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Decline job email
September 18, 2018 1st Anniversary Wishes 4 comments

Figuring out how to decline a job offer can produce some high anxiety. as a template you can use to format your own job offer rejection email.

If, after getting a job offer, you decide to turn it down, it’s important that you do it in a way that comes across as professional and appreciative. If you’re considering declining an offer via email, first consider these questions:

  • Are you hoping for a new offer based on your feedback?
  • Were you offered the job over the phone?

If you answered yes to either of the above, it may be worth either picking up the phone rather than drafting an email, or, if you feel like an email will give you an opportunity to more clearly outline your concerns or reasons for declining the offer, sending an email and suggesting a phone call for further discussion.

Before we dive into some email templates, remember two components that should be included in your email no matter what the reason for declining the offer may be:

  • Gratitude. Share your thanks for the interviewer’s time, consideration, and interest in your candidacy.
  • Specific rejection. Clarity is key and the employer should not be uncertain as to whether or not you’re accepting the offer.

Now, consider the specific situations in which you might decline a job offer, and use these templates and suggestions to format your perfect email.

You’re declining the offer because of salary or other benefits

In this particular situation, you want to leave the door open for an adjusted offer, so be sure to be specific about why you’re declining their initial offer and what you’d like to renegotiate. In this situation, be clear about the fact that you aren’t declining outright.

Dear [NAME],

Thank you again for taking the time to meet with me, and of course, thank you so much for offering me an opportunity to join the team at [ORGANIZATION NAME].

While the organization as well as the Decline job email role both feel like a great fit, I do have some concerns about your initial offer and would like to discuss an alternative. I’m pleased with the starting salary and thrilled to hear about the [ORGANIZATION NAME]’s generous health-care plan, however, I’d love to hear whether you’re amenable to adjusting the amount of PTO days that I can earn during my first year of employment.

Thank you again, and I hope that we can reach an agreement that works for all parties, as I’d certainly love to be the newest member of [ORGANIZATION NAME]’s [TEAM/DEPARTMENT NAME] team.

I look forward to connecting soon!



You’re declining the offer because you love the organization but not the role

While you want to be clear in this situation that you will not be taking the job, you should also be sure to make it completely clear that you would love to stay top-of-mind for future opportunities that may be a better fit. It’ll also be important for you to take it upon yourself to stay connected with your interviewer in order to stay abreast of any openings that may arise.

Dear [NAME],

Thank you again for taking the time to meet with me, and of course, thank you so much for offering me an opportunity to join the team at [ORGANIZATION NAME].

While [ORGANIZATION NAME] felt like a perfect fit, after quite a bit of reflection, I’m not confident that this is really the role for me. Although I’m eager to join the [ORGANIZATION NAME] team, of course, I want to be sure that I join in a capacity that will allow me to contribute my very best work to [ORGANIZATION NAME]’s already impressive portfolio.

I look forward to staying in touch, and I’d love to be considered for any future openings that are a better fit for my skills and interests.

Thank you again, and warmest regards,



You’re declining the offer for pretty much any other reason

In this situation, you can outright decline the offer and sever ties—in a respectful and professional way—with the organization. But remember: You never know who may be able to connect you with your next, great opportunity, so keep your email professional and full of gratitude!

Dear [NAME],

Thank you again for taking the time to meet with me, and of course, thank you so much for offering me an opportunity to join the team at [ORGANIZATION NAME].

While I enjoyed learning about the Decline job email role and [ORGANIZATION NAME], after a lot of reflection, I’m not confident that this is a fit for me and so unfortunately, I will have to decline your offer.

I look forward to staying connected with you and [ORGANIZATION NAME], and I’m eager to continue to read about all of your good work in [ISSUE AREA].

Thank you again, and I wish you the best of luck in your search for the perfect Decline job email .

Warmest regards,




Are there other situations for which you’d need a rejection letter that aren’t included in the templates above? Would a script for a rejection phone call be helpful? Tell us in the comments or tweet us at @idealistcareers.

