back

10 Examples and 2 Templates: Smart Ways to Decline a Job Offer

Turning down a job offer can be tricky, especially if you’re worried about burning bridges or making a bad impression. But sometimes, you just know that the position isn’t the right fit for you, whether it’s due to the company culture, location, or salary package. The good news is, there are graceful ways to decline a job offer while maintaining your professional reputation.

Related: Interview Follow-up Email Examples (1-2-3 weeks)

Reasons to Decline a Job Offer

Mismatched Goals and Values

Sometimes, a job offer may not align with your long-term career goals and personal values. It’s important to prioritize these factors when making a decision, as they heavily influence your happiness and motivation on the job. If you find that the company’s objectives or operational approach don’t sit well with you, it’s better to pass on the offer.

Examples:

  1. The company’s focus on short-term profits contradicts your belief in sustainable business practices.
  2. The job doesn’t provide you with opportunities to grow skills relevant to your career path.
  3. The organization’s mission doesn’t resonate with your personal values and passions.

Inadequate Compensation and Benefits

You deserve fair compensation for your skills, experience, and work. If the job offer doesn’t provide adequate salary, benefits, or work-life balance, it’s okay to turn it down. These factors contribute to your overall satisfaction and quality of life, so it’s crucial to ensure they meet your expectations.

Examples:

  1. The salary offered is lower than industry standards and your expectations.
  2. The benefits package doesn’t include essential or desired aspects.
  3. The job requires excessive commitment that disrupts your work-life balance, like long hours or extensive travel.

Company Culture Concerns

A healthy and supportive company culture is vital for your well-being and brings out the best in you. If you have concerns about the work environment, management style, or interpersonal relationships within the company, it’s wise to reconsider the job offer.

Examples:

  1. You picked up on negative employee feedback during the interview process or through research.
  2. The company has a high employee turnover rate, indicating potential issues.
  3. The management’s communication style or attitude doesn’t foster the supportive environment you’re seeking.

Limited Professional Development Opportunities

Pursuing opportunities for growth and development is crucial for your career. If a job doesn’t present the potential for advancement, allow you to hone your skills, or expose you to new experiences, it may be a valid reason to decline the offer.

Examples:

  1. The job offer seems like a lateral move with no clear path for advancement.
  2. The company has a history of deferring promotions or not providing career development opportunities.
  3. The role doesn’t offer engagement with new technologies or fields that interest you.

Keeping these reasons in mind, make sure to carefully consider any job offer and how it aligns with your values, needs, and long-term goals. You have the right to decline an offer if it doesn’t measure up.

How to Communicate Your Decision

Email Versus Phone Call

When deciding how to decline a job offer, consider the method of communication. Email is often more appropriate because it gives the hiring manager time to process your message and respond. However, if you’ve had a strong relationship with the employer and have been discussing the job offer over the phone, a call may be more personal and respectful.

Example 1: You received the job offer via email and had minimal interaction with the hiring manager. In this case, it’s best to reply by email.

Example 2: You’ve had numerous phone conversations with the employer discussing the job offer. In this situation, a phone call may be more appropriate.

Timeliness of Response

As a candidate, it’s essential to notify the employer of your decision as soon as possible. This allows them to move forward with other candidates and keeps you in good standing with the hiring manager. Aim to respond within 48 hours of receiving the job offer.

Example: You receive a job offer on Monday. Make it your goal to respond by Wednesday at the latest.

Maintaining Professionalism and Respect

Regardless of the method you choose to decline the job offer, it is crucial to do so professionally and respectfully. Show appreciation for the opportunity by thanking the hiring manager for their interest in you as a candidate.

  Interview Attire for Women: Impression Strategies

Example 1: “Thank you for the opportunity to learn about [Company Name] and the [Job Title] position. After careful consideration, I have decided to decline the offer. I appreciate your time and the effort you put into the hiring process.”

Example 2: “I am grateful for the job offer, and I appreciate the time you took to interview me. However, after thorough consideration, I have decided to pursue a different opportunity. Thank you and best of luck in finding the right candidate for the role.”

