How to write a rejection email to a candidate

Alexander Mazzara 2, May 2018 3 min
How to write a rejection email to a candidate

How to write a rejection email to a candidate? We share our guidelines:

Everyone you hire & don’t hire actively participate in your employer branding. Find out how to write a rejection email to a candidate that inspires!

Hearing that they didn’t get the job is a tough pill to swallow. Of course, no one wants to deliver the bad news. After all, recruiters take pride in matching a candidate for the right position. Many applicants are being rejected on a daily basis even if they are qualified. A robotic, lifeless template for a rejection email is one way to bring a candidate down. In fact, not everyone makes an effort to inform the applicant that they did not pass. So let’s take a moment to bring life and inspiration to rejection letters. Here are a few ways to make it happen:


Start by thanking the applicant for their interest in the job posting. Acknowledge their emotion to make sure that you were there to listen to them. You can say, “We know how this opportunity is important to you and we appreciate that you chose us.” Try to convey genuine appreciation and not sound robotic.

Leave the door open

Make them feel like you still want them. Make it look like it’s not their fault. You can say “Our Company would like to ask your permission if we can keep your record on file and contact you the minute that there is an available position for your talent.” It will make them feel like they are still needed and a better future is ahead of them.

A gratifying reason

Explain the situation in a way that you will build his/her confidence and not question his/her skill set. You can say, “the Company is currently focusing on a senior level that can provide guidance and coaching to their peers.”  If you hired the other candidate, make them understand why the other candidate is the better choice. Make the applicant realize that a different company will be lucky to have them.

His/her strength

Build up the applicant’s confidence by identifying his/her strength. You can pinpoint something specific, or you can generalize, depending on the situation. You can say, “With your limited experience, the team was very impressed with your problem-solving skills and the way you think outside the box.” Remind the applicant of their worth and make them feel that he/she is still in demand.


Make the applicant feel important, and the company wants to hear their thoughts. Open the door for a response and make him/her think that you are waiting for a reply. You can say, “we can arrange a meeting if you have questions or clarifications. Let’s keep in touch. We would love to hear your thoughts”.

Candidates will always feel down after receiving a rejection email. However, their confidence is something we want them to keep. These guidelines are simple yet very impacting when it comes to being human. In the corporate world, reminding someone of their worth is something special. In this fast-paced world we live in, regardless of the competition, showing someone that you care for them is little effort, but the impact it may bring to the receiving end may change their lives and will also influence your employer brand.

At Lionstep, we care about our candidate feedback. 96% of candidates feel Lionstep communication is innovative, helpful, and friendly. Get in touch today, to find qualified and interested candidates.