Employment Rejection Letter

Don't Burn a Bridge

The employment rejection letter is the final part of your recruitment effort. Out of courtesy and good business practice each candidate who made it to the interview process and was not selected should receive a rejection letter.

Why Send an Employment Rejection Letter?

Each candidate who made it to your interview process has spent some time and resources coming in and following your process. The deserve to be treated as a professional and get a letter explaining that the position was filled by another candidate.

Beyond the fact that it is good practice, who knows, some day you may need to revisit or reopen the position and if there was candidate 1a and 1b (e.g. it was a close call) you may want to revisit candidate 1b.

What the Letter Should Say

As a recruiter, I have had to give a number of job seekers the bad news that they were not selected. I have found a brief to the point explanation is the best course of action.

Often times I do know the clients reasons for choosing one candidate over another but I can't say that. So what works best is a short, you were part of a great pool of candidates they had to choose from, it was a difficult decision.

They were fortunate enough to find a candidate that fits their requirements quite well. They told me that if there are future openings that fit your background well they would definitely consider bringing you in for those openings.

This does 3 things, it lets the candidate know they were part of a close competition with a number of good candidates. It was not that they were poorly qualified it was that there was someone else that had a better match and that they would be considered for future openings.

Short. To the point and professional.

What it Should NOT Say!

Here's a hand full of things not to do or say!

  1. Never send the letters until your primary candidate has accepted and passed all pre-employment tests and said yes.
  2. Never explain in detail why you decided what you decided
  3. Finally, never tell a candidate they were unqualified or unfit for the position.




Not Finding What You are Looking For?

Try our site search engine;



Return From Employment Rejection Letter to Employee Selection Process
Return to Staffing and Recruiting Essentials Home Page

free hit counters