Components of a Decline Letter or Email

Gratitude and Positive Feedback

Start your decline letter or email by expressing your gratitude for the job offer. Thank them for considering you for the position, and acknowledge the time and effort the hiring team invested in the process. Compliment the company and its team by mentioning something positive about them. This shows that you genuinely appreciate the opportunity you were given.

Example: “Thank you for offering me the position of Marketing Manager at XYZ Company. I really enjoyed meeting you and learning about your strategies and goals.”

Honest and Brief Reasons

When declining a job offer, it’s important to provide a brief and honest reason for your decision. You don’t need to delve into every detail, but giving them a general idea of why you’re passing on the offer will help maintain a professional relationship. This could be a better job offer elsewhere, a misalignment with your career goals, or even your desired compensation package.

Examples:

  1. “After careful consideration, I’ve decided to accept another opportunity that more closely aligns with my long-term career goals.”
  2. “Upon further reflection, I feel that the position isn’t the best match for my current skillset and experience.”

Openness to Future Opportunities

Leave the door open for future opportunities by expressing your interest in staying connected. This allows you to maintain a professional relationship with the employer and demonstrates that you value potential collaboration in the future.

Example: “Although I won’t be joining your team at this time, I am very impressed with your company and would welcome the chance to stay in touch and explore potential opportunities in the future.”

Contact Information

End your decline letter or email by providing your contact information. Ensure you include your phone number or email address, and let them know they can reach out if they have any questions or concerns. This final touch is a great way to show your professionalism and maintain a positive relationship with the employer.

Example: “Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. You can contact me at (phone number) or (email address). Thank you again for considering me, and I wish you and your team all the best.”

Template of a Decline Email

Declining an Offer: Template 1

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

Thank you for offering me the position of [Job Title] at [Company Name]. I appreciate the time and effort you and your team have taken to interview me and consider my application.

After careful consideration, I have decided to decline your offer. While I am impressed with [Company Name] and the opportunities it offers, I have decided to pursue another opportunity that aligns more closely with my career goals and aspirations.

I want to express my gratitude for your interest in me and for the opportunity to learn more about your organization. I am confident that you will find a candidate who will be a great fit for the position and will contribute to your team’s success.

Thank you again for your time and consideration. I wish you and your team all the best.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Rejecting an Offer: Template 2

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

I would like to express my sincere appreciation for offering me the position of [Job Title] at [Company Name]. I am grateful for the time and effort you and your team have invested in the interview process and for considering me for this role.

However, after careful consideration, I have decided to decline your offer. While I have the utmost respect for [Company Name] and its mission, I have come to the realization that this position is not the right fit for me at this time.

Please know that this decision was not an easy one, and I have given it a great deal of thought. I want to assure you that I remain enthusiastic about [Company Name] and its future, and I hope that we can stay in touch.

Once again, thank you for your consideration and for the opportunity to explore this position with you. I wish you and your team all the best in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Maintaining Professional Connections After Declining the Offer

LinkedIn and Networking

After declining a job offer, it’s still important to maintain professional connections. Utilize the power of LinkedIn and other networking platforms to keep in touch with those involved in the hiring process. Connect with the recruiter, hiring manager, and other team members you had contact with. This way, you won’t burn any bridges and maintain opportunities for future cooperation.

  36 Smart Answers to “What Makes You Unique?”

Example 1: Send a personalized connection request on LinkedIn mentioning your positive experience during the hiring process.

Example 2: Share relevant industry news or articles with your connections to spark discussions and stay present in their networks.

Continued Interest in the Company

Just because you declined a job offer doesn’t mean you’re no longer interested in the company. Keep yourself informed about the company culture, projects, and job postings. By staying engaged, you can demonstrate your enthusiasm for the company and potentially be considered for future opportunities that better align with your goals.

Example 1: Follow the company’s social media pages and subscribe to their newsletters to stay updated on their initiatives.

Example 2: Reach out to employees at the company for informational interviews to gain more insights into their company culture and work environment.

Checking in After Rejection

Don’t hesitate to check in with the company after declining the offer. Personalize your approach based on your honesty during the hiring process. For example, if you mentioned that your current job was not aligned with your long-term goals, feel free to update the recruiter on your career progress. This shows you valued your conversations and remain open to future collaboration.

