Especially during an economic downturn, the number of sales job applicants is on the rise. Employers are getting more job posting responses than they know what to do with. When do you find the diamond in the rough and fill the job, don’t forget to show some respect to those you didn’t hire.

Every rejected application deserves an official “No, thank you” in a timely manner. This practice is good business. It helps each applicant move on, as well as shows you and your company to be professional and compassionate. It shows you care about following the proper procedures and to set an example for your employees to do the same. These are important qualities for a company to have when working toward attracting the best sales talent available.


A proper rejection for each applicant you turn down also helps you avoid any possible accusations of discrimination or other violations. We recommend you use an official rejection letter. The AHS Sales Hiring Course provides a suggested sample rejection letter template ready for download. Below is a small quoted section of the rejection letter we provide to AHS Sales Hiring Course members:


“I have carefully reviewed your resume. While your credentials are impressive, we have

narrowed our search to several individuals with experience and specific qualifications

that more closely match our requirements than do yours.”


Notice the clear, professional language. Notice that there are no mentions of the applicant’s personal details, past job experience, resume information, etc. Keep the wording focused on having found better-qualified applicants, not on how or why the rejected applicant didn’t measure up.


  • Send the same simple, concise rejection letter to every rejected applicant. You should also send all the rejection letters at the same time. If you’re consistent and provide the same respectful wording and timing for every applicant rejection, no one will have grounds for discrimination claims.


  • You might mention in the rejection letter that you intend to keep the applicant’s resume on file and will let them know if a suitable position opens up. Some applicants might be great for your sales team in different jobs than what you have available right now. Remember, if you say this to one rejected applicant, say it to them all. It’s best to stick to the same wording in every rejection letter, even if you don’t think you would ever call on some of those applicants again.


A professional rejection letter also expresses your gratitude. Tell the applicants you appreciate their time and their interest. Even when sales jobs are scarce, it’s important to thank people for wanting to work for you. It’s good business and it is good karma for attracting the great salespeople your company deserves.