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Decline a position
September 01, 2018 1st Anniversary Wishes No comments

You applied, you interviewed, you got the job — and now you want to turn it down . Here's everything you need to know about how to decline a.

Getting my offer to work at G2 was one of the biggest reliefs I’ve had in my career. However, it also provided a unique challenge that I’ve never experienced up until that point.

While waiting to hear back about my job offer to work here, I was also involved in the interview process with a company I considered my backup option. Thankfully, I received offers from both companies. Unfortunately, that meant I had to decline the job offer for another company who I was also incredibly interested in.

The task of turning down an offer can sometimes make you feel like you’re damaging your reputation, but with a little poise, you can decline a job offer politely and professionally. Let’s get into the best way to tackle this while reducing any unnecessary anxiety throughout the situation.

How to reject a job offer

  1. Show your appreciation to the hirer
  2. Be timely with your response
  3. Provide a vague reasoning
  4. Offer to continue contact

Feel free to skip ahead to an email template to help you turn down a job offer.

How to decline a job offer

Whether you have another job offer you want to accept instead, had trouble negotiating a salary, or ultimately just want to stay where you are, there are a few important factors of a job offer rejection to keep in mind. Declining a job offer is very similar to how to decline an interview. Here’s where to start when you get the call or email regarding your offer:

Show your appreciation

Before even giving an answer to your contact at the company, you should express your gratitude for being offered the position. By now, you’ve likely gone through a couple of interviews or discussions with the company. They have put forth time and resources in determining whether you’re a good fit and you don’t want that to go unrecognized. This also serves to show friendliness and goodwill to the company.

Be timely

You should aim to send your response almost as soon as you make your final decision. This again is done to show respect to the people you have been communicating with at the company. The sooner you inform them that you are declining a job offer, the sooner they can extend the offer to another candidate.

A vague reasoning

While it’s not absolutely necessary that you provide an excuse for declining a job offer, failing to do so can make you seem deceitful. Rejecting a job offer is almost like breaking up with a company. After interviewing and expressing interest, pulling out of the conversation can leave the hirer feeling rejected. A simple explanation stating that you’ve decided to go in a different direction or that the company’s culture no longer seems like a good fit should suffice.

Offer to continue contact

Extending an offer to keep in touch with the contacts you’ve made at the company ensures that you are ending the discussion on good terms. It never hurts to grow your network, especially with people who are familiar with your work and consider you a qualified member of the industry.

These connections may benefit you further through your career, so offering to keep contact really can solidify a positive professional relationship down the road.

Declining a job offer email template

Hello [contact’s name],

I want to first and foremost thank you for extending the offer to join the [company name] team as a [job role]. While I am very appreciative for the opportunity to progress through the interview process, I have accepted another offer and must decline the offer you have extended.

Though this decision has been difficult, I have enjoyed connecting with you and learning about [company name]. I wish you all the best in hiring another qualified candidate for this role. I hope to keep in touch and cross paths again in the future.

Once again, thank you for the opportunity.

Best wishes,

[your name]

Why turn down a job offer?

According to a 2017 Management Recruiters International study, the most common reason that candidates rejected a job offer was due to a disappointing compensation package. The responses also showed that many turned down offers in order to accept other positions.

Source: Management Recruiters International 2017 Recruiter Sentiment Study

This all makes sense when considering that you typically see the most significant change in compensation when making a job change. If the compensation associated with a change isn’t up to par, there’s likely little incentive to make a job switch.

In addition, it may be very possible that you just don’t see yourself as a fit within the company’s culture. Throughout the interview process, you were likely to get a clearer picture of the company and its values. Failing to connect with the way a company does business is sometimes enough to push qualified candidates away.

Moving on

Whatever reason you find yourself declining a job offer, you can now do it with confidence. Remember that if you’ve gotten this far, they want you more than you want them and you’ll be just fine. Stay calm, collected, and handle yourself with poise. Be sure to show respect to the company and the people you’ve been in contact with following the process.

Choosing to decline an offer is the end of the road for you with this position. It should be noted that turning down a job offer is not a tactic that should be employed to negotiate a better deal as you will not be getting another offer after this point.

It can be difficult deciding if you should decline a job offer, especially if you've been looking for a job for a while. Here's why and when you.

