Writing letters of rejection to unsuccessful candidates is unfortunately a necessary evil. Nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news but this is part of the process that will maintain the professionalism of your business and create favourable circumstances for the future.
This advice will demonstrate that you go to great lengths for your business.
#1. Keep your letter individual
A candidate wants to know that you have taken time for them and not just sent out a standard letter or email. Something as simple as mis-spelling their name adds insult to injury.
#2. Focus on what is important
Don’t waffle on to then tell them that haven’t been successful. This should be mentioned in the first paragraph and you should continue with the motive for the rejection. Have the respect to be truthful. Don’t tell them to apply at another date when you know there isn’t a chance of them getting the job.
#3. Try to stay away from outright negatives
A letter of rejection is already tough to read so make sure your criticism is constructive and something they can learn from. Highlight their strengths and bear in mind that your opinions can assist them in getting ahead of other candidates.
#4. Thank them
Just as you have invested time into the process, so have they. Thank them for their time and keep the lines of communication open for the future. If they were a strong candidate, suggesting that you’ll keep their CV on file in case a different position becomes available will add optimism to your letter.
#5. End with politeness
This is the final impression a person will have of your business and, even though they weren’t successful, you’d still like them to recommend your firm to others, particularly in the offshore environment where word of mouth has an impact.
The overall message of your letter of rejection should therefore be one of professionalism, politeness and positivity. It’s not simply a note to make someone feel better: it’s part of your company image and shouldn’t be overlooked.
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