Change text size:

Choose Style:

Writing accessible rejection emails

Writing accessible rejection emails

When advertising jobs, you will have to reject the majority of candidates. Yet in the intensive process of recruiting, employers sometimes neglect to inform candidates if they didn’t make it through to the next stage. Not hearing an outcome back from a company you’ve taken the time to apply for can often be the most difficult part of applying for jobs, far worse than getting a rejection email. However, an accessible rejection email can make a real difference.

Rejection can be really hard for candidates, especially if they’ve received a lot of rejections. So it’s really important for employers to let candidates know and provide as much information as possible.

Receiving a considerate and understanding rejection email can make a big difference to candidates.

Here are some of Patchwork Hub’s top tips for writing accessible rejection emails:

Make it specific

There’s nothing worse than a rejection email which is clearly automated and rushed. This can leave candidates feeling neglected or unappreciated. You should show unsuccessful candidates that you appreciate the time it took them to apply. Make sure to thank the candidate and tailor your emails to specific positions.

Be clear about the rejection

We suggest putting the rejection statement in bold to make it stand out for candidates. This doesn’t have to seem mean, but helps the reader to clearly find your decision.

Give some insight into the process

You might want to mention how your selection process works. For example, whether applications were anonymously reviewed, or how you scored questions. This shows candidates that you took the time to read and assess their application.

Notify candidates of other possible positions

If a candidate has applied to one position, chances are they really want to work for your company. So if you have other open positions, you could share these in the email. This shows that you value the applicant’s skills and qualities and want to engage with them despite not being the right fit for the particular position they applied for originally.

Statistics can help to rationalise rejection

When a candidate knows the number of people who applied for a position, it can help to rationalise their rejection. For example, if lots of people have applied for one position, it can help candidates realise how big the talent pool is and how competitive the application round was.

Mention what kind of qualities the successful candidate had

This can help candidates to know what you’re looking for in the future. Some employers may choose to write a blog post as a ‘review’ of applications. Consider doing this, as it’s a relatively easy way for you to show how much you appreciate applicants.

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to help our site function. We’d also like to use analytics cookies that help us make improvements by measuring how you use our website.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core website functionality such as network management, security and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may impact how the website functions.

Analytics cookies


We’d like to collect website analytics cookies information using Google Analytics to help us improve our website. We collect this data by running Google Analytics JavaScript on your device, which collects data about how you interact with our site. The data is collected in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information please see our Cookies page.