Tags: declining a job offer, job offer, rejection, template toolbox

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Sometimes it's necessary to decline a job interview. You may have gone through the initial stages of the interview process and decided this position isn't righ.

How to Politely Decline a Job Interview (15 Great Tips and Sample Letters)

decline job email

Sample Decline Job Offer Letter

Writing a decline job offer letter is important. Once you have decided not to accept a job offer, you should decline politely in writing or by email.

You want to maintain good relations with the company as you never know when you may need them as a future contact in your career.

The letter should be brief and to the point. Avoid mentioning anything negative about the position or employer. The letter does not need to focus on a specific reason for not taking the offer.

If you have accepted another offer it is not necessary to state whose offer you accepted and why you have accepted it. Simply thank the employer for their offer, express your appreciation for their time and effort and formally reject the offer. Address the letter directly to the person who made the offer to you.

Sample Decline Job Offer Letter

Your Name
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email


Mr Bill Kelly
Human Resources Manager
XYZ Corporation
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr Kelly

Thank you very much for offering me the position of Customer Service Manager with XYZ Corporation.

While I understand the position and your company offer a great deal to a prospective employee, I have had another offer which I believe more closely matches what I am looking for. Therefore, after giving it much careful thought, I must decline your offer.

Thank you for your time and effort. I wish you and your company well.


Your signature
Typed name

Tips for Writing a Job Offer Rejection Letter

  • Be prompt. Once you have made your decision to turn down the job offer it is polite to write your decline job offer letter immediately. Any delays will impact negatively on the employer's hiring process.
  • Keep it short and sweet. A concise and polite job rejection letter is appropriate. You do not have to go into detail about why you are turning down the job offer.
  • If you have declined the job offer by phone it is professional to follow up with a letter or email.

Decline a Job Offer Email

How to reject a job offer politely by email, after you have turned down the job offer over the phone.

Subject Line: Job Offer for Job Title - Your Name

Dear Mr Heron

Thank you again for offering me the opportunity to work at XYZ Company.

As I told you over the phone I regret that I must decline the job offer. After considerable thought I have determined that the position is not the best fit for me at this time.

I enjoyed meeting you and learning about your company and I wish you every success in the future.


How to reject a job offer after accepting it

"Can I decline a job offer after I have accepted it?" is a frequently asked question. The basic answer is that as long as you have not yet signed a formal employment contract with the employer you can legally change your mind about accepting the job offer.

If you have signed an employment contract, read through it carefully to check your legal obligations. Confirm with an expert. It is worth exploring the option of turning down the job offer with the employer. Most companies would rather not have you start than begin your employment and leave very shortly thereafter.

It is best to turn down the offer in person and to follow up with a decline job offer letter or email.

Sample decline a job offer email, after you have already accepted

Dear Mr Morris

I would like to thank you again for offering me the position of Sales Associate at GHB Company. I genuinely appreciate the time you spent with me and your consideration for the position.

I have spent some time reconsidering your job offer and I have concluded that this job is not the best fit for my skills and experience. I believe it is in the best interests of both myself and the company to turn down the job offer. I am very sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause.

I enjoyed learning more about your company and I wish you and your staff much success in the future.


Jane Jobseeker

How to Manage the Job Offer

Be gracious in your decline job offer letter and build yourself a positive reputation!

Use this  how to resign checklist to ensure a smooth and professional exit from the company.

Download these free resignation letters to help your write a proper resignation letter.

Resignation Email

 Job Interviews >  Job Offer Help > Decline a Job Offer

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How to write a job rejection email (that improves your candidate experience)

decline job email

Sometimes it’s necessary to decline a job interview. You may have gone through the initial stages of the interview process and decided this position isn’t right for you. Or maybe you received an unsolicited email and need to respond. How do you decline a job interview and do so without burning any bridges?

In this guide we’re going to show you how to politely decline any request for interviewing and ensure that you keep your reputation as well as a potential job opportunity.

