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8 Simple Steps to Humanize Your Rejection Letters

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8 Simple Steps to Humanize Your Rejection Letters

If you have written a rejection letter at least once, you know how challenging it is. Whether you have to tell an applicant that he won’t get a job or a vendor that he won’t get a contract, it’s always hard to deliver bad news.

Obviously, writing a letter, you can’t turn bad news into a good one. But if you humanize your email, it will make rejection less painful.

Here are eight useful tips that may help you to craft a good letter.

Personalize your email

Such standard salutations as “Dear applicant” or “Hi there” lack emotional appeal. For this reason, they are not suitable for rejection letters. When a recipient gets an email, which starts with one of these phrases, he thinks: “Oh, they even haven’t remembered my name! I’m a loser!”

It’s better to use a personalized greeting “Hi, [name]”. It’s the best salutation ever because it will never hurt the recipient’s feelings.

Say “thank you”

When you start writing a rejection letter, you should thank an applicant or vendor for his interest in your company. But keep in mind that it’s not enough just to say “Thank you for applying”. You should be more specific and emotional. Try to express your gratitude in the following way:

“Thank you for applying for a Sales Manager position with XYZ Company. We greatly appreciate that you have chosen our company among the wide variety of others.”

Deliver the news

Now you should go straight to the topic and announce bad news. Describing the issue, avoid using words like “I’m sorry” or “unfortunately”, because they only strengthen negative emotions.

“After a lot of careful thought, our HR team concluded that you are a great expert in your field, but won’t be a perfect fit for our company.”

Give the main reason

The next step in writing a rejection letter is to explain why you have chosen another candidate. In this part, you shouldn’t discuss the recipient’s weakness in details, because harsh criticism may make a person feel miserable.

Don’t write that “we don’t hire you, because your communication skills are poor and it seems that you are a bad team player”. You should better put it this way:   

“More than 50 professionals have applied for the sales manager position, and we have chosen the only two candidates with the highest communication skills.”

Don’t make dead promises

If you truly believe that a candidate has a chance to get another job at your company in the future, you can give him hope:

“We hope you will allow us to keep your application on file, so we will be able to reach out to you when a new position will be opened.”

But if you think that this candidate doesn’t fit your company at all, don’t suggest him to apply for future jobs. Don’t waste his time.

Moreover, you should keep in mind that your “dead promises” may cause a legal dispute. If this candidate follows your recommendation, and keep applying for different positions with your company, and will get five or more rejection letters, he may sue you.

Keep it short

Rejection letter should be short. It’s enough to write from five to ten sentences to deliver bad news. The shorter your email will be, the less pain it will cause. If you overload your email with meaningless information, it will only confuse a recipient.

Related: How Leaders Should Run Their Business

Be polite

If you want to humanize your message, you should be very polite and very friendly. You should make a recipient believe that a letter is written by a sympathetic person, not by a robot, who has no feelings. In case, if you be rude or not polite enough, your email will make a terrible impression on the addressee.

Design read-to-use template

Obviously, if you write every rejection letter from scratch, it will take you a lot of time. To boost your productivity, you should create a few basic templates. Later, you will be able to transform them into personalized letters quickly.

If you lack skills to design an ideal template on your own, don’t hesitate to get some assistance. You may check Top Writers Review, and find a professional, who will help you to craft an ideal sample.

Wrapping it up

If you want to make sure that your rejection letter will cause a recipient a minimum of pain, you should humanize your message. You should avoid using cliché phrases and try to add a personal touch to every email.

When a candidate gets a rejection letter from you, he will feel disappointed. But at least, he will not feel miserable, desperate, or deeply depressed. If you want to deliver bad news in the right way, you should write emails paying attention to every small detail.

BIO: Daniela McVicker is an editor at RatedbyStudents and volunteer at education non-profit organization. She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in Human Resources. Daniela is a passionate freelance blog writer and a true dog lover. She dedicates most of her time to her two Labradors and reading.

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