Hiring: Tips for Writing Effective Candidate Rejection Letters

July 27, 2010 in HR Best Practices



These days, competition for positions in the food and beverage industry is fierce.  With a greater number of candidates vying for fewer openings, you may find yourself having to say “No” more often.  Needless to say, writing rejection letters can be an unpleasant and stressful part of the hiring process.

But even when you can’t offer a job applicant the position, you can still end the interview process on a positive note.  Here are some quick tips for writing candidate rejection letters in a constructive way, to build good will with candidates and position your company as an employer of choice:

  • Send out the rejection letter promptly.  If you’re certain you will not be hiring the individual, let him know that he was not selected as soon as possible.  Even when the news is bad, your timely follow-up will convey a high level of professionalism.
  • Always use formal company letterhead for a rejection letter and never handwrite it.
  • Address your candidate by name.  Further customize the letter with the position for which he applied, as well as a supportive comment about the applicant’s qualifications, experience or enthusiasm.  Although a rejection letter is basically a form letter, your candidate shouldn’t feel as though it is.
  • Be direct, but gracious.  Make it clear that there were other candidates more qualified for the job, but do so in a respectful way.
  • When appropriate, encourage further action.  If the candidate is a good culture fit, and may be qualified for other openings with your company, say so.  Encourage him to stay in touch and apply again.
  • Always end on a positive note.  Thank the candidate for applying and interviewing.  Wish him good luck in his career development.  Remember, this may be the final impression this individual has of your company – make sure it’s a favorable one.
  • Close the letter formally with “Sincerely,” or “Best wishes,” and sign your name.

Don’t want to write rejection letters? 

Call Kinsa national food and beverage industry recruiters with your professional placement needs.  We’ll handle every step of the process – from recruiting to assessment and initial interviews – and only present you with the most qualified candidates.  If you decide not to hire an individual we refer, just let us know and we’ll take care of the rest.