Finding a Job

How to Decline a Job Offer (With Email Examples)

February 24, 2021

Sometimes a job offer isn't a good fit, even though you applied for the role hoping it would be. Or, perhaps, you’re in the position of being offered two opportunities at once. It’s never easy, but sometimes declining a job offer is necessary. In this article, we offer guidelines on how to politely turn down a job offer and sample emails that you can customize based on your situation.

Related: How to Find the Best Jobs for You

How to turn down a job offer

Here are some recommended steps for turning down a job offer:

1. Don’t procrastinate

Once you’ve decided to decline the offer, don’t delay writing to the employer. Letting the company know in a timely manner will help them move forward more quickly in their own process.

2. Keep it simple and to the point

Start by being straightforward and honest in your message. Don’t go overboard with excessive compliments about the company or the people you’ve interacted with—it’s a rejection letter after all. Say what needs to be said as respectfully as you can and avoid being overly emotional.

3. Say “thank you”

Thank the hiring manager for their time. Above all, maintain a tone of gratitude as you write the letter, letting the recruiter and hiring manager know that you appreciate their time and effort.

4. Provide a reason but don’t get specific

Your reasons for not accepting the offer could be as simple as the company didn’t offer you the compensation you were seeking. Perhaps you weren’t sure you’d work well with the hiring manager, or maybe you weren’t excited about the company. While these are all justifiable reasons to decline a job offer, you should not include them in your rejection letter. It is sufficient to say that you’ve accepted a job offer elsewhere or simply that this job offer isn’t the right fit.

5. Consider offering to stay in touch

If you felt a warm connection with the hiring manager but the role wasn’t a good fit for other reasons, consider offering to stay in touch and provide additional contact information. Don’t feel obligated to provide this information, but some people might see this opportunity as a way to build their professional network.

Related: The Complete Guide To Researching a Company

Email example for when you have accepted another job

If you’ve accepted another position, here is an example to help you craft your own email to turn down a job offer:

Subject line: Job offer – [Your name]

Dear Mr./Ms. [insert last name of hiring manager],

Thank you very much for offering me the role of [insert name of position] with [insert company name]. Though it was a difficult decision, I have accepted a position with another company.

I sincerely enjoyed our conversations and very much appreciate your taking time to interview me over the course of the past few weeks.

Again, thank you for your time and consideration; best wishes in your continued success, and I hope our paths cross again in the future.

Sincerely,

Email example for when the job is not a good fit

Though it’s typically a good idea to provide a reason, you might not always have one, or you might not care to provide. Here’s a second example that will help you decline the job offer politely without specific details:

Subject line: Job offer – [Your name]

Dear Mr./Ms. [insert last name of hiring manager],

Thank you very much for offering me the role of [insert name of position]. However, I have decided that this is not the right fit for my career goals at this time.

I sincerely enjoyed our dialog as well as discussions with your team, and I very much appreciate your taking time to share information about the role and vision of [insert company name].

Again, thank you for your time and consideration; best wishes in your continued success.

Sincerely,

Tips for turning down a job offer

Be sure you’re making a well-considered decision. Once you have declined the job, there is close to zero chance you’ll be offered the position again. This is not the time to attempt to negotiate a better deal.

Finally, don’t be afraid to reject the job offer if it simply isn’t the right fit. Turning down a job offer can be both a difficult and delicate task, but when done well, it will enable you to move on to the right job and keep your professional network intact.

Related: 3 Steps To Write a Resignation Letter (With Samples and Tips)

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