
If you feel a candidate is a good fit for the company, just not now, keep the door open and let them know you would like to contact them for other opportunities in the future. 

Candidate rejection email template: When not selected for an interview

Email Subject Line: Your application to [Company_name]

Hi [Candidate_name],

Thank you for your application for the  [Job_title] at [Company Name]. We really appreciate your interest in joining our company and we want to thank you for the time and energy you invested in your application for the [Job_title] position.

We received a large number of applications, and after carefully reviewing all of them, unfortunately, we have to inform you that this time we won’t be able to invite you to the next round of our hiring process.

Due to the high number of applications we are, unfortunately, not able to provide individual feedback to your application at this early stage of the process. 

However, we really appreciated your application and you are welcome to apply again at [Company name] in the future.

We wish you all the best in your job search.

Kind regards,

[Your name]

[Your email signature]

INSERT-CTA

Candidate rejection email template: After the team interview

Email Subject Line: Your application to [Company_name]

Hi [Candidate_name],

It was a great pleasure to meet you and thank you so much for your interest in [Company_name] and the nice chat we had earlier. Unfortunately, I’m a bringer of bad news.  

After careful review, your experience and interests didn’t quite line up with what we were looking for. We have decided to move forward with other candidates at this time. We know you’ve got a lot of options when seeking a community where your skills and talents will shine, so we really appreciate that you considered us.

While this is a ‘no’ for now, it may not be forever. We think you could be a good fit for other future openings and will reach out again if we find a good match, and hopefully our paths will cross again.

Thanks once again for your time and interest. 

Kind regards,

[Your name]

[Your email signature]

 

Candidate rejection email template: After the final interview

Email Subject Line: Your application to [Company_name]

Hi [Candidate_name],

It was a great pleasure to meet you and we really appreciate your interest in a career with [Company_name]. 

Your skills and accomplishments impressed us. However after careful consideration, we wanted to let you know that we have chosen to move forward with another candidate for the [Job_title] position because they have more exposure to (.......) that more closely matched our hiring needs.

Our team was impressed by your skills and experience. Especially (.....). While it's a ‘no’ for now, we think you could be a good fit for other future openings and will reach out again if we find a good match.

Thank you for your time in interviewing with us and we wish you all the best in your job search and future professional endeavors.

Kind regards,

[Your name]

[Your email signature]


Summary Points

What should I include in a rejection email?

A thorough rejection email should touch on the following elements:

#1 Say thank you
Always thank a candidate for their time and interest in your company.

#2 Humanise it
Always use the applicant’s first name and the title of the position.

#3 Where possible, give feedback
Where time permits and especially if candidates have given up a significant amount of time interviewing, provide some feedback as it provides valuable insight for the candidate that may help inform their next move. 

#4 Invitation to apply again
If you feel a candidate is a good fit for the company, just not now, keep the door open and let them know you would like to contact them for other opportunities in the future. 


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