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Unsuccessful Candidate Letter

Version 1.0 Updated 23 Aug 2017
Correspondence Recruitment

Who can use this correspondence?
This correspondence can be used by all employers.


The letter can be used to advise job applicants that they were unsuccessful in applying for a vacant position advertised by the employer.

There is a section in the letter which specifies that documents relating to the unsuccessful candidate’s application will be destroyed in order to comply with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the 'Act'). However, if an employer would prefer to retain such application documents, it must seek permission from the candidate. If permission is not obtained, the employer risks breaching the Act if it retains the documents.

The letter contains a section that asks for the applicant's consent to retain the documents. This may be useful where the applicant was unsuccessful for the role being advertised, but may be suited to positions which could arise in the future. While the attached letter will meet the employer's general privacy obligations under the Act, specific legal advice should be sought in relation to privacy issues which may arise in relation to particular applicants from time to time.

The Act requires the employer to obtain the express consent of a job applicant to keep the individual's application on file to be considered for future vacancies. The job applicant's consent should not be presumed, and ideally should be obtained in writing.

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