Finding a suitable candidate for your open roles also means sending rejection letters to all those who did not make it. Is it really necessary, you ask? While it is not mandatory, it is basic decency on your part.
Candidates spend quality time preparing and interviewing with your company and the least you can do is notify them of their status instead of keeping them in the dark.
Delivering bad news is tough and uncomfortable but running away from it is not the solution. So go the extra mile and try your best to deliver this disheartening news in a polite and professional manner. It won’t bring a smile to the reader’s face, but it does strengthen your company’s reputation and contributes to a positive candidate experience.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind while writing a rejection letter:
Thank the Candidate
Start the letter by politely thanking candidates for their time and consideration. Don’t send out the generic “thank you for applying but…” because it’s mechanical and means nothing.
Instead, take the effort to craft a polite and warm response that reflects your genuine appreciation. In a line or two, express your gratitude towards the fact that they considered your company.
Consider having a personalized approach for every candidate by including their name, the date they interviewed and the position they interviewed for.
Get to the Point
Don’t make the candidate read lengthy paragraphs of praise before you break the news. After thanking them, get straight to the point and inform them of the rejection.
Many companies use this space to offer feedback and explain why the candidate wasn’t considered. However, it is advisable to not offer feedback unless asked.
You can either tell them that the position is filled or how you wanted to focus on an aspect of the job that they did not have experience in. Steer clear from sharing any specifics that can lead to pushback or give rise to back-and-forth conversations.
Yes, the candidate did not make the cut due to various reasons but that does not stop you from acknowledging a strength of theirs you noticed on their resume or in the course of the interview.
Think of some specific strengths such as their leadership experience, communication skills, or a technical skill that stood out and mention that in the letter. Doing this helps to soften the blow and instills hope in the candidates.
Even if you have a template for rejection letters, make sure you personalize this section to include their respective strengths and capabilities.
Keep it Positive
Would you send a rejection letter that seems robotic or would you rather send one that is positive and encouraging?
There is no denying that notifying someone of their rejection is disappointing but how you choose to deliver this news matters a great deal.
Ensure your tone of voice and the words used are positive and leave the candidate with hope. If you feel they would be a good fit for your company, you must tell them that their resume has been archived for future consideration.
Finally, end the letter by wishing them luck in their job search.
As soon as you have made your decision, send out the rejection letter to the other applicants. They are anxious and eager to know the result of their application. The sooner you share the result, the better. It shows proactiveness on your part and lets them move on in their job hunt.
So, make writing rejection letters a practice and don’t be the company that unceremoniously disappears on candidates who don’t qualify. Do your due diligence, send out a genuine and warm rejection letter, and only then should you consider the case closed.
About the Author
Adela Belin is the Head of Digital Marketing at Writers Per Hour. She writes about motivation, mental health, personal development and all things in between. She hopes to make a difference in people’s lives by sharing relevant stories inspired by her personal journey. Feel free to contact Adela on LinkedIn.