Applicant acknowledgement email: Templates

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. 👇

What is an applicant acknowledgement email & why should you write one?

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>

“Thank you for applying” email templates:

Simple job application response email template

If you simply want to let candidates know that you’ve received their application and will be in touch soon, use this email template:

Subject line: Thank you for your application at [Company Name] / Your application at [Company Name]

Hi [Applicant's Name],

Thank you for taking the time to apply for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. We appreciate your interest in joining the team and the effort you put into submitting your application with us.

Our hiring team is thoroughly reviewing all submissions and are planning to schedule interviews [mention the timeframe].

Please rest assured that we will notify all applicants of their application status and whether they are selected for an interview or not. We genuinely value your interest in joining our team and want to ensure a fair and transparent hiring process for everyone.

Thank you once again for taking the time to apply to this role at [Company Name]!

Kind regards,
[Your Name]

[Your Email Signature]

Copy text

Applicant acknowledgement email template for an accepted candidate

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:

Subject line: Thank you for your application at [Company Name] / Your application at [Company Name]

Hi [Applicant's Name],

We were very pleased to receive your application for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name] and we're eager to learn more about you.

We’d like to invite you for an interview to discuss your experience, career goals, our company, and explore how this might be a mutual fit.

We’ll be sending you an interview invitation [share timeframe] with various dates and times so please keep an eye on your inbox for an email from us.

Congratulations on making it to the next stage! We're looking forward to meeting you and learning more about your unique skills and experiences.

Best regards,
[Your Name]

[Your Email Signature]

Copy text

📣 Use one of our interview invitation templates to invite the candidates of your choice to the next round of your recruitment process.

Job application response sample email template for a rejected candidate

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:

Subject line: Your application at [Company Name]

Hi [Applicant's Name],

First and foremost, we want to express our gratitude to you for taking the time to apply for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. We sincerely appreciate your interest in joining our team.

After careful consideration, we have decided to move forward with other candidates who more closely match the requirements and qualifications we’re seeking for this role.

Please know that our decision was not easy as we received many impressive applications, including your own. We value your skills and experience, and we encourage you to keep an eye out for future opportunities with [Company Name]. We would love to keep your application on file for future jobs that may be suitable for you at our company. If you would prefer that we delete your contact information and application, please let us know.

We wish you all the best and thank you again for your application and interest in [Company Name].

Kind regards,
[Your Name]

[Your Email Signature]

Copy text

📣 Need more candidate rejection messaging? Check out these professional and thoughtful candidate rejection email templates to help soften the blow.

4 steps to write an application acknowledgement email/letter

When thanking job candidates for applying to an open position at your company, follow these steps to knock it out of the park:

1. Thank your candidate for taking the time to apply

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>

2. Remind them of the role they applied for and the information they shared

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

3. Inform the candidate of their application status

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.

4. Sign off on an appreciative note

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.

Automating your applicant acknowledgement emails

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:

  • Save time and effort for hiring teams: No more manual email composition – the software generates personalized emails instantly, allowing hiring managers and recruiters to focus on more important tasks.
  • 📩 Ensure consistent and professional communication: With predefined templates, every applicant receives a polished acknowledgement email, helping you maintain a positive employer brand and deliver a seamless experience for candidates.
  • 🥳 Enhance the candidate experience: Prompt acknowledgements show that candidates’ time and effort are valued, even if they don't move further in the hiring process. It leaves a positive impression and reflects your company's clear and timely communication standards.

About the author
Alessia Musso
Alessia is Homerun's resident Canuck and Content Writer based in London. She's been writing B2B content for small and medium-sized businesses for eight years and is passionate about helping people feel more confident (and happy!) in their jobs. When she’s not researching the ways growing teams can improve their hiring, she’s probably thinking about pasta, books, craft beer, and the importance of the Oxford comma.
Read more

New to hiring?

Find out how Homerun can help you organize your hiring workflow.

Related articles

Hiring process

50 application questions to find the right candidate for every job

Hiring process

A guide to applicant tracking systems (ATSs) for small businesses [2024]

Hiring process

New to hiring? Start here!