7 Good Reasons To Turn Down A Reasonable Job Offer

decline a position

What should you do if you accept a new job, but then you change your mind? This situation can happen for a number of reasons. After you've thought about it some more, the position might not seem as good as it did when you accepted the offer. Perhaps a family emergency has changed your situation, or you have gotten a dream job opportunity that you just can't turn down.

When You Can Rescind a Job Offer Acceptance

Turning down a job offer after you have already accepted it can be an uncomfortable experience. However, as long as you have not signed an employment contract with the company, you are legally allowed to change your mind. And depending on the contract, you might still be able to turn down the job without any legal consequences.

It's better to decline the offer than it is to take it and quit shortly after. It's more expensive for the company to onboard you, then start over with a new job search.You also may have to explain why you quit a job you just started during subsequent interviews.

How to Turn Down a Job Offer You Accepted

Think it through. Before rejecting the job offer, make sure you are 100% certain you do not want (or cannot take) the job. Once you turn down a job you previously accepted, there is no going back. Therefore, think carefully about the pros and cons of rejecting the job.

Read your contract. If you have already signed a contract, read through it carefully to make sure there will be no legal repercussions to you rejecting the job. For example, some contracts say that you have a certain window of time during which you can reject the job, or that you have to give a certain number of days’ notice.

Don't wait. Let the employer know as soon as you realize you no longer want to accept it. The sooner you let the hiring manager know, the sooner the employer can start looking for your replacement. He or she will appreciate your swift communication.

Be honest but tactful. Let the employer know why you changed your mind, but do so without insulting him or her, or the company. If you realized that you don't think you will get along with the other employees, simply say that you do not think you would fit in with the company culture.

If you found a job that you are much more interested in, explain that you were offered a job that is more in line with your skill set. Do not say anything negative about the employer or the company.

Be concise. No matter your reason for rejecting the job, keep your explanation brief. You do not want to go into all the details of your family emergency, or all the reasons why another job is a great fit for you.

Express gratitude. Be sure to thank the employer for the opportunity to meet and to learn about the company. If there was anything in particular you liked about the employer or company, say so.

Explain that turning down the job was a hard decision. You do not want to burn bridges with the employer—you never know if you might want to work with them in the future.

Know your bottom line. The employer might try to negotiate with you to get you to come on board. Before speaking with the hiring manager, decide what your bottom line is. Would you stay for more pay? Better benefits? There are some benefits and perks that are negotiable. If you do opt to negotiate, know what would entice you to accept.

Keep in mind that the hiring manager may not be thrilled that you want to counter offer after you already said "Yes" to the first offer.

Choose the right form of communication. Speaking with the employer directly (either on the phone or in person) is the best strategy, because it allows you to explain yourself more clearly and increases your chances of maintaining a positive relationship with him or her. You should then follow up the conversation with a letter or email confirming your conversation.

If you are nervous about speaking with the employer directly, or if you are worried you will not be able to fully explain yourself over the phone, you can send a formal letter or email message to him or her.

Learn from this. In the future, try to avoid situations where you accept and then reject a job. For example, for your next job offer, you can ask an employer for more time to decide. You might also work on your negotiating skills if you felt you did not get the salary or benefits you wanted.

Try not to let your excitement about a job offer cloud your judgment when you're evaluating future roles. Think carefully about the pros and cons of any job offer, negotiate a contract you are satisfied with, and then say "Yes" (or "No") to the job.

Sample Letter Turning Down a Job Offer After Accepting 

The Bottom Line

Check the Legal Implications: If you've signed an employment agreement, check the details before you withdraw your acceptance.

Talk to the Employer: If you can, it's better to have a conversation in person to explain why you have decided not to take the job.

Express Your Gratitude: Regardless of why you have changed your mind, let the company know that you appreciate the offer.

By turning the job down quickly and politely, you (hopefully) can maintain a positive relationship with the employer.

Check with a lawyer or employment expert just to make sure there will be no legal consequences for rejecting the job.

A conversation in person or over the phone is the best way to personally explain and apologize.

Francesa Lau
123 Walnut Dr.
Barrington, IL 60011

September 1, 2018

Melissa Peterson
Financial Manager
ABC Financial Group
456 South St.
Chicago, IL 60612

Dear Ms. Peterson,

Thank you so much for offering me the position of Financial Analyst at the ABC Financial Group. It has been a pleasure speaking with you and learning more about your company.

