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How to refuse a job offer

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How to refuse a job offer
October 24, 2018 Anniversary Wishes No comments

“There are many reasons why a job candidate might have to turn down a job offer --but it can usually be boiled down to three key areas: the.

I recently got a call on the Bossed Up Podcast hotline from Christina in Seattle. She had just turned down a job offer and wanted to hear my take on whether or not she made the right choice.

It got me thinking about when turning down a job offer is your right next move. And in my opinion, there are lots of instances when saying ‘no’ despite the FOMO is your best call.

Here are 5 ways to know that a job offer isn’t for you:

1. When you love the organization, but not the role

We all know that millennials are on the hunt for purposeful work. And really, who isn’t? But don’t let the organization’s mission blind you from the role you’re signing on to. Are you deep down happiest when you’re writing and focusing on independent creative work? Then a middle manager position might not suit you, even if it is at your dream company!

I watched one Bossed Up Bootcamp alum I worked with over the years ping-pong from one cause-based organization to the next, always frustrated by how day-to-day operations didn’t seem to live up to the ideals of the organization’s overall mission. Only once she focused specifically on the role she wanted most did she find a fulfilling and sustainable job that was the right fit for her.

Don’t be blinded by the big-picture vision of the organization if the details of the day-to-day role they’re offering you are going to leave you feeling out of place.

2. When you’re just feeling flattered or obliged.

There’s a difference between saying “hell, yes!” to a new opportunity, and feeling like you have to say yes. Perhaps someone went out on a limb for you to help bring this job opportunity your way and now you feel obliged to agree to it. Or maybe your prospective new employer has gone out of their way to flatter you and taken you out to fancy dinners to try and woo you away from your current job.

Take a quiet moment of reflection to ask yourself deep down: if you didn’t feel obligated or indebted to anyone, would you still say yes to this job?

3. When your gut says “no!”

Maybe you got a bad vibe when you went into the office for your interview. Or do you find yourself creeped out by how your prospective new boss is conducting themselves? Something about the team is leaving you feeling uncomfortable.

Just because you can’t put your finger on it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to your gut. Close your eyes and try to actually imagine yourself taking the job and starting on your first day. Do you feel the excitement of butterflies in your stomach? Or something more like dread? Listen to your gut.

Now, if you’re a person who always gets a bit anxious at the prospect of change, you might be best served by talking it out with a trusted friend or ally to make sure you’re not just psyching yourself out. But either way, if your gut is telling you “no,” you’re better off listening to it.

4. When the grass is always greener …

Are you a frequent job-hopper who finds a new place to work every year? If so, ask yourself if you’ve got grass-is-always-greener syndrome. Do you always have one eye on job boards? Do you send your resume out year-round? Are you never quite invested in your current place of work?

While I’d never fault anyone for being ambitious, if you find yourself constantly pining for a better place to work, it might be a sign that you’re not holding out long enough for the right opportunity. You’re running from workplaces instead of finding the right job that makes you want to run to it.

Give yourself time to really make a mindful next move so that you’ll be able to invest yourself fully into your next job, not be constantly looking for something better.

5. When you got 9 out of your 10 must-have’s met

And finally, if you’ve heard me talk about negotiation before, you know how much I believe in making your list of must-have’s and your nice-to-have’s. If the offer that’s made to you meets 9 out of 10 of your must-have’s – that’s not enough!

If you know that the salary, benefits, commute, or other conditions of the job you’re offered just isn’t going to work for the long haul, taking it just sets you up for fizzling out.

Unless you’re looking for a bridge job, hold out! After all, sometimes being willing to walk away from the negotiation table is the best boss move you can make. You might even call their bluff, and have them come back to offer you more.

This article was originally published on BossedUp.

Declining a job offer is always hard. Find out how to do it politely and positively, by email, letter or phone. With example rejection templates.

When to turn down a job offer

how to refuse a job offer

Getting a job offer is always flattering: of all the candidates who applied to and interviewed for a position, you were deemed the best fit. It’s a testament to your skills, your interview prowess and the potential the employer sees in you. But just because you received a job offer doesn’t always mean you’ll want to take it. In these cases, it’s worth learning how to decline a job offer the right way.

Whether you realize that you need a higher salary, don’t want to end up relocating after all or simply feel the job isn’t the right professional fit for you, you’re well within your right to turn a position down. However, it’s important to notify the company in a respectful, professional way. Not only is it the right thing to do — it’s critical for maintaining a strong reputation. In this guide, we’ll share how to decline a job offer gently and respectfully without burning any bridges.

Do a Final Gut Check

Before you give your final answer, it’s worth taking a final moment to make absolutely certain that you’re not interested in the job. After all, there’s no going back once you turn down a job offer. The moment an employer hears “no,” they’re probably going to move on and reach out to the next person they had in their pipeline. Even if they haven’t yet, an employer is unlikely to agree to hire you after you’ve just rejected them. Turning them down and then changing your mind comes off as wishy-washy, and suggests you may not stay loyal to the company for long.

