Letter to Unsuccessful Candidate

At the conclusion of a job interview, candidates typically have a sense of how well they did. They may have an accurate impression of their chances of landing the job—or not. When notification of your decision arrives, they may agonize over the letter for hours, or they may open it immediately. Regardless, you can ease rejection by phrasing your rejection letter with aplomb.

Indeed, a rejection letter received after the candidate has taken the time to interview for the position—as opposed to simply sending in a resume—can be quite painful. Candidates often take rejections personally, sometimes believing that the interviewee didn’t like them as a person.  Even if this is true, there is no reason for the candidate to know. A properly written rejection letter can prevent this unfortunate circumstance.

Format: typed via typewriter or word processor on letterhead.


Starting to Write


Thank the candidate for taking the time to prepare for and participate in the interview.


State clearly that the candidate is no longer being considered.


Make a positive statement about their qualifications, their application or the interview itself.


Thank the candidate again for their participation and wish them the best of luck with their future endeavors.

Sample Letters

Sample Letter to Unsuccessful Candidate

Dear Applicant,

I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to interview with us.  After careful consideration we have selected candidates for the next round of the interview process, and you have not been chosen to go forward at this time. Although your work history is strong, your résumé is not a good match for the position.

I would like to stress our appreciation for your participation in the interview process. If you would like to inquire about additional positions at our company, please contact our Human Resources Department during regular business hours.  Phone: (555-555-5555).  Address: 2424 Cherry Apple Rd, Millville, NC, 27229.


Barney Hill

Dixon Mills

Always thank the candidate for their time
Always insert at least one positive attribute about their application, skills or work history.
Be clear about why they were not selected for the job.
Useful Stock Phrases:

Thank you for your interest in.
Unfortunately, at this time.
After a difficult deliberation process.
This position was highly competitive.
After careful consideration.