Job Applicant Rejection

The shortlist has been made and the advertised position is as good as filled? Then comes the part that no HR department likes to do: politely informing rejected applicants about how to cancel interviews that have already been arranged, for example. In this guide you will find 7 samples of how to write a rejection letter for a job application and in doing so you can go into detail about the reason. You will also find information for the opposite case: What is the situation, if the employee declines with thanks?

7 samples for employers: rejection letter for training position, unsolicited application, etc.

No matter how big a company is: Theoretically, there should be give feedback for every single application. Because a rejection is still better than no feedback at all. Not least in terms of employer branding, it certainly matters whether and how you write the application rejection. In the following, we have compiled various templates on how you can politely formulate the rejection of an application. All samples are to be understood as suggestions; the more individual you make the rejection letter, the better for the candidate experience. At the same time, of course, applicants know that not every company has time to formulate a customized rejection letter. Don’t make it harder than necessary – but definitely don’t make it too easy either.

1. basic template for a polite rejection letter to an application

In the first sample, we assume that you have already determined from the application documents: This person does not fit into the company. In such a case, the rejection could look as follows. Dear Mr… / Dear Ms…, thank you for your application for the [position] and your interest in our company. Unfortunately, we have to inform you that we received a lot of applications and cannot include you in the shortlist. Please do not take our rejection as a devaluation of your skills. In the application process, small details are often decisive for the decision. However, with your consent, we would like to include you in our talent pool and inform you if further positions become available. Please follow this link: [Link to the consent form for the Talent Pool] In the meantime, we wish you every success in your future endeavors. Sincerely yours, Signature

Recruiting Readiness Check

How good are we at getting the right candidate(s) to the right job in time?

Of course you do not have to not have to refer to the talent pool with every rejection. After all, only applications with real potential should end up there. However, as soon as you want to include someone in this pool, you must obtain their obtain approvalas this is personal data is involved. With the right HR software, the talent pool can be managed without much effort.

2. rejection of a speculative application

A promising application is on the table, but there is no vacancy: In this case, too, it is time for a polite rejection. Refer to the Talent Pool, if available! Dear Mr… / Dear Ms…, thank you for your interest in our company and your application documents, which we have reviewed with great interest. Unfortunately, there is currently no vacancy in our company that fits your profile. However, as your qualifications are very promising, we would like to include you in our talent pool for future positions. If you agree and would like to receive notifications, please follow this link: [Link to the consent form for the Talent Pool] In the meantime, we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. Yours sincerely, Signature

3. application rejection in English

In case you need to reject a candidate in English, you can use this template as a guideline: Dear Mr/Ms …, thank you for your interest in our company and for sending us your job application. After reviewing the many applications we received for this vacancy, we regret to inform you that we cannot consider you as a candidate. Although you are highly qualified, another candidate’s profile was even better suited to what we are currently looking for. Nevertheless, we wish you success for your future career. Kind regards, Signature


4. rejection after the trial period

A trial period is a proven method of testing whether a company to test whether the company and the applicant are really compatible.. In the best case, both sides immediately realize that the chemistry is right. However, it can also happen that the opposite quickly becomes apparent. Ideally, you as a company do not cancel by e-mail, but by phone call. It is a sign of respect, after all, the potential candidate:in some effort. If you should cancel by message, a wording such as this formulation like this Dear Mr… / Dear Ms…, thank you for taking the time to get to know our company better during a trial period. Unfortunately, after thorough consultation, we have come to the conclusion that we would like to search further for the ideal person to fill the vacant position. We are sorry that we cannot give you a positive feedback. Thank you for your efforts and good luck in your future endeavors! Sincerely yours, Signature

5. rejection of application for a training position

Particularly when rejecting an application for an apprenticeship, you need to be tact is required. For the HR department, it’s nothing more than a quick e-mail – but for a young person, it may be a shattered dream. Dear Mr… / Dear Ms…, thank you for your application documents. We are very pleased that you have applied for training at [Company] and would like to start your career with us. However, we regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you a training position at this time. [Add a reason here if necessary: other candidates with even more potential or similar.] Please do not take our rejection as a devaluation of your skills. We wish you every success in your future endeavors! Yours sincerely, Signature

