Overqualified candidates are skilled, experienced and knowledgeable professionals, so it’s likely they will fit in another, more senior, position in the future. In your rejection email, express your interest to stay in touch for future job opportunities with your company.
Here’s how to write an effective rejection email to overqualified candidates:
- Personalize your email. While it’s normal to say something like “The competition for this role was tough” when you reject applicants in the early stages of the process, a similar comment doesn’t apply to overqualified candidates. It’s best to tweak your message and mention something more specific and relevant to their profile.
- Avoid discriminatory comments. When rejecting candidates, stick to job-related arguments. Phrases like “We are looking for a younger person to fill this role” or “We think a candidate with less experience would be more suitable for this position” could entail legal risks for your company. Instead, stick to job-related arguments, like “While we were impressed with your skills, we are looking for someone who has experience using X software.”
- Be honest. If there’s something worse than being rejected, it’s building false hopes. Don’t promise overqualified candidates that you’ll reach out soon for more suitable opportunities, if you’re only hiring for entry-level roles. Opt for a simple “Best of luck with your job search” to end things on a positive note.
Rejecting overqualified candidates email template
Subject Line: Your application to [Company_name] for the [Job_title] position
Thank you for taking the time to meet with our team about the [Job_title] role. It was a pleasure to learn more about your skills and accomplishments.
Unfortunately, we have chosen to move forward with a different candidate for the [Job_title] position.
I would like to note that we were all impressed by your skills and your attitude during the interview. That’s why I’d like to stay in touch and contact you when a more fitting opportunity opens up; one that better matches your profile.
I am happy to answer your questions if you would like any specific feedback about your application or interview.
Thanks again for your interest in [Company_name] and best of luck with your job search.
[Your email signature]