To be certain that you’re not interested in the opportunity, ask yourself a few probing questions:

  • Why am I not interested in this job?
  • Is the reason I’m not interested in this job likely to change anytime soon?
  • Is there a chance I’ll regret turning down this job?
  • Will taking this job help me get where I want to be in the long run?

If you’re still unsure after considering these questions, try making a list of all of the different criteria that are important to you in a job search — such as salary, benefits, professional development opportunities, company culture, distance from home, etc. — and assess how well the job offer satisfies those requirements. Then, stack the different categories in order of importance, making sure to note if there are any non-negotiables. Hopefully, this exercise provides you with a more objective, data-driven look at whether or not the position is truly the right fit for you.

Finally, when you’re really feeling lost, it can help to talk things through with somebody you trust: a friend, a parent, a counselor, etc. Sometimes, all you need to clear your head and arrive at the best decision for you is to hear yourself out loud.

Tips for Sharing the News

Once you’ve decided for certain that you’re no longer interested in a job opportunity, it’s time to let the company you’ve been interviewing with know. Here are a few tips you can use to keep it as respectful as possible:

Act Quickly: Often, a company will give you a certain amount of time to consider a job offer. But if you’ve made up your mind before the due date, let them know ASAP — this softens the blow by allowing them to get back to filling the job as quickly as possible.

Consider the Medium: Most people choose to turn down a job offer over email, which in most cases is perfectly fine. But if you really want to go the extra mile, try calling them. While it’s not for everybody, a phone call offers a more personal touch. It can also help you avoid the unfortunate miscommunications that sometimes arise from written messages.

Respond Graciously: The candidate selection process requires a considerable amount of time and resources from companies, so you shouldn’t disrespect their investment by coming off as ungrateful or insensitive. Show that you care by thanking them for their time, and mentioning one or two of the things that you really admired about the company.

Give a Reason: You may be hesitant to explain why you’re turning the job down, but doing so will keep the company from wondering what went wrong, and may even help them improve their hiring process moving forward. Be careful with what exactly you share, though. Something too blunt like “The hiring manager was a jerk” won’t go over well, but saying “I really connected with the team at the other company I was interviewing with” is perfectly acceptable.

Leave It Open-Ended: It might be that you’re still interested in the company, and that it’s just the timing or the specific position that isn’t right. If that’s the case, consider letting them know that you’d love to keep in touch in order to stay up-to-date on future opportunities.

Job Rejection Template

It’s one thing to read these tips — it’s another to see them in action. Read on below for a customizable template you can use to let the company down easy:

Dear [Contact Name],

Thank you for the offer, as well as for the time you’ve spent getting to know me and educating me about the opportunity. However, after reflecting on it, I’m going to have to pass. While I really enjoyed [one or two things you liked about the company], [reason you’re turning the opportunity down]. (OPTIONAL:) I would love to stay in touch in case any relevant positions come up down the line.

Thank you again for everything, and best of luck filling the position — I have no doubt that you’ll find someone incredible!

[Your name]

Maintaining the Relationship

If you really want to stay in touch with a company moving forward, mentioning it in your rejection letter is a good place to start — but it’s probably not enough. If a role opens up six months down the road without any additional contact from you, odds are the recruiter won’t remember you. To really stand out in their mind, you need to put some additional work in.

After you turn down the job opportunity, you may want to send an additional email or message reiterating your interest in the company and sharing which positions you would be open to down the line, as well as at what point you’d consider revisiting the interview process. This will help ensure that they think to turn to you first if any relevant opportunities pop up.

Adding them on LinkedIn if you haven’t already, as well as posting regular updates on your achievements, is another great way to help keep you top-of-mind. Finally, once you are ready for a new position, check in with your company contact to let them know and to see if there are any positions available that you might be a good fit for.

Decline a job offer is a big decision, and it might seem intimidating. But when it comes down to it, it’s all about treating the company the way you want to be treated. Follow the steps above, and you’ll be able to turn down the opportunity while still staying in the company’s good graces.

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7 Good Reasons To Turn Down A Reasonable Job Offer

how to refuse a job offer

When to turn down a job offer

By Mark Swartz
Monster Senior Contributing Writer

What a great feeling to receive a job offer. Especially after a long, anxious search. Finally another employer has recognized that you’ve got the right stuff. Your feelings of relief and excitement can be huge.


But once you’ve finished negotiating the offer, take a deep breath before actually accepting. Is your gut telling you something you don’t necessarily want to hear? Like maybe the person you’ll be reporting to rubbed you the wrong way somehow. Or traffic on the way to the office was way worse than you’d imagined, making your commute much longer than expected.


There are some very good reasons to decline a job offer. Basically it comes down to an unavoidable fact: taking a job you’re unhappy with can end badly, and it’s hard to look for another job once you’ve started this new one.


Do any of the following seven reasons apply to your situation?


Reason 1: The Terms Of The Offer Are Unsatisfactory

You didn’t get the title you wanted. Not enough salary. A restrictive vacation policy. If there are serious gaps in how your negotiations turned out, these can lead to resentment and frustration. Remember that once you accept an offer, you may have to wait until a scheduled performance review to ask for changes. Will you last that long?


