4 Follow-up Email Templates Every Recruiter Should Have Handy

March 5, 2018

One of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your candidate experience is to maintain regular, transparent communication with all of your candidates. When you make an effort to send warm messages throughout the hiring process, it makes the candidate feel respected and appreciated. Even more, it reflects well on your company culture and employer brand.

While we absolutely believe that there is no substitute for a well thought-out and personalized message, recruiters do get busy, and sometimes just don’t have time to craft that tailored email/inmail for every single candidate—especially since you don’t want to neglect anyone in your pipeline, even if they’re no longer under consideration.

To help eliminate any possible communication gaps when you are in a crunch, we put together templated emails that you can send candidates in four of the most common situations:

  • when they’re still being considered, 
  • when you’re requesting they come in for more interviews
  • when you’re telling them they’ve got the job
  • when they’re no longer under consideration, 

These templates are just a small part of the LinkedIn’s 2018 Ultimate Recruiting Toolbox—a resource that’s full of easy-to-use recruiting checklists, forms, tips, and templates.

Here they are:

1. When you’re still considering a candidate and need to check in

When your team or hiring manager is still considering a candidate, but hasn’t yet made their final hiring decision, your message needs to balance two things: the chance of an offer and transparency about your process.

Here’s a great template you can use:

Dear [NAME],

Thank you for coming in to learn more about the [JOB TITLE] position at [YOUR COMPANY NAME]. The team really enjoyed meeting you.

We want to make the best hiring decision and are currently completing interviews with other candidates. We are aiming to have all interviews completed by [DATE] and make a decision by [DATE]. I will notify you about any next steps as soon as possible.

Please feel free to stay in touch or reach out with any questions.


As you can see, this template gives the candidate a very clear sense of the timeline, which is super important for top talent that might be weighing other options and anxiously awaiting your decision.

As always, transparency is key—even if you can’t provide an exact date for hiring decisions, it’s worth being honest with the candidate and explaining the factors that could stretch the process a bit longer. A good rule of thumb is to check in every week until a decision has been made.

2. When you’re asking a candidate to return for another round of interviews

If your candidate passes your first (or second) round of interviews and will need to return for more, the goal of your next message should be to provide as much clarity about the process as possible. After receiving the message, the candidate should be able to quickly add the relevant info to their calendar and begin preparing for the next round of interviews.

Here’s a template to get you started:

Dear [NAME],

Thank you for taking the time to discuss the [JOB TITLE] position with us. We’d like to invite you for a second round of interviews at our office.

You’ll be meeting with:

- [NAME], [ROLE] (30 minutes)
- [NAME], [ROLE] (30 minutes)

The goal is to [PURPOSE OF INTERVIEW (ex: discuss an assignment or delve deeper into job duties, etc.)].

Are you available on [DATE] at [TIME] at [LOCATION]? If not, please let me know other dates or times that work.

The team looks forward to learning more about you. Thanks again for your time.


The level of detail is what’s really important here. Ideally, you’d include the purpose of the additional interview(s), along with time, date, location, and the name and role of all interviewers. Also note that the template thanks the candidate for their time both at the beginning and end of the email, while making it clear that your team is interested in learning more about them and assessing their fit.

As always, don’t forget to work in a warm, personalized line if possible—and remember to change the number of the round (e.g. “second round,” “third round”) in the first paragraph, as needed.

3. When you’re extending the job offer

Here’s the message your candidate has been waiting for—and your first opportunity to transition them into your onboarding process. As our Ultimate Recruiting Toolbox mentions, you can opt for either a casual or a formal tone with this message, depending on your style and your familiarity level with the candidate.

Here’s an example of the job offer email:

Dear [NAME],

It is my pleasure to formally offer you the position of [JOB TITLE]. This is a [FULL/PART]-time position with an [ANNUAL/HOURLY] salary of [$X]. You will be reporting to [MANAGER’S NAME] in the [DEPARTMENT] located at [OFFICE LOCATION]. Your expected start date is [DATE].

Attached, please find [LIST OF DOCUMENTS (ex: formal acceptance letter, employee benefits)]. We will need all forms signed and returned by [DATE]. We are very excited to start this journey together and can’t wait to have you join the team.


Though the tone here is familiar, it’s important to include all of the details the candidate needs—including their new job title, salary, manager, and start date. Include any necessary attachments—like a formal acceptance letter—and don’t forget to mention any contingencies, like a background check. Provide a clear deadline for their response, and most importantly, make sure to communicate your excitement. It’s the beginning of a new journey for this candidate, and your offer email is key to setting that stage.

4. When a candidate isn’t the right fit for a role

No one likes to be the bearer of bad news. But the real pitfall that comes with a poorly worded “you’re not the right fit” letter is that you could permanently sever the relationship with the candidate. Not only will this come back to bite you if a more suitable role opens up down the line, it can also lead the candidate to share their negative experience, potentially affecting both your employer and consumer brands.

Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid that with a basic templated email or InMail. Here’s a sample message you can send to a candidate who you know is not the right fit for a particular open role:

Dear [NAME],

Thank you for coming in to learn more about the [JOB TITLE] position at [YOUR COMPANY NAME].

After conducting several interviews, we have decided to offer the position to another candidate with experience that’s better aligned to the role. As you progress in your career, please stay in touch and feel free to apply for future openings.

Sincerely, [YOUR NAME]

Notice how the short-and-sweet note thanks the candidate for their time, emphasizes alignment to experience (rather than the candidate’s personal failings), and leaves the door open (and the vibe friendly). Remember to send this message as soon as possible after you’ve reached a decision—keeping a prospect biting their nails can really hurt their candidate experience—and definitely add a line or two for warmth and personalization (if you have time).

Final thoughts

Sending a personal note to every candidate in your pipeline is a life goal for most of us, but even the most on-their-stuff recruiter gets a little too harried from time to time to draft a new message every day. Make things a little easier on yourself by storing these simple templates on your computer, then set reminders to send them at key touch points, like after an interview or before going into the weekend.

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