6. rejection after the interview

Just like the trial work, the interview is a decisive point in the application process. However, this decision is not always positive, and the disappointment on the part of the applicant may be all the greater. In the rejection letter, show that you appreciate the appreciate the effortDear Mr… / Dear Ms… thank you for taking the time for a personal interview as part of your application. We were pleased to meet you and you left an extremely positive impression. However, we regret to inform you that, after careful consideration, we have decided in favor of another applicant. We are sorry that it did not work out – we wish you all the best for your future career. Yours sincerely, Signature

7. rejection of application for an internship

Interns are often ridiculed – a mistake, because not infrequently they turn out to be an unused talent pool out. So pay as much attention to internship rejections as you would for a permanent position. You never know: you may just be turning down a talent of tomorrow and losing the chance of that person applying again in the future! Dear Mr… / Dear Ms…, thank you for your application documents – we are pleased that you have applied for an internship at [Company]. Unfortunately, we have to inform you that we cannot offer you an internship at this time. Please do not take our rejection as a devaluation of your skills. We are sure that you have a lot to offer and would be happy to add you to our talent pool. If you would like to do so, please follow this link: [Link to the consent form for the Talent Pool] We wish you much success in your future endeavors. Sincerely yours, Signature

Writing Appreciative Rejection Letters: How to formulate job application rejection letters

It is a fact that the rejection of an application reflects the corporate culture to a certain extent. It will be remembered by the applicants, whether they receive a rejection and if so, how it is written.

Here are some recommendations on how to make the text of the application rejection polite, friendly and appreciative:

  • Pay attention to the personal salutation and the correct spelling of names. So much time must be – “Dear applicant” shows complete disinterest.
  • Adapt the style. A manager with 10 years of professional experience expects different wording in the rejection letter than a school graduate who is just looking for a training position.
  • Do not spare praise. Have you been particularly impressed by an application? Don’t be afraid to say so! An appreciative rejection is easier to digest.
  • Compose your message from meaningful text modules instead of using a rigid template.instead of using a rigid template. Phrases like “keep in evidence” or “the application does not fit the profile” are a starting point, but not across-the-board the best solution.
  • Give a reason that makes senseif possible – more on this below!

The rejection reason: do’s and don’ts when rejecting an application

The question of why, is a tricky one. Many companies refrain from giving a reason for the rejection and do not want to do not want to run the risk of violating the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) to violate. This law states that no one may be rejected on the basis of age, origin, gender, etc. (Attention, the job advertisement must also comply with the AGG). (Attention, the job advertisement must also comply with the AGG!) In any case, a legally secure rejection is given if you refer to factual reasons e.g.:

  • Another applicant has more experience or better training.
  • The position has already been spontaneously filled internally.
  • There is currently no vacancy (in the case of unsolicited applications).
  • The salary expectations are too high (according to Statista, a significant reason for rejection for many personnel decision-makers). A possible formulation in this case would be: “Lnfortunately, your salary expectations differ from our current budget possibilities for this position.

And what if the application is rejected primarily because it contains too many errors errors? Then you need to be careful: Don’t accuse anyone of poor or faulty German, for example – you can never know if dyslexia or some other impairment is behind it. Citing that as a reason would be a violation of the AGG. It fails because of the catastrophic external form? Then the question definitely arises whether you would like to point this out to the candidate. Friendly formulated, of course, like this: “Please understand this comment as well-intentioned advice based on my experience as a recruiter: Your application documents could benefit from some touching up of the formatting.” If you do not give a reason, you may have to expect that the applicant will ask for a reason. applicants to ask for a reason – especially if you cancel an interview that has already been scheduled. Therefore, be sure to use an evaluation sheet for the interview. In this way, the decision will be easier in the end and you will have the reasons for acceptances and rejections in writing.

