Posted by Neha Kale on 09 January 2014
There’s no denying that rejecting a candidate is among the least pleasant aspects of human resources. However, a well-crafted rejection letter can also consolidate your brand presence, help foster professional development and pave the way towards potential opportunities down the track. Here are five tips for creating a rejection letter that goes the extra mile.
Make it personal
Treating your candidate as an individual rather than an anonymous applicant is critical to keeping your relationship intact. Correctly spelling their name and maintaining accurate contact information bolsters your professionalism and acts as marker of respect. Remember that your candidate may be a great fit for another job, so you want to end on a good note.
Get to the point
When it comes to writing an effective rejection letter, it’s important to manage expectations wisely. State that they have been unsuccessful in the first paragraph and follow up with a compelling reason for their rejection. Most importantly, remember that transparency trumps dishonesty at all costs.
Focus on the positive
A candidate rejection letter can also serve as a powerful tool for professional development. Spend the second paragraph offering some constructive criticism and don’t forget to summarise positive attributes and emphasise the skills that most impressed you. Carefully considered feedback is invaluable to the applicant – it can help them cultivate a competitive edge.
Lay the foundations for a future relationship
Perhaps your recruitment drive was met with a multitude of flawless applications and filling the position saw you spoilt for choice. In this case, ask the applicant’s permission to keep their details and CV on file. If you take this step, you forge the kind of candidate relationship that can pay mutual dividends down the track.
Finish on a gracious note
To leave a positive impression of your business, it’s vital to end your letter on a gracious note. Make sure you thank the candidate for taking the time to meet for an interview and remind them that you’ll be in contact if a suitable position materialises in the future. Don’t forget to wish them luck with their quest for a suitable job. A small dose of positive reinforcement can have a big impact when it comes to cementing their image of your business.
A rejection letter can be a critical tool for building relationships with future employees and forging a reputation as a recruiter that goes above and beyond. Reprioritising the role of rejection letters can work wonders for professional credibility and candidate trust.
What are your tips for penning successful rejection letters?