Unfortunately, after giving a great deal of thought to this career opportunity, I have decided that it is in my best interest, as well as the company’s, to turn down your gracious job offer.

I have recently decided to accept another position that I believe is a better fit for my abilities and skill set. I am so sorry for any inconvenience my decision may cause.

I continue to be impressed with ABC Financial Group’s role in the international marketplace, and particularly with the great work you have done as manager of the company’s Midwest branch.

I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. I hope to see you at the upcoming Financial Management Conference in October.


Francesa Lau (signature hard copy)

Francesa Lau

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How to Decline a Job Offer: 4 Expert Tips & Template

decline a position

How to Decline a Job Offer With Grace: 6 Tips for Success

by Cheryl Lock, Contributing Writer  | 

Knowing how to decline a job offer with grace is a valuable skill. You need to be upfront and honest, but don’t want to burn bridges. Follow these 6 tips. Save

Here’s the good news: You’ve just been offered a job.

But, here’s the bad news: You don’t want it. You’re going to decline the job offer.

Maybe you’ve already been offered a different opportunity that you’re more excited about. Perhaps you just don’t feel like a good fit with that company and want to wait to find something more suitable. Or, maybe you were disappointed with their initial offer and know you’ll never be able to compromise.

Regardless of your specific circumstances, there’s one thing that hold true: declining a job offer can be difficult for both parties. You know you need to be upfront and honest, but you also don’t want to burn bridges or tarnish your name and credibility.

“Believe it or not, even if you don’t accept a job offer with this company right now, you may wind up vying for another of its jobs down the line,” says Brie Weiler Reynolds, a senior career specialist and career coach at FlexJobs. “Being tactful with your rejection will help these folks remember you positively, which might help in your future career moves.”

Fortunately, there’s a way you can decline a job offer with your relationships and your reputation intact.

Here are six tips on how to decline a job offer with grace.

1. Choose the medium that makes you most comfortable.

The first thing you need to figure out is how you’ll break the news. Should you show up at the office? Give them a call? Send an email?

Different communication methods have their benefits and drawbacks. So, I think this is the best golden rule to follow when turning down a job offer: use the same method they used to extend it.

If they called or left you a voicemail, then it shows the most professionalism to return their call. But, if they sent the offer via email, then it’s perfectly copacetic (and oftentimes less nerve-racking!) to type out a thoughtful message for your rejection.

Ultimately, when declining a job offer, it’s up to you to consider your unique circumstances and find the method that suits you best. If you’re convinced you’ll become too panicked on the phone, for example, then a polished email is probably better than stammering through a painful phone conversation.

it’s worth noting that if you decide to turn down a job offer through a call, sending an email may be requested so the company has something written on file. Even if that’s the case, you’ll know that the email is just a formality and that you’ve done your best to handle the rejection politely and personally with a call.

2. Start with a “thank you.”

When declining a job offer, it can seem a little counterintuitive to begin your message with a sincere “thank you,” especially since you aren’t accepting the opportunity. However, it’s important to remember that they’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and resources into the hiring process—there was the initial review of your application materials, phone screenings, and likely numerous rounds of interviews.

Once an employer has determined that you are the right candidate for a spot, it’s likely they assume you’ll feel the same way, so keep that in mind when turning down a position and be as appreciative and thankful of their time and effort as you can.That investment is worthy of your gratitude, so make sure you preface your rejection with appreciation.

What This Looks Like:“Thank you so much for this offer, and for the opportunity to get to know more about you and Company XYZ.”

3. Clearly state your rejection.

Believe it or not, this is a part that’s easy to skip when you’re focused on being so complimentary and diplomatic. Too much sugar coating confuses your message, and the hiring manager is left wondering exactly what your intention is.

When it comes to turning down a job, you need to be explicit about the fact that you’re passing on the opportunity. That doesn’t mean you need to be harsh or brutal—but, you do need to be clear that you aren’t accepting the offer.

What This Looks Like:“However, I have to decline the opportunity to fill this role on your team.”