Example: Casually reach out during industry events or conferences to share insights and maintain connections.

Navigating Negotiations and Counteroffers

Assessing Your Worth and Market Value

Before entering negotiations, it’s important to take a step back and assess your professional worth. Research the current market value for your position by looking at industry salary data and comparing similar roles. This will give you a clear picture of what you should be paid and may even give you more leverage during negotiations. You can also consult your network and mentors or use salary comparison websites for a better understanding of your worth.

Example 1: By checking sites like Glassdoor or Payscale, you can gather data on average salaries for your role in your geographical area.

Example 2: Reach out to colleagues in your industry to get first-hand information on the current compensation trends.

Presenting Counters and Alternatives

Armed with your market value research, you are now ready to present your counteroffer. Be specific about the salary you’re aiming for, and ensure that your request is reasonable and well-supported. You could also consider negotiating for benefits like flexible work hours, professional development opportunities, or stock options. Be creative and think about what aspects of the compensation package matter most to you.

Example: In your counteroffer, you can propose a higher salary accompanied by reasoning like “Based on my market research, professionals in my position typically earn between $X and $Y, so I’d like to negotiate my salary in that range.”

Example: You could negotiate for benefits that suit your needs, such as more vacation days, the option to work remotely, or a better healthcare package.

Related: How and When to Negotiate Salary (with Examples)

  50 Sample Phrases and 3 Examples of Office Administrator Cover Letters

When to Walk Away from Negotiations

There may come a point where you need to walk away from negotiations if the company is unable to meet your requests. Prioritize what aspects of the compensation package are non-negotiable and stick to them. If the offer does not align with your career goals, turn it down graciously, thank the company for their time, and remember that preserving your professional relationships for potential future opportunities is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I politely decline a job?

To decline a job offer politely, express your gratitude for the opportunity and provide a genuine reason for your decision. Keep your tone polite, professional, and concise.

Example 1: “Thank you for offering me the position, but after careful consideration, I’ve decided to accept another offer that aligns more closely with my long-term goals.”

Example 2: “I appreciate the offer, but at the moment, I cannot commit to the job due to personal reasons. I truly value your time and effort during the interview process.”

What’s the best way to reject an offer via email?

Rejecting an offer via email should be clear, concise, and respectful. Begin by expressing your gratitude, followed by your reason for declining (optional) and a positive closing. For example:

“Subject: [Your Name] – [Job Title] Offer

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

Thank you for offering me the [Job Title] position. Unfortunately, after careful consideration, I have decided to decline the offer. I value the time you took to discuss this opportunity with me and wish you and your team all the best.

Sincerely, [Your Name]”

How to say no to a job offer without burning bridges?

To decline a job offer without burning bridges, show appreciation for the offer and maintain a positive, professional relationship with the employer. Be honest about your reasons, but tactful in your delivery.

Example: “Thank you for considering me for the position. I’ve decided to pursue other opportunities that align more closely with my career goals, but I truly appreciate the experience of meeting with you and learning about your organization. I hope that we can stay in touch and that our paths may cross again in the future. Thank you again for your time and consideration.”

What reasons can I give for declining a job?

When declining a job, you can provide a variety of reasons, but ensure they are genuine and delivered professionally.

Example 1: “I received an offer from another company that provides more opportunities for growth and development in my desired field.”

Example 2: “Upon further reflection, I’ve determined that the required travel for the position does not align with my current personal commitments.”

Example 3: “While I’m honored by your offer, I have decided to accept a position with a more flexible work schedule to balance my personal and professional life.”

Should I wait for a written offer if I only have a verbal one?

It’s best to wait for a written offer to ensure you have all the details associated with the position, including salary, benefits, and other terms of employment.

Example: “Thank you for extending a verbal offer. I am eager to consider your offer, and I kindly request that you provide me with a written offer outlining the details before I make a final decision.”

How can I recommend someone else while declining a job offer?

If you wish to recommend someone else while declining a job offer, mention the individual’s qualifications in a positive manner.

Template

“While I appreciate your offer, I believe [Name] might be a better fit for this position. Their experience in [field or skill] and dedication to [industry] make them a strong candidate. I hope you’ll consider reaching out to them.”

Posted in: Job Interview