For employees: answering and politely rejecting a job application

Let’s move on to the other side, namely that of the employee. Here, too, it can happen that you reject the to decline the job offer with thanks e.g. because…

  • another employer has accepted faster.
  • the chemistry at the interview/testing was not right.
  • the employee’s circumstances unexpectedly change drastically (relocation or similar).

So what might it look like to withdraw an application or cancel an interview? The most important thing is that the that the rejection is communicated at all. is communicated. Feedback leaves a good impression, even if it’s just the brief thank you. Just a few lines are enough. In it should be thank you, the rejection itself and, if necessary, a brief explanation. should be included. However, the latter is not obligatory and is at your own discretion.

Basic rules: Polite rejection of an application

Rejections are not popular – neither with the sender nor with the recipient. But at least there are some golden rules, how you can formulate the rejection of an application in such a wayso that your company remains in good memory:

  1. Remain friendly, polite and respectful – in a word: professional. This applies even if an applicant behaves exactly the opposite way.
  2. Respond promptly. A majority of applicants expect 1-2 weeks between application and response, according to a 2019 survey.
  3. Return application materials in their entirety. They legally belong to the person who sent them in response to a job ad.
  4. Do not keep changing contact persons. If you cancel after the interview, the cancellation should come from a person who was present at the interview.

FAQs about job application rejection

  • Why is a good rejection letter so important?
  • Should I give a reason for a rejection?
  • How can I formulate a legally binding rejection letter?
  • Text modules or individual rejection?
  • How quickly should employers reject applications?

Why is a good rejection letter so important?

A rejection letter is not obligatory in the case of an unsuccessful application. At least not from an employment law perspective. Nevertheless, it is beneficial for a company’s employer brand and therefore advisable to make the effort.

Give a reason for rejection?

However, you can certainly give applicants some reasons, e.g. regarding salary expectations. However, if applicants can prove that they have been discriminated against, the company may face a claim for damages. Reasons for discrimination include gender, age, origin, religion, sexual identity and disability.

How to formulate rejection letters in a legally secure manner?

In view of the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG), lawyers recommend not explaining rejections in more detail. Use non-binding statements wherever possible to avoid unpleasant discussions and ensure a certain level of protection against lawsuits.

Text modules or individual rejection letters?

Use templates for rejection letters, but tailor them to the individual applicant:s needs. This mixed format will save you time in the day-to-day doing and at the same time show appreciation for the applicant’s effort.

How quickly should employers reject applications?

The first feedback that the application has been received should be immediate. This should never include a final rejection. The next contact should be made within a maximum of 10 days. Image sources: © studio v-zwoelf – © – © zinkevych – © goodluz – © –

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Reject job offer: Sample phone and written rejection letter

You have been invited for an interview, you have received a job offer as a result and the employment contract has already been sent to you. Now you want to withdraw the application? You will have one or more reasons why you are cancelling the job you previously applied for. There is nothing wrong with telling a company to turn down a job offer, but how do you cancel a job offer? Read in this article how to best decline a job offer with thanks – whether by phone or in writing, use our samples as a guide. Your interview went smoothly and the employer is enthusiastic about you. After the successful application process, there is nothing standing in the way of your new job. However, a job offer does not necessarily mean that you want or have to accept it. The reasons for rejecting a job offer can be different.

Rejecting a job offer because of salary

The job would be ideal for you, but your salary expectations do not match the employer’s salary information? Rejecting a job offer because of salary is a valid reason, especially if you can expect a certain salary with relevant qualifications or work experience. If you reject the job offer because of the salary you can use the following sample as a guideline.

Sample: Rejection because of salary

Dear Mr. Muster / Dear Ms. Muster, Once again, I would like to thank you very much for the interview on DD.MM. in a pleasant and constructive atmosphere as well as your job offer of DD.MM. I am definitely enthusiastic about the position to be filled and your company, as the field of activity corresponds 100% to my qualifications and professional experience. In addition, your company is very innovative and employee-friendly. However, the salary offer associated with the job commitment does not reflect my high qualifications and many years of professional experience. Therefore, to my great regret, I inform you that I will not accept the present job offer because of the salary. Once again, I would like to thank you very much for your trust and wish you every success in your further search for employees. Yours sincerely, [YOUR NAME].

