Learn the best way to turn down a job offer without burning any professional Declining a job offer is also a powerful way to practice saying “No. Politely and succinctly point out what the biggest drawback to the job is.
Being a part of the rat race isn’t easy. Let’s face it, in today’s day and age there are a greater number of people looking to enter the professional world than the number of jobs in the market. We live in constant fear of being replaced and thus keep our options open to give ourselves the freedom to make the right choice.
As a result of this open-all-doors policy, we are often tasked with the challenge of turning down a good job in favour of a better one. Assuming that this final choice has been taken after a series of examined permutations and combinations, we are next faced with the problem of turning down the first offer. While many people choose to ‘ghost’ their way out of the problem, it isn’t an ethically correct proposition. By doing this, you also hold the possibility of burning several important bridges, which on a later date could be what saves you from drowning in the metaphorical ocean.
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Simply put, you need to know the right way to politely turn down a job offer. For this, you need to come across as being grateful but decisive on why you are consciously making a decision to not join the concerned company while still holding out the possibility of working together in the future.
Here’s how you do it:
It’s human nature to wish to have all your options intact. However, you need to realise that it isn’t fair to the company or to the others who are applying for the same role to keep them hanging. If you are a hundred percent sure that you do not wish to spend the next year and beyond inside the walls of this organisation, then make it clear that while you are grateful for the offer to become a part of the company, you must decline the offer for personal reasons and have made up your mind on the matter.
I am so grateful for having been offered the position of XX at your company. However, I find that I must decline the offer in light of some personal reasons that have come up on my end. Since I don’t see the situation changing in the near future, I thought it better that I inform you beforehand, so you can look towards opening it up again for other contenders. I hope to keep in touch and work together in the future someday.
While you don’t have to go into detail about why you have decided to turn down the offer, you do still owe them a basic explanation. Be it for the fact that you have accepted another job, or that the position you are being offered here doesn’t fit what you’re looking for, inform them of the same.
Dear Mr Sharma,
Thank you for considering me for the role of XX at your company. While I extremely grateful for having been offered the opportunity, I believe I will have to decline the same. While the package you have offered me is extremely generous, I have accepted a position at another company which better fits the role I was looking out for.
Remember that the hiring manager or other representative from the company who interviewed you possibly spent several hours reading your resume, looking you up on social media and tracking your work experience, among the many other applications sitting atop his or her desk for the same position. Considering the amount of time that they have invested in you, the least you should do while turning down their offer is thank them for the same.
While I am delightful at having been offered the position of XX at your company, I’m terribly sorry to inform you that I must decline the offer in light of some recent personal developments. I wanted to thank you for the time and patience you have taken out for me in this whole process. It helped me a lot and is highly appreciated.
The whole point of not burning bridges is for you to maintain good relations with the company you are turning down, in the off-chance that you seek help or even employment again from them in the future. At the same time, you need to maintain a good reputation in the circuit, so it wouldn’t do for any player in the market to speak badly of you.
Dear Mrs Kapoor,
I am grateful for having been offered the position of XX at your company. However, I find that I must decline the offer in light of recent developments at my current job. Since I do not believe that the situation will be changing anytime soon, I thought I would inform you beforehand, so that you could reopen the position to others applying to the same. I am extremely disappointed that I will not be able to join the company at the present, but I do hope that we get to work together in the future. I look forward to keeping in touch.
You never know when your path could cross another’s in the future. It is likely that the employer you turned down might do business with you in the near or distant future. Hence, it pays to part ways on good terms.
You got the job! Oh, but you don't want or need it anymore. What do you do? What should you say?.
Declining a job offer you worked hard to get is not always an easy task, but can happen when you are aggressively interviewing. If you receive more than one offer at the same time, it’s critical that you know how to write a job offer rejection letter that expresses both your gratitude and your regrets.
When writing the letter, remain polite and courteous and choose your words carefully. Not only does this project you in a positive light to the employer, but it keeps doors open for future opportunities down the road. While you may be tempted to make a phone call to reject the offer, it’s more professional to compose a formal letter. Here’s how to write a job offer rejection letter that won’t rub a recruiter the wrong way.