4. Give a brief (honest) reason.

You might be tempted to gloss over any sort of reasoning in favor of getting your rejection over as soon as possible. But, the employer deserves some sort of explanation about why you’re unable to accept the position. And, providing an honest reason is usually better than leaving them to make assumptions. That said, be honest, be brief, and be specific, and the people who interviewed you will probably appreciate it.

You don’t need to dive into all of the details of declining the job offer, but you should be prepared to highlight key points—whether you’ve already accepted a different opportunity, decided that the role wasn’t quite the right fit, or have decided to stay in your current position.

It also helps to mention some of the things that you liked about the company to help soften the blow.

What This Looks Like:“I just accepted a marketing role with a different organization.”

5. Provide a recommendation.

You won’t always be able to provide a referral after turning down a job. But, if you know someone else who’s currently job searching and could be a qualified fit for that open role, offer to provide their name and contact information.

Maybe that employer won’t even need it and will instead go with their second-choice candidate. However, making the offer demonstrates a certain level of care and consideration—rather than leaving them in a lurch. If you do go this route, be sure that the person you suggest is right for the position, as well as interested. The last thing you want to do is suggest someone else for the job who will then turn it down, as well. Reach out to any potential referrals before making the recommendation and be sure to discuss details with them.

What This Looks Like:“If you’re still actively searching to fill this open position, I do know someone who could be a great fit. I would be happy to pass along their contact information.”

6. Express your desire to keep in touch.

Finally, cap off your rejection by letting them know how much you enjoyed the process and that you’d love to stay connected — assuming you developed some kind of a rapport with your interviewer. Consider contacting the people you met with after a month or so to check in and potentially grab a coffee.

The important next step? Actually do so.

Send an invitation on LinkedIn so that you can keep in touch in a casual, low-pressure environment. In fact, it’s smart to do that for anyone you came into contact with during the hiring process—you never know where those connections might lead in the future!

What This Looks Like:“Again, it was a pleasure to meet you and everyone else at Company XYZ, and I look forward to staying in touch. I just sent a connection request on LinkedIn, so definitely don’t be a stranger!”

Declining a job offer will never be something that you look forward to. But, fortunately, there is a way that you can handle it politely and professionally—and make it a little less cringeworthy in the process. Put these six tips to work, and you’ll avoid damaging your relationships and reputation, and create a favorable image of yourself that leaves the door open for future opportunities.

Looking for more opportunities?


This is a version of a post that was originally published in July 2017. 

Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com

Tags: general job seeker, job search advice, job searching

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If you find yourself in the enviable position of being able to decline a job offer, be smart; don't burn bridges with a company whose offer you're.

How to Decline a Job Offer With Grace: 6 Tips for Success

decline a position

While accepting an offer will be a great feeling, declining an offer can be a bit less fun. However, declining an offer is an excellent opportunity to build your personal brand and maintain relationships with the people in the organization.

There are two different ways that you will want to handle declining an offer:

  1. When the job, organization, industry, culture, or other aspect is simply not a good fit for you.
  2. When you have decided to take a competing offer that simply beat out the one you have chosen to decline.

In either case, you always want to maintain the relationship, so giving them the courtesy of formally declining the offer is extremely important.

You should decline the offer as soon as you have accepted another offer or made a definitive decision not to accept. While the conversation may be a bit uncomfortable, it's inconsiderate and poor business etiquette to delay after making the decision. When you're ready to formally decline, call or email your main point of contact and inform them of your decision. So what do you say? Here’s an example:

“Hi, [name], this is [your name] calling in response to the job offer. I very much appreciate the opportunity to work for your organization, however, I am calling to let you know that I have decided not to accept the offer because [and then insert your reason for declining].”

You will know the reason better than anyone, so be sure to be honest but professional. That means you should not say “I did not think the offer was any good.” OR “I’m not excited about your organization.” Your reason will be personal and unique, but here is an example:

“I have decided to accept a competing offer that I feel best fits my current professional and personal goals.”


“I do not believe that I am a good cultural fit for the organization.”

Now you’re fully prepared to accept and decline job offers in a way that is professional, builds your brand, and maintains the relationship in a positive way. Your job, no matter how little desire you have to accept an offer, is to make the company or employer feel that their time was well spent in considering you for the position.



WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: How do I Decline a Job Offer Graciously?

If you've been offered more than one job or a role that's not the right fit, you might be wondering how to go about declining a job offer. First and.

decline a position
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