How to Reject a Job Offer Politely
Updated 31 August 2023
It's very easy to get excited when a company wants to hire you. However, if you think the job offer isn't a good fit for you, it's best not to accept it. In this article, we discuss how to reject a job offer politely and review some examples that you can tailor based on your situation.
Why reject a job offer?
Although the compensation and potential security of a new position can be appealing, there may be some instances when you need to decline the offer. Here are a few reasons why you might consider passing on a job:
If the company or position is attractive but the offered salary is not what you expected, you may address this issue in your letter. If all the efforts to negotiate a reasonable salary fail to produce the results you desire, send a letter expressing your gratitude and reaffirming your enthusiasm about the job, stating that you have to reject the offer due to the level of the salary. You may also provide evidence for what you believe to be the national average salary for your position and your personal worth to the company.
Sometimes, a company will get back to you with a higher salary offer. If a higher salary would make a difference, be prepared to discuss a counteroffer.
Meanwhile, if the job offer doesn't provide enough flexibility for your current needs, you can use that reason in your rejection letter. When you inform the company about your decision to decline the job, state your current needs and the level of flexibility you desire. The company may get back to you with a job offer with increased flexibility.
No specific reason
It's possible that your reason could cause the company to try to look for ways to address your objections. In some cases, they would allow you to work remotely if the location is the problem. However, if the company offers something that will not change your decision, it's okay to just say, 'Thank you very much for your offer, but I don't think it's exactly what I am looking for at this moment. I really appreciate your time and effort to make it work.'
How to reject a job offer politely
If you decide not to accept a job offer, sending a rejection letter is a great way to keep a positive relationship with the company. If you have participated in any conversations in the hiring process via email, it is probably appropriate to decline the offer in an email, too. If the company seems formal, you can always send a physical letter.
Here are a few tips to help you write an effective job rejection letter:
1. Inform the company as soon as you are sure of your decision
Once you have decided that you are going to decline the offer, email the employer and inform them immediately. Not only does this give them enough time to find another candidate, but it is also more thoughtful to get straight to the point and decline the offer as soon as possible.
2. Thank the employer
Interviewing potential candidates is part of the hiring manager's job, but this person has likely spent several hours reviewing your application, looking into your work references and history and talking with co-workers about hiring you. Thus, it's important to let the hiring manager know that you appreciate their time and effort. Here are some examples:
'Thank you very much for the offer for the teaching position. I very much appreciate you taking the time and effort to consider me and for responding to my questions about the role and the company.'
'Thank you again for the interview yesterday—I am pleased to see the offices and meet the team. I enjoyed learning about the administrative assistant position, and I appreciate this generous offer.'
'Many thanks for the interview yesterday for the network engineer position at LatVeds Technology. It was a pleasure meeting the team, and I appreciate the generous job offer.'
3. Provide a good, honest reason
The best approach is to be concise but honest about your specific reason for declining the offer. Focus on the positive things and wish the company success. If you can't think of a specific reason, then you can simply say that it is not a good fit for you at the moment. Consider these examples:
'While I greatly appreciate the job offer, the salary does not meet my requirements at this time.'
'Thank you so much for your consideration of my application. However, the required hours will conflict with my other obligations, so I will regrettably have to turn down the offer of employment.
4. Say that you hope to see or work with them in the future
When rejecting a job offer, be sure to wish the interviewer or hiring manager all the best in the future. You may also consider offering to stay in touch and include additional contact information. Here are some examples:
'I have enjoyed getting to know you and everyone at DevCorp, and I hope we have the opportunity to meet in the future. Thank you again for your consideration and the generous job offer. I wish you all the best.'
'It has been my pleasure to get to know you, and I hope that we meet again in the future.'
How to reject a job offer examples
Use the following sample letters for rejecting a job offer as a starting point.
1. When it's not a good fit
Sometimes you like the employer but the position they offer is not right for you. State this reason in your letter and politely reject the offer. Here's an example:
Dear Mr. Lee,
Thank you very much for the offer to work as a network engineer at Dong-ae Technologies, Inc. I was very much pleased to meet both you and the development team yesterday.
Unfortunately, I will have to decline your offer, as the position doesn't match my current career goals.
I very much appreciate you taking the time and effort to interview me and to share information on the position and your company. You have my best wishes in finding the perfect candidate for the job. I hope that we meet again in the future.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. The model shown is for illustration purposes only and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.
2. When you accepted another job
If you have multiple job offers, making a decision is challenging. But, if you have decided to accept one of the offers, you may use the following job rejection message:
Dear Ms. Kwan,
I wanted to thank you for the offer to work as an Administrative Assistant at BahoBilat Company. You have an awesome team and some exciting projects.
Sadly, I have decided to decline your offer because I have accepted a position with a different company.
I hope you find the perfect candidate for the position as soon as possible. I am cheered by the possibility of working at Bahobilat Company in the future.
3. When the salary is lower than what you expected
Salary negotiations don't always work out in your favour. If you still cannot reach an agreement after negotiations, you may need to reject the job offer. Here's a sample email for rejecting a job offer on the basis of salary.
Dear Mr. Fang,
Thank you very much for offering me the teaching position. After carefully considering your salary package, I'm afraid I can't accept the offer. I fully understand that the school's budgets are tight, but the salary offer doesn't meet the financial requirements of my current situation.
It was a pleasure meeting you and learning about the school. I wish your school continued success and hope I will have the chance to work at your school in the future.
Again, thank you for your time and consideration.
4. Considering the reputation or culture of the company
Sometimes, the company's culture, reputation and work environment can cause a candidate to reject a job offer. If there's something about the company that you don't like, never mention that in your job rejection letter. Always remain positive and professional and wish the company continued success. You may simply say that the position isn't a good fit for you at the moment.
Dear Mrs. Chang,
Thank you for offering me the position of Branch Manager with DHAKS Co, LLC. I appreciate your interest in hiring me, but I think the position is not a good fit for me at the moment.
Again, I appreciate your time, your offer and your careful consideration. I wish your company continued success in all its endeavours. I hope I will have the opportunity to work at your company in the future.
5. Rejecting a job offer after accepting it
In some cases, you may need to decline a job offer you have already accepted. If this happens to you, use the following sample letter rejecting a job offer.
Dear Dr. Lee,
Thank you so much for offering me the position of secretary at your clinic. It was a pleasure meeting you.
Sadly, after thinking about it for several days, I have decided to decline this wonderful job opportunity. I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you. I hope this decision will not affect any future relationships with you. I wish your clinic continued success.
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