How Not To Burn A Bridge

For the most part, every HR department, hiring manager or team leader knows that when you are in the interview process with someone, there’s always a chance they could decide to go another route. This is why they often try to rush the process. They want to make sure that you don’t have enough time to consider other options or delay the acceptance of an offer letter.

What’s crucial to understand is that any pressure you might be receiving from the other party is simply them trying to do their job. They are being asked to hire someone and hire someone quickly.

If you don’t want to burn a bridge, all you have to do is ensure that your communication with whomever it was who was asking you for the new interview, is done so in a calm and professional manner. It is always great to include some type of supportive reasoning for why you feel the opportunity is a great one, as well. That will make them feel like you truly considered the opportunity.

Here is what you’ll want to ensure your communication with them entails:

  • A polite, calm, simple message saying you’d like to withdraw yourself from the interview.
  • A few mentions as to why you feel the opportunity is great and wish it were better timing.
  • A request that you hope there are future job opportunities later down the road.

You might have to do this by email or by phone. But if you are doing it by email and you don’t want to burn a bridge, here is what your email should look like:

Hi [Hiring Manager],

I’ve decided to go another route. Due to this I’d like to withdraw myself from the interview process. That said, I want to thank you for the time you spent with me and presenting this wonderful opportunity.

I love your company because you:
1. Care about your culture
2. Are working within a category I am passionate about
3. Seem to have a job function open that has great potential for someone

I appreciate you considering me for this opportunity, I am honored. I hope we can continue our communication in the future and see if there is better timing down the road.

[Your name]

Yes, it may seem like you are “brown nosing” the interviewer in some sense. But this shows that you’ve taken the time to consider why the job opportunity is a great one and why you feel you are missing out on something due to timing.

This is a very professional way of declining any future interviews.

If You Received An Unsolicited Email

Lets say you received an unsolicited email asking you to jump on the phone to go through a pre-screen session or phone interview. And you aren’t looking to make a change from your current position or company. How do you respond to that? The answer is, in a very similar way as the email above.

Here’s an example of what you might say:

Hi [Name],

Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I’m honored to be considered for this position. Unfortunately, right now, I’m not looking to make any career changes.

I hope we can stay in touch and please alert me of any future job openings.

Thank you,
[Your name]

In the email above you keep the line of communication simple and to the point. But you also leave the potential of future job opportunities on the table.

Declining a Job Interview Due To Salary

Maybe you received an email from a recruiter or manager asking you to interview and you looked at the salary or compensation package associated with the job but it wasn't something you were interested in. How do you tell the interview requester that you don't want to interview due to the salary or compensation package? Here's an example:

Dear [Name]—

I'm honored to be asked to interview with your company. I happened to look at the compensation package and unfortunately, it's significantly lower than my current position. I hope you can understand that while I really love your company, it makes more sense for me to stay where I am right now.

Thank you so much,
[Your name]

Why Would You Decline A Job Interview

There’s a variety of reasons you might decline a job interview. All of which are entirely normal business and most of which will be comfortable for hiring managers or HR departments to hear about.

Some of this would include:

  • You aren’t looking to make any career or job function changes.
  • You are happy with your current employer.
  • You applied for a position but weren’t satisfied with your initial interviews or on-site interviews.
  • You may not have understood there was relocation requests as part of the job opportunity.
  • Your current employer may have compensated you more heavily to stay with them.
  • You may have done research into the companies missions and values, then decided it wasn’t the best fit for you.

All of these are good reasons. But you don’t want to share them with the interviewer. It is best to keep these reasons to yourself and keep your line of communication simple. Why? Because if you share your personal thoughts on the process, the interviewer has the opportunity to persuade you against those reasons. And that may make you feel like you are being badgered or sold into an opportunity. And you don’t want that.

Tips When Declining Any Future Job Opportunity Or Interview

When declining or withdrawing from any job opportunity it is best that you once you’ve made up your decision to withdraw, that you do so quickly. It is courteous to the interviewer and company to know that you are no longer a potential candidate. Your goal isn’t to be malicious towards the company and by withdrawing quickly, you are allowing them to fill the position with someone else.

