Rejection is tough. If you live through enough experiences, one way or the other, you will eventually feel its sting.

Turning down candidates is all part of the hiring process and it is better than not being turned down, or so much as contacted by the company after the interview. There are direct and professional ways to let a candidate know that they have not been chosen for the job. Your letter should be businesslike but not cold.

Rejection Letter
Rejection Letter

Here are 5 sentences you should NOT include in a rejection letter after the interview:

1. “You have not been contacted yet because you were among those being seriously considered for this position.” But, not one query has been asked of you since the interview. Don’t lead a candidate on with the promise of future employment unless you are really keeping their resume on file, or you have the authority to do so.
2. “We were impressed with your qualifications, but ultimately issues of fit with our needs require us to eliminate your application from our short list of highly qualified candidates.” Fit? What does that mean? Is the candidate too tall or too old? No matter how you spin it, it’s bad.
3. “Please be advised that we have not yet concluded our recruitment efforts for this position.” Standard form rejection letter jargon. It’s not appreciated.
4. “We have made an offer to a potential candidate today; hence, this job opening is no longer available.” Of course, you have no way of knowing that this “candidate” will even accept the job. The assumption is that whoever is receiving your rejection letter is just waiting around to hear from you again in case the first choice doesn’t work out.
5. “Your e-mail below was forwarded to my attention as the [VP] is away.” Now, you’ve just put that candidate in the revolving door of catch-all tactics. They know, and you know, this means nothing.

With so many people losing jobs and desperate for work, a little decency goes a long way with rejection letters. Put a personal spin on what you do and you’ll feel better about it, too.