How to Politely Decline a Job Offer?

Declining a job offer is somewhat a good place to be regardless of how awkward it may feel. It means that your resume writing and job search efforts were a success. Being in the position of turning down a job offer is quite good because it means that you either have a better offer or you know what you are worth. Either way, declining a job offer may be more difficult than you think (writing a job offer acceptance letter is much easier). It takes some diplomacy and tact to politely say “No” to the opportunity. Why bother? Well, it helps not to burn a bridge with the company in case more suitable opportunities arise in the future. It is also professional to let the employers know about your decision instead of ignoring their attempts to get in touch with you.

The ABCs of Turning Down a Job Offer

One of the most important things when saying “No” to the prospective employer is the timing. The thing is that employers don’t start looking for new employees out of a good life. It means they have a need and they need someone to address it respectively. The sooner, the better. So once you have decided to reject the offer, let them know as soon as possible. This will demonstrate your respect more than anything else. Otherwise, it will likely cause extra inconveniences for the company. 

Usually, hiring managers use emails to communicate with job candidates. In return, job seekers use email to inform the company of their decision: either they accept a job offer or reject it. So one of the most popular ways to let the employers know that you are not going to accept their offer is via email. However, this is not the only way. The more gracious option is to call and talk to the hiring manager or someone who was supposed to be your supervisor/manager. Sometimes it is difficult to get hold of someone on the phone. In some cases, it might literally take days. Therefore, sending an email letter might be a better alternative.  

If you are really interested in preserving the relationship with the company, it is highly recommended to provide a reason why you are rejecting an offer. Although employers rarely provide one when turning down job candidates, you will demonstrate respect if you explain your decision. It is not that you have to go into details too much though. You can be vague and say something like this:

Alternatively, you can go for a more specific explanation:

Here is another example of a specific explanation:

If you choose to provide a specific reason, it may well be that the company will choose to address your concerns in attempts to have you join their team. They might increase the salary offer or change your work environment. Whatever the issue is, providing an explanation allows the company to re-evaluate you as a candidate and improve the initial job offer. It doesn’t necessarily mean they will satisfy your wants though.  

Lastly, the social protocol dictates that you should thank them for their time. If you see the company as your potential employer in the future, then you can say something like this:

Or if you truly admire the company, you could say the following:

In essence, your job offer rejection letter or call should accomplish the following:

  • Demonstrate your respect and show appreciation
  • Provide a good reason why you are not accepting the offer
  • Thank the employer for the time and opportunity

Job Offer Rejection Letter Example #1

Job Offer Rejection Letter Example #2

 Job Offer Rejection Letter Example #3

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