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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Management

How to Turn Down a Candidate: An Email Template

The great thing about hiring is that you’ll soon (finally!) have that extra set of hands on your team.

The not-so-great thing? That you have to turn down the other candidates you liked, but who just weren’t quite the right fit.

While you might be tempted to take the easy way out and go radio silent, it’s the professional (not to mention nice) thing to do to let them know they won’t be moving on in the hiring process. To make it easier, we’ve whipped up this email template you can easily adapt.


[Job title] application at [company name]


Hi [name],

Thank you so much for your application to [company name]. Unfortunately, we are not able to [offer you an interview / pass you onto the next round] at this time, as we are looking for someone with more experience in [skill or job requirement] for this role.

Please do not hesitate to keep in touch and reach out if we have another role you think could be a fit for in the future.


[Your name]

Pro Tips

  • If this is someone who has gone through a few rounds of interviews, add a line two on how nice it was to meet, and that it was a tough decision, to let him or her down more gently.
  • If you think the candidate might be a fit for a future opening, send that person a LinkedIn request and promise to let him or her know if when there’s another position available. If you already have an established relationship, it’ll make your next hiring process a whole lot easier.

Want Even More Email Templates? Get Them Here

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