The best things you can do are:

  • Respond quickly.
  • Communicate briefly.
  • Be forthcoming about your answer.
  • Be clear.

The worst things you can do are:

  • Delay your response.
  • Be vague in your communication.
  • Express some personal frustration.
  • Express your inner reasoning for questioning the job opportunity or interviews.
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams.

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How to turn down a job offer without burning bridges. Declining a job offer can be hard or easy. Make it easy with these how to reject a job offer.

How To Decline A Job Offer Politely

decline job email

When you’re on the job hunt, your focus is so fully on getting to that job offer: all of your energy goes into making yourself into the ideal candidate, and making sure that the hiring manager knows how very ideal you are. But what happens if you get to that point and the job just isn’t right for you?

1. Reasons to Turn Down a Job Offer

2. When to Turn Down a Job Offer

3. How to Turn Down  a Job Offer

4. What Not to Do When You Turn Down a Job Offer

Reasons to Turn Down  a Job Offer

1. You couldn’t come to an agreement on compensation.

Sometimes, negotiation just doesn’t go the way you want it to go, and you just can’t compromise any further.

2. The job wasn’t what you thought it would be when you applied.

Maybe that 40-hour work week looks suspiciously like 60 hours plus 10 p.m. emails. Or the “senior” manager position appears to be much more junior than it looked on paper.

3. You learned something about the company or job during the process that turned you off.

If you find out that the company’s mission includes clubbing baby seals, or has a political bent that makes you uncomfortable, ask yourself: would I really be happy and fulfilled working here? If the answer is no, it’s time to walk away and start over somewhere else.

4. You leveraged your job offer into a raise or promotion at your current place, and want to stay put.

Or, you have a competing offer that you’d rather accept. Look at you, with your wealth of offers! If you find yourself in this envious position, it’s time to jettison the other opportunities.

5. The job would require life changes (moving, etc.) that you’re not ready to adopt.

This job would be perfect, except for the relocation to Siberia…

6. [Insert any good reason here]

While all of these are good reasons, your reason doesn’t necessarily have to fall into one of those categories. Sometimes a job just isn’t the right choice for you at this particular time, and you’re not obligated to accept any offer you get. Yes, having a job offer to reject is a very privileged spot to have, but regardless of the economy or optics, you need to make the decision that’s best for you.

The trick is in managing the bowing-out process so that you don’t look like a jerk, in case you end up re-applying for another job at the same company someday. And even if you never go back to that company for a job opportunity, people move around, so you may encounter the same hiring manager at an entirely different place. Networks are tricky, unpredictable creatures. All of this is to say: it’s in your best interest to handle this like a pro, whatever your reasons are for saying “no.”

When to Turn Down a Job Offer

The timing is pretty self-explanatory…you can’t reject a job offer until you have a job offer. Doing it before you get an official offer reads as presumptuous. If you need to remove yourself from the running while the interview process is still playing out, use that kind of verbiage. (“Before we move any further, I’ll need to remove myself from the application process. Thanks so much for the opportunity to talk with you about the position!”)

When rejecting a job offer, you want to be prompt—let them know as soon as you come to your decision. They’ll appreciate that you were up front, and it will let them either make another offer or start the process again with other candidates.

How to Turn Down a Job Offer

Above all, put it in writing. Letting the company know in an email or letter (even if it’s as a follow-up to a phone call or a face-to-face convo) is always the best way to go. The reasons for this:

  • It leaves a paper trail. Think of it as a mini version of a resignation letter. Once your intent is in writing and filed in your folder, there’s no dispute or confusion over whether you accepted or rejected an offer. Clarity wins, every time.
  • It removes any potential for mixed signals or confusion about whether you’re holding out for more (salary, benefits, title, etc.). The final email tells the company, “I’m not playing games, I’m just moving on. Thanks for your time!”

