How To Decline A Job Offer

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph April 17, 2023
Updated 2023/04/17 at 9:27 AM
How To Decline A Job Offer

You put a lot of effort into customizing your CV for the position you’re seeking. You may have spent months looking for work, gone through multiple rounds of interviews, and finally obtained a job offer. However, you have now decided to turn it down.

It requires serious thought to reject a job offer, and there are various reasons why people do so.

You may have felt disconnected from your potential boss and that you would not fit well with the company’s culture, the offered salary may have been too low for you even after negotiations, the real role is inconsistent with the job description, or there was a mismatch between you and your future manager.

Today’s candidate-driven job market allows qualified people to choose from among several job offers, and it is common knowledge that job seekers occasionally decline positions.

Although life is uncertain in both the short and long term, careers are lengthy. Always maintain a relational frame of mind as opposed to a transactional one. Job searchers should have these things in mind before turning down an offer.

In this post, we share advice on how to politely and respectfully decline a job offer.

How To Decline A Job Offer

Be Certain That You Want   To Decline The Offer

Check that you’re prepared to say no as the first (and most crucial) step. A significant life event, changing employment isn’t always an easy choice.

Take into account all aspects concerning what entails to decline the employment offer, such as:

Is it about the pay?

  •      In what way will the decision affect your mental health?
  •      What is the nature of work; remote, hybrid, or on-site?
  •      Do you envision yourself advancing within the company?
  •     Do your core values match the company’s values?

Be Prompt In Decline The Job Offer

 It is important to inform the hiring manager of your decision to decline the offer as soon as you get the offer letter. This is the first and most important step to take and must be done promptly. It will undoubtedly be inconvenient if you wait to inform the hiring manager of your decision. This is due to the possibility that should you reject their offer, the hiring team will already have other candidates lined up.

Also, if you enjoy the company and intend to work again in the future, this will not help you in keeping a positive connection.

Express Gratitude And Appreciation:

The interviewing procedure is laborious and time-consuming.  It must have taken an entire team to get you through the interview process; this includes screening sample projects in addition to cover letters and interview panels. The offering organization is thrilled to have you join the team and is eager (and hoping) for you to do so.

Thank the recruiting manager for their time during the entire process as well as for making the job offer. Above all, keep the letter’s tone one of thanks, letting the hiring manager and recruiter know that you value their time and effort.

Decide On The Medium:

Should you phone the hiring manager or send an email to reject a job offer?

Although rejecting a job offer by email is permissible, speaking with the recruitment manager or hiring manager on the phone is a more respectful approach to do so. Additionally, a phone call provides a more intimate feeling.

This person has spent a lot of time with you during the interview process, and they probably can’t wait to have you on their team. Compose everything you would like to say and utilize your notes to stay focused if you want to make a call but are concerned you could get caught in the middle of the conversation.

To avoid further holding up the hiring process, send them an email right away if you can’t reach them on the phone. You might mention in the message that you couldn’t get their attention for a call and had to email them instead.

Give Reasons For Declining The Offer:

You are not required to fully explain your decision to reject the job offer to the hiring committee or recruiter.

It’s not necessary to give a specific reason or the complete truth (you don’t have to declare that you don’t get along with the recruiter or that you don’t like their corporate culture, for example).

While politely rejecting a job offer, it’s important to avoid saying too little or anything unfavorable because you should use this chance to keep the relationship going in the long run.

All of these are valid reasons to refuse a job offer, but you shouldn’t mention them in your letter of refusal. Simply stating that this offer of employment isn’t a good fit for you or that you’ve signed a job offer somewhere is adequate.

For instance:

  •        I appreciate you giving me this job; it’s a wonderful chance. But after giving it some thought, I’ve chosen to take a job with another organization.
  •          I appreciate the chance to serve your business. Though I sincerely appreciate it, I’m afraid I must
  •         Thank you for your consideration of my application and for your offer. But I’m afraid that after careful thought, I’ve decided to remain in my existing position.

Think About Saying You’ll Be In Touch

If you built a relationship with the recruiter but the position ended up being a poor fit for other factors, think about asking to keep in touch and sharing other contact details

Keep The Door To Networking Open:

You have no idea when the two of you will come together in the future, which represents some of the best mentoring counsel you will ever hear.

Timing is crucial in some situations. You might, for instance, attend an interview at your ideal company for a job you’re not all that enthused about. Or you can be on the lookout for another position in a different area or place.

 Anytime you decline a job offer, be sure not to shut the doors of the opportunity to network. Offering to keep linked on LinkedIn, for instance, is a smart move. 

You might also express your continued interest in the organization while claiming that the role simply wasn’t a good fit. Saying that you’d be interested in future positions (if that’s the case) that might be more in line with XYZ is not being overly brash.

In any event, consider the chance as a web-covered network of upcoming chances. You don’t have to leave the organization entirely just because you’re turning down a position right now.

How To Decline A Job Offer When It’s Not The Proper Time

How To Decline A Job Offer

Seek Counsel:

We arrive at work as complete individuals. Private lives can be chaotic. Finding a job is a difficult and complicated process. A significant professional shift may not always be the best choice for you.

Start by involving your support network to seek career guidance and feedback. It may involve a teammate or mentor for some people. Others may be collaborating with a career or personal growth coach.

Be Transparent:

First, be honest about the kind of relationship you’d like to have. Ideally, by this point in the hiring process, you have established a solid rapport with the hiring manager or the recruitment team.

Build Relationship:

Gratitude and admiration for their commitment to the partnership should be expressed. Mention how much you’d like to keep the connection going. Connect on LinkedIn with the individual(s).

Make sure you periodically check in with the hiring manager and/or recruiter to see how well things are going. Reiterate your interest in the organization and the team and your readiness to make the move if the opportunity arose and the timing was appropriate.

Be Considerate

Think about the offering organization’s viewpoint. They almost certainly want to hire someone who wants to work for the organization for an extended period of time.

They might also want to hire an individual who aspires to advance within the company. Any new hiring should significantly enhance the company’s operations.

To ensure that the employer keeps you in mind for potential chances, be sure to reiterate your interest. But connect it to what both parties want. For the greatest career guidance tailored to your circumstances, you can also consult your coach or mentor.

How Decline A Job Offer On A Phone Call:

If you’re rejecting the offer over the phone, say thank you and say a few kind things to wrap up the call. The hiring manager needs to know that you value their time.

Again, if your sector is small or you don’t know where your paths may cross again, you don’t intend to burn any bridges.

Key Notes:

  • Your career may be affected by how you turn down a job offer. You don’t want to needlessly burn any bridges.
  • Be concise and strong when declining an offer to prevent misunderstandings.
  • Don’t be overly explicit in your justifications for rejecting a job offer, and make sure that you communicate your gratitude for the opportunity.


Even if the job isn’t a good fit for you, you should be pleased with yourself for getting the chance. Having you on the team would be a blessing for any prospective employer.

Success in every work depends on being in alignment with your beliefs, goals, and everyday needs. The positive side of this is that the act of looking for a job teaches you more about what you’re looking for.

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