Reason 2: The Work Itself Is Too Difficult Or Too Easy

You could be setting yourself up for failure if the level of work is too complex or simple. If it’s overly complex, but you’ve talked a good game and oversold yourself, it won’t take long for your new employer to discover the truth. And if the work is boring you may end up climbing the walls, looking for a quick exit.


Reason 3: You’re Worried You Won’t Get Along With Your Manager

Your supervisor plays a vital role in your success at a new job. They can be your champion, or prison warden. Don’t ignore little signals that the two of you may not get along. These irritations could blossom into major frictions if your intuition is right.


Reason 4: The Corporate Culture Doesn’t Feel Right

What’s the new workplace “feel” like? If, for example, it’s slow-paced and quiet, but you prefer frantic and loud, it might not be a fit. Ask plenty of questions during your interviews about what it’s like to work there. Make sure they show you around and introduce you before you accept their offer. If the fit isn’t right you may end up getting squeezed out one way or another.


Reason 5: The Commute Is Too Difficult

Getting to and from work should not be the most exhausting part of your day. If it is, you’ll arrive to your job with frayed nerves and get home in a bad mood. Test out the commute by testing out the route beforehand, at the time of day you’d be expected to report in. Are you frazzled or focused?


Reason 6: There’s Too Much Travel Required In The Job

Travelling as part of your work can be fun. It can also become a drain if there’s too much of it. So consider carefully whether the amount of work-related travel is manageable for you. If you think it won’t be, try to renegotiate before giving your final response.


Reason 7: You’ve Accepted Another Job Offer

If you’re fortunate enough to receive multiple offers at the same time, you’re going to have to choose one and notify the others of your decision. It’s only fair to the employer: they need to go ahead and select from the remaining applicants.


How To Decline A Job Offer Graciously


Regardless of why you choose to turn down a job offer, there are ways of doing so that don’t slam the door shut for later. Here are some tips you might find helpful:

  • Let the employer know as soon as you’ve made your decision, so that you don’t unnecessarily keep them waiting (see Reason 7 above)
  • Use the personal touch. Speak directly to the person who made you the offer. Be brief and upbeat. There’s no reason for a lengthy conversation that gets into gritty details. You can say something like “I really had to think about this long and hard because you seem like a great place to work, and I want you to know how much I appreciate all the effort you’ve made on my behalf. However after taking everything into account, I’ve decided to continue my search elsewhere at this time.”
  • Mention that you would like to leave the door open for the future, when circumstances may have changed


Turning down a reasonable job offer shouldn’t be done lightly. Once the final version is on the table, you can ask for a day or two to think it over. During this period you can honestly assess the merits of this opportunity. If it doesn’t meet your minimum standards then you may be better off to politely decline and keep looking.

Write a formal decline job offer letter when you have chosen to reject the job offer. It is courteous and professional and maintains good relations with an.

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

how to refuse a job offer

Job offer rejection letter example

If you're tempted to take the easy way out and decline a job offer verbally, express your regrets in writing instead. Here's how.

It’s more professional to write a formal letter to decline a job.

With the economy back on track, employers are more likely to make a job offer today than they were several years ago. But whether the compensation is too low, the location is inconvenient, or the job just isn’t the right fit for you, sometimes you just need to say, "No thanks." And while it may be tempting to turn down an offer verbally and leave it at that, it’s more professional to write a formal rejection letter to decline the job.

Keep these four tips in mind as you write your rejection letter letter:

  • Be prompt: As soon as you’ve made your decision, call the hiring manager and write your letter declining the offer. The company will need to offer the position to someone else, and you don’t want to hold up the process.
  • Be courteous: You may be turning down this position, but you might want to be considered for future opportunities. Savvy job seekers use every possible chance to network, so thank all the people you interviewed with and wish them and their company continued success.
  • Be diplomatic: If you’ve received another, more generous offer, avoid mentioning the details of the position you’re accepting. Let the hiring manager know that you were impressed by the company and carefully considered the offer, but you are accepting a position that better suits your career objectives.
  • Be concise: This is not the place to tout your credentials and career accomplishments. The company already realizes your value, so keep your letter short and sweet.

Here’s a sample letter declining a job offer:


Catherine Harper
Operations Manager
ABC Company
50 Corporate Plaza
Sometown, ST 00000

Dear Ms. Harper:

Thank you very much for offering me the assistant manager position. After careful consideration, I regret that I must decline your offer. Although you were most encouraging in outlining future advancement possibilities within ABC Company, I have accepted another opportunity that is more in line with my skills and career goals.

I enjoyed meeting you and the rest of your team. You have been most kind and gracious throughout the interview process, and I only wish that circumstances allowed me to accept your offer.

Best wishes for your continued success.


Tom Greenwood

Find the job that's right for you

What seems like a fantastic job at first may not be such a great fit after all—and that's okay. The good news is, there are other opportunities out there waiting for you. Could you use some help finding a job that is more in line with what you're looking for? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Keep your door open, and you never know what kinds of great offers will make their way to you.



Most top candidates will at some point experience having to turn down a great job offer—but that doesn't mean it won't be a hard conversation.

how to refuse a job offer
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