Crafting an Effective Candidate Rejection Email: A Guide for Employers

In the hiring process, it’s crucial for employers to provide timely and thoughtful feedback to job applicants, even if it’s not the news they were hoping for. Failing to do so can not only damage the company’s reputation but also discourage potential candidates from reapplying or even spread negative word-of-mouth.

According to Workable, a leading recruitment software company, 75% of candidates never hear back from a company after sending an application, and 42% of them will not reapply for a position again if they’re not replied to.

Moreover, 22% of candidates will go as far as telling others not to apply to the company and boycotting their products.

To avoid these negative consequences and maintain a positive employer brand, it’s essential for employers to craft a well-written rejection email.

The Importance of Providing Feedback

When you reject a candidate without giving any feedback, you’re not only missing an opportunity to build a positive employer brand but also risking potential damage to your company’s reputation.

Imagine if 22 out of every 100 rejected candidates decided to spread negative feedback about your company to their network of friends and family.

The power of word-of-mouth should not be underestimated, as Nielsen Insights reveals that 92% of people trust recommendations from family and friends over any other type of advertising.

Therefore, it’s crucial to provide feedback, no matter how brief, to every candidate who applies for a position at your company.

How to Craft Perfect Candidate Rejection Email

How to Craft Perfect Candidate Rejection Message

While it may seem daunting to craft a rejection email, it’s a necessary step in maintaining a positive candidate experience and preserving your employer brand.

Below, I’ll guide you through the process of creating an effective rejection email that leaves a lasting impression on candidates.

1. Start with a Personalized Greeting

Begin your rejection email by addressing the candidate by their name and expressing your appreciation for their interest in the position. This personal touch shows that you value their time and effort in applying for the role.

2. Deliver the News Thoughtfully

Next, deliver the news of the rejection in a clear and empathetic manner. Acknowledge the candidate’s skills and qualifications, and explain that although they were not selected for this specific position, their application was carefully considered. Emphasize that the decision was based on the specific needs and requirements of the role, rather than a reflection of their overall abilities.

3. Offer Constructive Feedback

To provide a valuable candidate experience, offer some constructive feedback that can help the candidate improve their future applications. Highlight areas where they excelled and provide suggestions for areas of improvement. This feedback can be related to their resume, cover letter, or interview performance. Remember to be specific, objective, and supportive in your feedback.

4. Express Your Continued Interest

Even though the candidate may not have been the right fit for the current position, express your interest in keeping their information on file for future opportunities. This shows that you value their skills and would consider them for other roles that may arise.

5. End on a Positive Note

Wrap up the rejection email on a positive and encouraging note. Wish the candidate success in their job search and express confidence in their abilities. Encourage them to stay connected with your company and follow its updates on social media or through email subscriptions.

6. Proofread and Personalize

Before sending the rejection email, make sure to proofread it for any grammatical errors or typos. Additionally, personalize the email by adding a sentence or two that acknowledges a specific aspect of the candidate’s application or interview. This personal touch shows that you genuinely reviewed their materials and considered them as a candidate.

7. Follow Up with Automation

To streamline the rejection process, consider using recruiting software that features automatic replies. This can save time and ensure that every candidate receives a response, even if it’s an automated one. However, make sure to customize the automated response to include the candidate’s name and a brief reference to their application.

8. Provide Additional Resources

To further support candidates in their job search, consider including links to helpful resources or articles on your website or blog. This demonstrates your commitment to their professional growth and can leave a positive impression, even in the face of rejection.


Crafting a well-written rejection email is a crucial aspect of the hiring process. By providing timely and thoughtful feedback to candidates, you can maintain a positive employer brand, encourage reapplication, and avoid negative word-of-mouth.

Remember to personalize each rejection message, offer constructive feedback, express continued interest, and end on a positive note. With these steps, you can ensure a respectful and professional candidate experience, even in the face of rejection.

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