sg-crest A Singapore Government Agency Website
Official website links end with .gov.sg
Secure websites use HTTPS
Look for a lock () or https:// as an added precaution. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.
workipedia logo white

10 minute read

How to Craft a Job Rejection Email for Your Candidates [With Samples]

Crafting a thoughtful and respectful job rejection email can be a defining moment for your company’s reputation. In this guide, we’ll explore the key elements of these messages and provide real-world samples to help you master the art of rejection mail construction.

Few moments in the hiring process are as delicate as informing candidates that they’ve not been chosen for a role they pursued with passion and hope. Yet, how you handle this communication can define your company’s brand and reputation.

Job rejection emails are more than courteous formalities; they’re opportunities to uphold a positive candidate experience and foster future relationships.

For HR professionals, crafting these emails is an art form that demands balance, empathy, and clarity. In this guide, we’ll walk through the nuanced steps of composing job rejection emails that reflect thoughtfulness and respect. We’ll explore these messages’ key elements and provide real-world samples to guide you in the art of rejection mail construction.

Transform your hiring strategy with MyCareersFuture! Explore our innovative tools to find the perfect fit for your team. 

What you should include in a rejection email

While delivering bad news is never easy, following a few guidelines can help you write an effective rejection email. Here are the several key components you should include in your email. 

Personalisation and Gratitude: Addressing the candidate by name and expressing gratitude for their time and interest in the position is a crucial first step in crafting a professional rejection email. This shows that you value the candidate’s effort and consideration, even though they weren’t the right fit for the role.

Clear and Informative: It’s important to be transparent and clear when delivering the news that you won’t be moving forward with their candidacy. Depending on the stage of the rejection, you may offer a brief explanation of why the candidate wasn’t selected. For later-stage rejections, consider offering specific feedback on the candidate’s application or interview performance, as this can be valuable for them in future job searches.

Respectful and Courteous: While it’s essential to be honest and direct in your rejection email, it’s equally important to avoid negative language or making the candidate feel inadequate. Instead, focus on reiterating your thanks for their time and application, and consider mentioning any future opportunities they might be a good fit for (if applicable).

Professional Closing: Finally, it’s important to conclude with an experienced closing and your name/title. Before hitting send, double-check for any typos or grammatical errors that may leave a wrong impression.

By following these tips and examples, you can craft a job rejection email that is professional, informative, and respectful of the candidate’s time and effort. 

 

When is a job rejection email sent?

One of the most critical aspects of the hiring process is ensuring that candidates receive timely and respectful communication throughout the entire process. Here is a breakdown of the different stages of the interview process where HR sends out a rejection email and the ideal timeframe for sending the email.

Stage 1: Initial Application

If a candidate’s resume or cover letter does not match the requirements closely or there is a large pool of highly qualified candidates, it’s likely that they will receive a rejection email at this stage. The ideal time for sending this email type is within 3-5 business days of receiving the application. This allows candidates to move on in their job search without waiting for a response.

Stage 2: After a Phone Screening

If the initial phone conversation reveals a mismatch in skills or experience for the role, a quick follow-up email is appropriate. The ideal time for sending this email type is within 1-2 business days of the call.

Stage 3: Post Interview

If another candidate impressed the hiring manager more or the candidates’ responses didn’t align perfectly with what they were looking for, it’s common to send out rejection emails after the first interview. The ideal time for sending this email type is within one week of the interview. If it takes longer due to scheduling conflicts, a brief email explaining the delay is considered.

Stage 4: Following Final Interviews

If you made it to the final round but another candidate emerged as a stronger fit for the team dynamics or company culture, you might receive a rejection email. The ideal time for sending this email type is within 1-2 weeks after the final interview. If the company needs more time to discuss candidates or make an offer, a short email expressing continued interest and outlining the next steps keeps the candidate informed.

Candidate Rejection Email Template

To assist you, we’ve curated a set of email templates to aid your communication with job applicants. These templates focus on sharing information effectively while maintaining a positive and respectful tone. Feel free to personalise them and impress candidates right from the get-go!

Stage 1: Initial Application

Subject: [Job Title] Application Update – [Company Name]

Dear [Candidate Name],

Thank you for your application for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. We appreciate the time and effort you have put into your application, and we want to thank you for sharing your skills and experience with us.

We wanted to reach out to you personally to let you know that, although your application was impressive, we have decided to move forward with other applicants whose experience more closely aligns with the specific needs of this role.

We understand that receiving this news can be disappointing, and we want to assure you that this decision was not a reflection of your abilities or potential. We value your time and effort, and we appreciate the interest you showed in joining our team.

We encourage you to continue to explore opportunities at [Company Name] in the future. We are always interested in hearing from talented and motivated individuals like yourself. You can watch our careers page for future opportunities that may be a better fit for your skills and experience.

Once again, thank you for your interest in [Company Name]. We wish you all the best in your job search and hope you find an opportunity that perfectly matches your skills and experience.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[Your Title]

 

Stage 2: After a Phone Screening

Subject: [Job Title] Application Update – [Company Name]

Dear [Candidate Name],

I want to personally thank you for taking the time to speak with us regarding the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. Your enthusiasm for [industry/company mission] and your experience in [mention a specific area discussed] were impressive and noteworthy.