Keep these tips in mind and read through our sample letters to get more ideas about how to be decline a job offer.
1. Be Prompt
Avoid procrastination when writing a job offer rejection letter. Not only does this give the company plenty of time to find another candidate, it’s also more thoughtful to get straight to the point and turn down the offer right away rather than allow then to think you are considering the position. It’s often difficult for recruiters to find the right employee for the job. Don’t let them believe they’ve found the perfect match when you have no intention of following through with employment.
2. Show Appreciation
Show appreciation and be gracious when rejecting a job offer. Recruiters often pore over resumes and spend several hours looking through social media to find the perfect employee. Thank the interviewer for the opportunity and express gratitude for the time they spend interviewing you. You never know when your paths might cross again so the goal is to decline the job offer with no hard feelings.
3. Give a Good Reason
Provide a good reason why you aren’t taking the position in your job offer rejection letter. Don’t provide any negative details on what you didn’t like about the company or the role. Instead, focus on the positives and wish the company success. If you don’t have a specific reason to offer (for example, “I’ve come to the realization that the commute required just won’t work with my childcare schedule.”) then it’s okay to simply say that that it isn’t a good fit for you at the moment.
4. Keep It Short and Professional
Recruiters are used to rejection. Keep your job offer rejection letter short and to the point. Avoid detailing the potential you saw in the position or the warning signals you saw in a would-be boss. State your main reason for declining and then provide a simple thank you.
Compose each individual letter based on the reason for not accepting the position. Use these sample letters for declining a job offer as a starting point.
1. When It’s Not a Good Fit
Sometimes you like the company but the offered position just isn’t right for you. Make a brief mention of this and regretfully decline the offer.
Thank you so much for considering me for the position of [Job Title]. After careful consideration, I’ve decided to pursue a position with another company that’s more in line with my current career path and personal goals.
It was a true pleasure to learn more about the excellent work you do at [Company]. I appreciate the time and consideration you gave my application and wish you success in your efforts to find the perfect candidate.
I look forward to hearing from you in the future. If there are any questions you have for me, please let me know.
Don’t provide any negative details on what you didn’t like about the company or the role. Instead, focus on the positives and wish the company success.
2. When You Need More Money
Monetary negotiations don’t always go the way you want them to go. If, in spite of going back and forth, you still couldn’t reach an agreement on what you need in terms of salary, you may need to decline the job offer. Consider this sample letter for declining a job offer on the basis of compensation.
Thank you so much for offering me the [Job Title] position. After carefully considering the compensation package outlined in your offer, I must regretfully decline. The salary does not meet the financial requirements of my current situation.
It was a pleasure meeting you and learning about your company. I wish you continued success and hope we will have the opportunity to work together in the future.
Again, thank you for your consideration.
3. Considering the Company Culture or Reputation
Occasionally, the work environment, company culture, or the company’s reputation can cause a candidate to decline a job offer. If something about the company doesn’t sit well with you, you may need to write a job offer rejection letter.
Thank you for offering me the position of [Job Title] with [Company]. I appreciate your interest in hiring me. Unfortunately, I have decided to accept a position with another company that is a better match for my current goals.
Again, I appreciate the offer and your careful consideration. I wish you and your company continued success in all endeavors.
4. Declining an Offer After Accepting It
In certain circumstances, you may need to turn down a job you’ve already accepted. When this happens, try this sample letter declining a job offer.
Thanks so much for offering me the position of [Job Title] at [Company]. It was a pleasure meeting you.
Unfortunately, after a great deal of thought, I have decided to turn down this gracious job opportunity. I am truly sorry for any inconvenience this decision may cause and hope it will not affect any future relationships with your company.
I wish you continued success and hope to hear from you in the future.
During your job hunt, it’s possible that you will have to compose a letter declining an offer. Always remain positive and professional and stay honest. This keeps the company as a potential employer for the future.
Additional Resources for Jobseekers:
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:
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.
A rejection letter to decline a job offer is a letter or email that informs an reason for declining the position is the respectful and right thing to do.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
This is a version of a post that was originally published in July 2017.
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Turning down a job offer can feel awkward but it doesn't have to burn bridges. Check out these sample letters for declining a job offer to learn how to turn down a.