Reject job offer due to personal reasons

When you apply for a job, some time can pass between application, feedback, interview and job acceptance. In the meantime, your circumstances may have already changed. An unforeseen career opportunity in your current job, a different, appealing job offer, a move or changes in your private life can be reasons why you do not want to accept the job offer after all. You do not necessarily have to explain the reasons in detail! Especially when it comes to your private situation, it is sufficient to state “Rejection for personal reasons”. The recruiter knows that you are no longer available for the job.

Sample: Rejection for personal reasons

Dear Mr. Muster / Dear Ms. Muster, I would like to thank you once again for your interest in me and for the friendly and constructive interview on DD.MM. I am very pleased that you have accepted my application for the position advertised, as I can identify very well with the position and with your company as a whole. Unfortunately, however, I must inform you at this point that I will not be taking up the position for personal reasons. I would like to thank you for your confidence in me and my suitability for the position and apologize for the effort involved. I wish you continued success in your search for a suitable candidate! Yours sincerely, [YOUR NAME].

Job offer declined due to other position

One of the most common reasons for job offer rejection is that most of the time people do not apply for just one job. As a result, you may receive several acceptances at the same time and have to make a decision. The other job offers better development opportunities, a more modern corporate culture or a higher salary? It is not reprehensible that you have to reject the other offers because of this!

Sample: Rejection because of another job

Dear Mr. Muster / Dear Ms. Muster, I would like to thank you once again for the pleasant and interesting job interview on DD.MM. as well as your acceptance on DD.MM. The position and the associated tasks appealed to me very much. Unfortunately, however, I have to inform you at this point that in the meantime another professional opportunity has arisen which is more in line with my requirements and wishes. I thank you for your time and apologize for the resulting effort. I wish you continued success in your search for a suitable employee! Yours sincerely, [YOUR NAME].

Decline a job offer with thanks (Tip + Sample)

You can generally cancel the acceptance of a job offer both in writing by e-mail and by telephone. If it seems convenient, you can also cancel in person. Rejecting the acceptance of a job offer by phone is a bit more self-confident. However, it is understandable if you choose to put the rejection in writing – for example, if you want to avoid awkward questions or don’t want to upset your interviewer. The type of rejection depends on the way you have communicated with the company so far.

Cancel in writing

The fear that the employer might react angrily in the interview if he or she receives the job rejection directly is great among many applicants. If you have already made the decision for yourself in the interview to turn down the job offer, but would like to do so deliberately in writing, this is the easier way for many applicants. We recommend that you always turn down a job offer politely and professionally. Polite wording will save your reputation as a job applicant!

Sample: thank you rejection

Dear Mr. Muster / Dear Ms. Muster, Thank you very much for your positive feedback on my job interview on DD.MM. I was very pleased with the pleasant and constructive exchange with you. Although I can very well imagine employment in your company, especially in the position as (…), I have decided to accept another job offer. I ask for your understanding that I am no longer available for the position and would like to apologize for the effort that has been caused. I thank you for your time and interest in my person and wish you every success in your further employee search! Yours sincerely, [YOUR NAME].

Sample: Cancel job offer by telephone

If you have been in contact with the company mainly by phone, we recommend that you also cancel the job offer by phone. By doing so, you will appear confident and with the right preparation, you will be able to answer possible queries with confidence! If you cancel the cancel the job offer by phone you can use the following sample as a guideline:

Hello Mr./Mrs. Muster, this is (…). I am calling because of the job offer for the position as (…). First of all, I would like to express my thanks for the job offer and that I was pleased to be accepted. However, I regret to inform you that I will not be accepting the job offer after all due to personal circumstances. I hope this does not cause you any major inconvenience and wish you continued success in your future employee search. Yours sincerely, [YOUR NAME].

5 tips on how to properly decline a job offer

If you have already received a job offer and have to reject it for various reasons, tact is required. After all, you still want to leave a good impression with the company!

