How to Write a Rejection Letter?

Being rejected after a job application or a job interview is unpleasant for everyone. Especially for a job position that you really want, being rejected and accepting it can be much more difficult. In this case, there are also points to be considered when sending a rejection letter back to the candidates. Attention should be paid to some details such as dos and don’ts when rejecting candidates. Knowing these details when creating a rejection letter is very important in your role in management. We can start talking about these details in the rest of our article:

What is a Rejection Letter?

A rejection letter is a letter you write to refuse an employee’s application. For example, you can deny an application for a raise, promotion, transfer, vacation or employment. A formal rejection is required with a rejection letter explaining the reason for the rejection of an application. Rejection letters set a formal and positive tone and the language can be simple, concise and friendly. Although they are usually short, they can vary depending on the reason.

When should you write a rejection letter?

There are many reasons why you may need to write a rejection letter. For example, the department or company may not have the resources the employee requested, or the request may not come at the right time. Here are some scenarios that may cause you to write a rejection letter:

  • You have already set your budget. After a while, one of your employees may ask you for a raise. While it may be hard to say no to an increase, it may be too late to accept the raise since you have already allocated a budget.
  • After working for your company for some time, some of your employees may ask you for a promotion. Even if an employee is able to fulfill their promotion responsibilities, overstaffing in one department and understaffing in another may not benefit your company overall.
  • An employee’s request to transfer to another department or branch requires approval from both you and other supervisors. Even if you agree to transfer the employee, you may still need to write a rejection letter if another manager does not agree to the transfer.
  • An employee can request time off at an inconvenient time, such as when there is an influx of work in the department. If they leave for a long period of time, this inevitably means more work for everyone else on their team. Therefore, you may need to deny their request.

What to Do When Writing a Rejection Letter

1. Repeat applicant’s request:

Repeat your employee’s request in a few short sentences to avoid unnecessary confusion. Since your employee probably made the request weeks or months ago, repeating it will remind both you and them when you send the waiver. It is also possible that the request changed after the employee sent the letter. As a result, repeating the request will help them better understand the content of your letter.

2. Be specific:

Give a specific reason for the refusal. Employees may be more satisfied with your letter and with you as a manager if you explain why you ignored their request. For example, if you tell an employee that you denied another manager’s request and that the situation was completely out of your control,they may understand why you had to deny their request.

3. If possible, suggest alternatives:

If possible, offer an alternative solution to the employee’s request immediately after it is denied. For example, if an employee has asked for time off that doesn’t fit the team, department or company calendar, consider suggesting a suitable date. If you are going to write a letter with a suggested date, put it on the calendar.

4. Stay polite and professional:

To maintain a good relationship with your employee, write a thoughtful and professional rejection letter. Also keep it short but as detailed as possible so that they understand your rejection. Use a friendly tone in your letter to make it easier.

5. Create an informative topic:

When sending your rejection letter, write a simple subject line that stands out in the applicant’s inbox. This can include your company and title so they know the purpose of the email.

6. Emphasize the positive aspects of their qualifications:

To make a good impression on the candidate, pick one or two things you like about them. Recognizing these positives can also help them better understand the strengths they can emphasize going forward.

7. Explain that you are thinking about them for future opportunities:

If you think the candidate is a good fit for your company’s environment and culture, explain that you would like to consider them for future opportunities. Saying that you would like to put them in a different role is a good way to connect with them and also keep the tone of the letter positive.

8. Encourage them to apply for more jobs:

Create a connection by encouraging candidates to apply for more jobs they are interested in. This is another way to convince the candidate that you want them to join your business.

9. Conclusion on a positive note:

Your conclusion is the last impression you can make on the applicant in your rejection letter. In one or two sentences, thank the applicant again for their time and wish them well in their endeavors.

Cover Letter Templates:

Create your own rejection letter with this cover letter template:

( Employee Name )

( Employee Address )

( Surname )

(In the first sentence, explain the request and how you appreciate it. Follow with a short paragraph mentioning some of the factors you took into account in making your decision.)

(Politely and formally refuse the employee’s request. Include a short paragraph explaining why you are not complying with their request and explain further if necessary. Consider including an alternative solution.)

(You can also thank them for their time).


[ Your name ]

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