How to Reject a Job Offer Politely (with Email Examples)
You’ve already landed your dream job.
Soon after though, new offers start trickling in…
You have to reject them, but you want to maintain cordial relations with these companies.
How do you decline these job offers gently and gracefully?
In this article, we’ll walk you through how to turn down a job offer politely, step by step.
We’ve even prepared email examples and templates that you can use!
How to Reject a Job Offer Politely
- Be Decisive
- Use the Phone
- Show Your Appreciation
- Give a Brief Reason
- Offer to Stay In Touch
- Sample Emails and Letters to a Reject Job Offer
1. Be Decisive!
When you’ve received multiple job offers, but have already committed to a particular company, promptly inform the rest of the hiring managers.
(After you’ve signed and locked in your new job, of course!)
The golden rule for rejecting job offers is: don’t overthink it.
There’s no “best time” for you to inform the Hiring Manager.
For the companies you’re rejecting, the “best time” is simply the earliest possible time.
Don’t drag out the process for fear of offending the Hiring Manager or HR. You have to turn down the offer at some point.
HR just wants to know if your answer is going to be “yes” or “no”.
Your decisive and prompt rejection will help the Hiring Manager move forward and find other suitable candidates quickly.
Beating around the bush before declining the offer may inconvenience the Hiring Manager, and might leave an unfavourable impression of you in their memory.
2. Use the Phone (Although Email is Fine too)
So, we’ve established that it’s okay to reject a job offer.
But how you communicate your rejection matters.
Keep it polite and professional, and convey gratitude and appreciation.
There are often 2 mediums through which you can do this:
People decline job offers through email all the time, which is perfectly fine. We’ll even share with you some email examples you can use.
BUT, if you’ve spent a lot of time interviewing with a particular company, we’d highly recommend going with the phone approach.
It takes all of 5 minutes, is more personal, and comes across far more sincere, especially if you want to maintain a lasting, positive relationship with the Hiring Manager.
3. Show Your Appreciation
Was your interview process with the company a long drawn out, multi-stage one?
Did you have numerous calls and discussions with the Hiring Manager before arriving at your decision?
In an interview process like this, there are typically significant investments – in time, energy, and perhaps even emotion – from both yours and the Hiring Manager’s end.
So in your chosen medium of communication (phone or email), tell the Hiring Manager how deeply you appreciate being given the interview opportunity, and thank him for his time and the generous job offer.
- Thank you for offering me the role of [Name of position] – I truly appreciate it. I’m grateful that you’ve taken the time to consider me, and for sharing with me in detail about the company and role.
- I very much enjoyed speaking with you last week – thank you again for the interview. I enjoyed meeting the team, and learning about the [Name of position]. I deeply appreciate this generous offer.
4. Give a Brief Reason
There’s no need to inform the hiring manager about which role you’ve accepted, share your detailed future career plans, or give lengthy justifications as to why you’ve turned down the role.
Interviewers may sometimes probe you for this, but you can keep your reason brief.
I’ve given it much thought, and have decided to accept a role at another company.
While this role would be a great opportunity, I have decided to remain at my current company.
It was a difficult decision, but after careful consideration, I have decided to take on another role that offers more opportunities in [type of work or areas] / is more closely aligned to my long-term career goals.
5. Offer to Stay In Touch
Cap your call or email with an offer to stay in touch with the Hiring Manager.
If you decide in the future that you’d like to explore a role with the company again, you can easily reconnect with the hiring manager.
If the Hiring Manager and HR think highly of you, it’s also possible that they’ll share about you with other recruiters – leading to more potential opportunities down the line.
Sample Emails/Letters to Reject a Job Offer
Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms [Hiring Manager’s Name]
Thank you very much for offering me the position of [Position] at [Company]. I really appreciate your offer. Unfortunately, I have decided to turn down this position as it is not the right fit for my present career goals.
I was impressed by our discussion, and your dedication towards the company, which made my decision a difficult one. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to interview with you, and I wish you all the best in finding a new candidate whose career goals align better with the company.
Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms [Hiring Manager’s Name]
Thank you very much for offering me the position of [Position] at [Company]. I’m truly grateful for your offer, and am thoroughly impressed by our interview and discussion last week.
It was a difficult decision, but after careful consideration, I have decided to take on another role more closely aligned to my long-term career goals.
Nonetheless, I’m grateful that you’ve taken the time to consider me, and for sharing with me in detail about the company and role. I truly appreciate it.
Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms [Hiring Manager’s Name]
Thank you very much for offering me the position of [Position] at [Company]. I’m truly grateful for the interview opportunity, and the chance to learn a bit about your company while interacting with your stellar team.
While this role would be a great opportunity, I have decided to remain at my current company. Nonetheless, I very much enjoyed speaking with you last week – thank you again for the interview. I enjoyed meeting the team, and learning about the [Position].
I deeply appreciate this generous offer, and I wish you all the best in finding a new candidate promptly.
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Common Questions about Rejecting Job Offers
How do you politely decline a job offer via email?
To avoid being perceived as rude, you should try and reply to the email as quickly as possible, showing that you appreciate the time it took for them to email you. You can use our samples above if you want to decline a job offer in a polite manner.
How do I decline a job offer without burning bridges?
The biggest worry people have about declining a job offer is that they’ll eliminate any future possibilities with that company. To avoid this, be sure to express gratitude and even compliment what you like about their company, but say that at present it’s not the right time for you to work there (which is true).
What is a good reason to decline a job offer?
There are various different reasons why you may decline a job offer, like the salary , lack of clear progression or for personal reasons. Or in some cases, saying that you’re simply not a good match at the present time is acceptable too.
Can you decline a job offer via WhatsApp?
Some people think it makes sense to use WhatsApp to decline a job offer, as it’s the most used messaging app in the world. In most cases though, sending an email would be considered a more professional option.
The offers you’ve shut the door on for now might open up new opportunities in the future.
So to sum up – when declining a job offer, be sincere and appreciative, share a brief reason for turning it down, and express your desire to stay in touch.
Don’t invoke negative sentiments with the Hiring Manager and HR and burn (potentially useful!) bridges.
To reject an offer graciously via email, here are 3 sample emails you can use. Feel free to download and adapt them to your own needs!
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