After careful review, we’ve decided not to proceed with your application at this time. We understand that this news may be disappointing, and we want you to know that our decision was not a reflection of your experience or qualifications.

As you may be aware, we received many exceptional applications for this role. After careful consideration, we identified several candidates whose backgrounds aligned more precisely with the specific requirements of this position.

Please know that we appreciate the time and effort you put into your application and your conversation with us, and we value your interest in our company. We encourage you to continue your job search and wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Thank you again for your interest in [Company Name]. We hope you will stay in touch with us in the future.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

[Company Name]

 

Stage 3: Post Interview (Without Feedback)

Subject: [Job Title] Application Update – [Company Name]

Dear [Candidate Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for your interest in the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. Your skills and experience were impressive, and we enjoyed learning more about your background during the interview process.

As you know, the hiring process for this position was highly competitive, with strong candidates vying for the role. After careful consideration, we’ve decided to move forward with a candidate whose background aligns a bit more closely with the specific needs of this particular position at this time.

I understand that this news may be disappointing, and I want you to know that we don’t take this decision lightly. We appreciate the time and effort you invested in the application process and want to thank you for your interest in [Company Name].

While we cannot provide feedback on your interview, I want to assure you that our decision was based solely on the company’s needs and the candidate’s qualifications. We value the time and effort you put into applying to [Company Name], and we encourage you to continue pursuing your goals.

We wish you all the best in your future endeavours and hope you will keep an eye on our careers page for opportunities that may be a better fit for your qualifications and experience.

Thank you again for your interest in [Company Name], and we wish you the very best in your job search.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[Your Title]

Expand your team with MyCareersFuture! Access Singapore’s vast talent pool of 500,000+ by posting your jobs today.

Stage 3: Post Interview (With Feedback) 

Subject: [Job Title] Application Update – [Company Name]

Dear [Candidate Name],

We want to express our heartfelt gratitude for taking the time to interview for the [Job Title] role at [Company Name]. We were thrilled to see your enthusiasm and passion for the position, and your knowledge and experience in [mention relevant field] were truly impressive.

After careful consideration, we regret to inform you that despite your impressive qualifications and skills, we have decided to proceed with other candidates whose experience more closely aligns with the specific needs of this role at this time. 

We understand that this may be a disappointing outcome. However, we hope you understand that this decision was not a reflection of your abilities. We recognize that you are a talented professional, and we would like to offer you some specific feedback to help you strengthen your application in the future.

During the interview, we were particularly impressed with your [mention specific skills or qualities that impressed you] and especially appreciated your [mention a particular example from the interview that showcased their skills]. However, we noticed that you could benefit from further experience in [mention specific area for improvement].

We personally feel this is an area where you can focus your efforts to strengthen your candidacy in the future and make yourself a more competitive candidate as we recognise you’re a talented professional with a lot to offer. And we’d encourage you to keep pursuing your goals.

We wish you the best of luck in your future job search and encourage you to apply for future roles with our company.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want to discuss this feedback further. We appreciate your interest in [Company Name] and wish you the best in your career.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[Your Title]

 

Stage 4: Following Final Interviews

Subject: [Job Title] Application Update – [Company Name]

Dear [Candidate Name],

We want to express our sincerest gratitude for your time and effort in the interview process for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. 

We were truly impressed with your experience, skills, and unique perspective in [specific area], and it was exciting to learn more about your accomplishments in this field. Your enthusiasm and professionalism throughout the interview process were commendable, and we appreciate all the effort you put into your application.

After careful consideration, we have decided to proceed with another candidate whose skills and experience most align with the role’s specific needs. Please know that our decision to proceed with another candidate was difficult, as you are a very talented professional.

I understand this news may be disappointing, and I want to assure you that this was a close call. This decision was made after a thorough and rigorous interview process, and it does not reflect on your abilities or potential. Your qualifications and insights were impressive, and we were particularly impressed by your passion for [industry/company mission] and your experience in [mention a specific area].

I would like to encourage you to keep [Company Name] in mind for future opportunities. We are always looking for talented individuals like yourself and would welcome the chance to work with you in another capacity.

We wish you the very best of luck in securing the perfect opportunity. You have a bright future ahead, and we have no doubt you’ll find a role that allows you to excel.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[Your Title]

In conclusion, crafting a job rejection email may seem like a small task in the grand scheme of the hiring process. Still, it can significantly impact a candidate’s perception of your company. By following the guidelines and examples provided in this guide, HR professionals can ensure that they uphold a positive candidate experience and foster future relationships. 

Remember, a rejection email is not just a formal courtesy; it’s an opportunity to demonstrate thoughtfulness and respect and to leave a lasting impression on candidates. With clear and informative language, personalisation and gratitude, and a respectful and courteous tone, job rejection emails can help build your company’s brand and reputation.

Find more jobs like these at
MyCareersFuture Job Portal