In the hiring game, prompt and clear communication is everything. From your candidate’s perspective, it can make or break their perception of you and your reputation as an employer.
That’s why it’s important to send applicant acknowledgement emails soon after a candidate has applied for a job. There are multiple ways you can go about writing these messages but no matter what you choose, a templated response will ensure you communicate the right details and that you don’t let candidate applications fall through the cracks.
Read on for tips on how to write a job application response email, and templates you can copy and paste into your hiring software or email client right now. Plus, we’ll go over how to automate your entire application response process. 👇
An applicant acknowledgment email or a “thank you for applying” email is a message hiring managers and recruiters send to candidates to inform them that they’ve received their application and to let them know the status, including the next steps. The application might include a résumé and cover letter and/or answers to the job application form.
An applicant acknowledgement email has a few functions. For one, it communicates where the candidate is in the various stages of the hiring process and if they’ll be moving forward with your company or not.
For example, if a candidate lacks the must-have, non-negotiables in the job description — like a driver’s license for a delivery driver job — you would want to send an applicant acknowledgment email to thank them for applying and let them know you won’t be moving forward with their application. In cases where you would like to move the candidate to the job interview stage, you can also use the “thank you for applying” email to inform them of this.
So, why write an applicant acknowledgement email anyway?
First and foremost, timely communication during the hiring process is the backbone of a positive and memorable candidate experience (we know you wouldn’t be here if you disagree! 😉). Candidates deserve to know that once they’ve taken time to apply to your job opening their application hasn’t gotten lost in the process – and no one likes to be ghosted. Receiving a job application response email shows candidates that your hiring process is organized and that they’re not just a number in your search for a new teammate.
Applying for jobs can be stressful — especially if a candidate has been on the hunt for a while. A simple acknowledgement email can go a long way for a concerned candidate and it gives them peace of mind during their job search.
<div class="inpage-callout-container"><p class="inpage-banner-text">💡Remember: Strong communication with candidates is more important than ever in today’s tricky job market. Unfortunately, we’re living in a time when candidates are constantly being left in the dust. But when you use kind, respectful and thoughtful communication techniques from the very start of your hiring process (like sending applicant acknowledgment emails), your company is sure to stand out amongst the stiff competition. ✨</p></div>
If you simply want to let candidates know that you’ve received their application and will be in touch soon, use this email template:
If you’d like to proceed with a candidate’s application and bring them through to the next stage of your hiring process, here’s an email template you can use to do just that:
📣 Use one of our interview invitation templates to help you invite your candidates of choice to the next round of your recruitment process.
Not every applicant is going to get an interview at your company. After reviewing applications, you’ll want to send an email to the candidates you won’t be moving forward with. Here’s an email template to help communicate the message in a thoughtful and professional way:
📣 Need more candidate rejection messaging? Check out these professional and thoughtful candidate rejection email templates to help soften the blow.
When thanking job candidates for applying to an open position at your company, follow these steps to knock it out of the park:
Applying to a job is no small feat. It takes time out of a candidate’s day and a lot of effort to make sure their application captures your attention. Each time you get an application, remember the person on the other end. A great way to show your appreciation for an application is to thank the candidate at the beginning of the acknowledgment email.
<div class="inpage-callout-container"><p class="inpage-banner-text">💡Pro Tip: We’d always recommend using applicant tracking software to send and automate your candidate thank you email process. It ensures that you respond to candidates in a timely manner and it provides them with clarity on the hiring process. Automating this means that you won’t leave any candidates or job applications behind!</p></div>
In the subject line or body text of the email, include the role the candidate applied for. This makes the experience for the candidate more personalized and it also is helpful for candidates who may have applied for multiple open roles.
If you used a job application form as part of your application process, hiring software like Homerun allows you to also include the candidate’s application answers in the email. This is really handy because when candidates prepare for interviews, they need to know what they said in their answers. Not all application forms will save and send candidates their responses (for example, you can’t expect this from a Google Form).
📣 MORE: Recruiting email templates to simplify your candidate communications
This part of the applicant acknowledgement email depends on how your team decides to approach this type of communication with job candidates. You may want to thank the candidate for applying and mention that you’ll get back to them with the next steps in x days while you review their candidacy. If you can give them a rough timeline, that’s great! You can also choose to let them know you’d like to move forward with them or that you’re no longer considering their application for the job.
If you’ve come to the decision that you won’t be moving forward with a candidate, we’d recommend providing some more context in your email. Let them know why you won’t be conducting a job interview with them or hiring them in a kind and professional way. This transparency informs the candidate’s experience with your company, it helps in their job search and it boosts your company's reputation in the long run.
As you would with any email, end your thank you for applying email on a professional and appreciative note. Thank them again for their interest in the role and for taking the time to apply — it’s no easy feat submitting job applications after all. Depending on the rest of the email, you can even suggest they keep an eye on future positions at your company.
Replying to every single application you receive for an open role is not only time-consuming, but it can be pretty tedious work too! Templates are fantastic for speeding up this process and ensuring that every single candidate who applies has the same, pleasant candidate experience with your company.
Want to take it a step further? Using hiring software to automate applicant acknowledgement emails is a game changer. Automation simplifies updates and follow-ups and centralizes applicant information for better collaboration within your hiring team. With an ATS for small businesses that automates your candidate emails, you can: