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Rejection emails

Rejection emails leave a lasting impression on your applicants and thus have a significant influence on your brand as an employer. Firstly, you may often find that applicants are only unsuitable for a specific vacancy and it is actually in your interest to keep the applicant in the frame for next time. Secondly, word of bad experiences spreads quickly among friends and shows your whole company in a bad light.

Three tips you should bear in mind when writing your rejection emails:

  1. Be honest: Be as honest as possible in the feedback you give to your applicants. They will thank you for it. Ultimately, they will learn what they could to do better in their next interview.
  2. Timing: Do not forget – your applicants are waiting for you to get back to them. Having to wait a long time is frustrating for your candidates.
  3. Talent Pool: You will often find yourself receiving promising applications from qualified candidates to whom you cannot offer a suitable position at that precise moment in time. However, you should still tell your applicants that you are interested in them and that you will gladly keep their details on file. In this case, a personal phone call can also be a good starting point for a future working relationship.

Rejection email in response to an unsolicited application

Dear Mr. Doe,

Thank you for taking the initiative and submitting your application.

We have assessed all potential employment opportunities in the relevant areas of our company. Unfortunately, we have to inform you that we currently cannot offer you any positions which match your profile.

However, this may change in the near future. We would therefore like to invite you to look at our careers page now and again and keep an eye out for suitable vacancies.


[Your name]


Rejecting an application at the shortlisting stage

Dear Mr. Doe,

Thank you for your patience and for taking the time and effort to prepare your application documents.

We have considered a large number of applicants in great detail and have concluded that we are going to have to reject your application on this occasion as other candidates for the position unfortunately meet our requirements even more comprehensively.

As you may well be a perfect fit for another role in our team, however, we would like to ask you to keep an eye on our careers portal. We are always on the lookout for ambitious, talented individuals and are advertising new vacancies all the time which could indeed spark your interest.


[Your name]



Rejecting an application after the interview stage

Dear John Doe,

Thank you very much for the stimulating discussion and your patience up to this point.

As you had already done well to make it onto our shortlist, and made a good impression on us, we found this decision to be a particularly hard one. Ultimately, however, we have had to choose another candidate.

Sometimes, it is only the finest of nuances which tip the balance of a decision one way or the other. In this case, one of your fellow candidates was just a tiny bit ahead. Please do not take this as a negative assessment of your skills or character in any way whatsoever. We would like to thank you for the trust you have placed in us.

We would also be very keen to consider you for any future vacancies and keep your application documents on file. As personal data is subject to the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and we are obliged to erase it once the purpose of its processing has been fulfilled, we therefore require your consent to do this. If we receive your consent, we will store your data until the end of an extended retention period of [period]. You can ask for your data to be corrected or deleted at any time. If you are happy to agree to these terms and conditions, please confirm this by clicking this link [confirmation link].

Whatever you decide, we would like to wish you all the best in your future career and hope that we will find an opportunity to work together one day.


[Your name]



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