1. report promptly

Always start from yourself: You also don’t want to have to wait weeks for a response to your application. Therefore, you should inform the company early on whether you want to take the job. In the case of a rejection, the company has enough time to continue looking for a suitable employee.

2. cancel politely

In the application in general as well as when accepting or rejecting a job offer, you should pay attention to a polite tone. In any case, you should leave a good impression, because after all you do not know to what extent the company might be in contact with other employers. Especially if you apply to different employers in the same industry or in your region, you may well have to get in touch with the respective contact person again later on. Imagine being in contact with the same person as one of your clients in the future – you want to have made a good impression, right? Choose your words carefully and be sure to express your regret about the rejection express! Thank also thank them for the job opportunity they offered you and apologize apologize for any inconvenience caused.

3. be brief

Since you have decided to decline the job offer, you should avoid unnecessarily wasting the recruiter’s time. Your rejection letter should therefore be short and to the point and, depending on the nature of your rejection, should not fill pages or go on for minutes. For a telephone rejection, a few sentences are sufficient and for a written rejection, a few lines are quite sufficient.

4. represent the decision

Often a rejection to a job offer, raises questions or even incomprehension. It is not uncommon for recruiters to make statements such as “Why don’t you try it out first before you make a decision about it”. Of course, this makes you feel insecure and question your decision. Whatever the reason behind your rejection, you should remember the reasons behind your decision and stand by it. You should not spend your time and energy questioning a decision you made a long time ago and instead focus on finding a job that meets your criteria and suits you.

5. When the reasons for the rejection should rather be concealed

Reasons for rejecting a job offer can sometimes also be that you have informed yourself intensively about the company and have come across information that is rather less in favor of the company. This could be, for example, that employees who are already employed there have told you about the working atmosphere or how the company presents itself as an employer. You should keep this information to yourself and instead state “personal reasons” as the reason for rejection – this way you are on the safe side. By doing so, you only risk that the company will feel put before its head and that this will still cast a bad light on you in the end. If, however, a lack of development or promotion opportunities or a cumbersome application process were the reason for your rejection, you can politely pass this on to the company. Hints of this kind ultimately help the company to optimize such circumstances in the future.

Job offer already accepted – How do I cancel again?

The job interview is an opportunity for the employee and the employer to get to know each other. If you meet the requirements for the job offer and your personality fits the company, you will receive a commitment and an employment contract from the potential employer before you start work. In addition to getting to know you first, if you meet the requirements for the job, the interview often also gives you the opportunity to get a first on-site look at your future area of responsibility. You are enthusiastic, verbally agree to the job with the employer and wait for the employment contract to arrive in the mail. In the meantime, your personal circumstances may have changed, you may have to move or an attractive promotion opportunity may have unexpectedly arisen in your current job – you no longer want to take up the promised job after all. In this case, just as in the situations mentioned above, it is important that you contact the company as soon as possible. It is not uncommon for circumstances to change – recruiters in particular will have experienced such situations on many occasions. If you contact the company honestly and politely in a timely manner – even before signing the employment contract – you will have nothing to reproach yourself for. Of course, it may happen that your decision is met with incomprehension or disappointment. However, you should not let this distract you from the decision you have made and stand by it.

Rejecting a job offer: It’s all in the wording

When looking for a new job, it may happen more often than you think that you even have to turn down jobs. Either because you received several acceptances at the same time, because some aspects of the job bother you, or because your personal circumstances changed in the time between the interview and the acceptance. No matter what the reasons for the rejection are: If you want to decline a job offer with thanks, there are several ways and options for doing so. You should think in advance about the extent to which you would like to justify the rejection and the way in which a rejection of the job offer is appropriate. For example, if you have been in contact with the company exclusively by telephone, we recommend that you also cancel by telephone. If you would like to avoid possible queries or lack of understanding in response to your rejection, rejection by e-mail is an option. The most important thing when cancelling a job offer is to be polite. This way you will be remembered positively by the employer despite the rejection. Job Applicant Rejection.

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