You should also consider a quick phone call to the recruiter or hiring manager to let them know as well, especially if you know them personally or want to maintain a professional relationship. It’s an open, friendly gesture and conveys that you know how much time and effort went into the hiring process. However, if you decide to drop the news in person or a phone, definitely follow up with an email. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. It just needs to hit these elements:

Friendly tone

Never go negative, even if you found the process or the people involved distasteful. Always be the bigger person, because you never know how information will travel or with whom you’ll cross paths again someday.

Personal greeting

“Dear sirs and madams” or just a “Hi:” are not going to cut it. Be sure to address the person who’s been handling your hiring process, whether it’s a recruiter or a hiring manager.

“Thank you.”

It’s not an Oscar speech, so you don’t need to get too detailed. Just a quick “thank you for the opportunity to meet your team and learn more about the company” is totally fine.

A reason

These don’t have to be all that specific, but you want to give them a sense of why you’re turning them down, when you seemed like such a gung-ho candidate before. Examples:

  • I don’t think this job is the best fit for me right now.”
  • “I’ve decided to accept another offer.” If you do this, you don’t need to say where, but it would be helpful for the company to know if their top candidates are bailing because other places are offering more comprehensive benefits, better hours, etc. No matter what, be diplomatic.
Reiteration of appreciation

Remember, you want the company to feel like you’re the one that got away, not the close call they had with a monster.

Nice closing

The same kind of closing you use for any standard business communication applies here. Regards, best wishes, thanks again, sincerely, and similar ones all work. No melodrama, just easy and respectful closure.

Here’s a sample offer rejection letter you can use for reference if you find yourself in this position.

Dear Scooter,

Thank you very much for offering me the position of Senior Swamp Correspondent. After careful deliberation, I’ve decided to accept another position that’s more in line with my experience and my goals. I really appreciate your time and consideration, though, as well as the chance to meet your excellent colleagues Fozzie and Gonzo. I know your team will continue to achieve great things in TV production, and I look forward to hearing about your continued success.

Best wishes,

There are also other examples and templates online that you can use, like here and here. The most important thing is to write what feels right for you—it should be in your voice, but if you find yourself at a loss for what to say, you can stick to these guidelines and dash off a perfectly nice rejection note.

The level of formality may vary, depending on a) how formal the company is (which you’ll have a sense of from your interview and interactions with the company), and b) how well you know the person receiving the note. Err on the side of formality, but if a textbook form letter just doesn’t feel right, just make sure to hit the six points above, and keep the tone light and professional.

What NOT to Do When You Turn Down a Job Offer

While you’re crafting your “it’s not you, it’s me” note, there are some pitfalls to keep in mind as well. Don’t even consider the following:

Using powerfully negative words like “reject.”

It just sounds harsh, so…find a nicer way to phrase things, like, “opting to pursue other opportunities” or “will not be able to accept your offer at this time.”

Taking a hostile tone.

If you didn’t get along with anyone along the way, or discovered that you really don’t like the company, this is not the place to vent that. No sarcasm, snide remarks, or profanity.

Posting about it on social media.

It’s just poor form…and if you put a company on blast after they offer you a job, you could do some heavy damage to your own reputation.

Talking smack about the company or anyone you spoke to throughout the process.

If you met with someone really obnoxious during your interview process, now is not the time to talk about it. If you have any grievances, same deal. Just be thankful you got away unscathed, and be nice as you’re walking out the door.

You’re breaking off a potential relationship here, but instead of disappearing into the comfortable anonymity of a dating app, you’re talking to people in an industry where you (presumably) want to keep working. You have to acknowledge the offer and also that you will not be accepting it. It’s not that hard, I promise! The awkwardness and unpleasantness that would result from just ignoring an open offer (and potentially wasting the time of someone following up on it) are just not the way to conduct yourself in a professional way.

With these tools, you’re ready to take the difficult step of cutting loose from the hiring process. It can be a difficult decision, but again—if the job isn’t right for you or you have better opportunities, there’s no need to draw it out. Be quick, be nice, and be firm…and you’re out and ready to move on to the next opportunity.

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