How To Decline A Job Offer (The Right Way)

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Great news! The company you interviewed for loved you, and they’ve decided to offer you a job.

The problem is, for one reason or another, you’re no longer interested in the job. Now you need to decide how you’re going to break the news.

Declining a job offer isn’t a fun task for anyone, and you may feel like you’re doing something wrong.

But by going about it the right way, you can rest assured that no feelings will be hurt and that you’re not burning any bridges.

If you’re not sure how to decline a job offer in a respectful and gracious way, we’re here to show you how.

Let Them Know As Soon As Possible

Once you’re sure, let the company know right away that you’re declining their offer.

If they’ve given you a time frame for considering their offer, don’t wait until that period is over before telling them unless you’re still trying to decide.

You don’t want to take up any more of their time than you need to if you won’t be accepting the job.

They’ve already put in time and resources during your interview process, and they’ll want to get back to the task of filling the position.

You’ll likely also want to move on to other opportunities as soon as possible, and it won’t feel great having this task looming over you while you pursue other job offers.

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Decide On A Communication Method

Consider what form of communication makes the most sense for your situation.

The best course of action is usually to follow the company’s lead and respond using the same method of communication that they used.

Each company may have its own particular way of handling things, and communicating with their preferred method will show consideration and professionalism.

You may prefer to send an email with your response, as it often feels less stressful to many people, but if the company offered the job to you through a phone call, it’s more considerate to return the call.

However, if they offered you the job through email, then it’s definitely appropriate to send back a professional email with your refusal.

Be sure to address the email directly to the hiring manager or individual who offered you the job.

If you’re going to call to decline the job offer and feel nervous, gather your thoughts and jot them down, so you know what you’re going to say.

The phone call will likely be short and sweet, and with your thoughts in order, you’ll do fine.

Be Considerate and Show Appreciation

One of the most important pieces of advice for how to decline a job offer is to thank the company for the opportunity, even though you aren’t accepting the job.

It may be a routine part of running a business, but the company has invested time and resources into reviewing your application and interviewing you.

The hiring manager liked your professionalism and resume, so they may have even boasted about your skills to others in the company. And by offering you the job, they obviously hoped you would be excited to join their team.

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Also, you may not want this particular job at the moment, but you never know if something may change in the future.

Keep all of this in mind when deciding how to decline a job offer.

You don’t have to go overboard and profusely express your gratitude, but a simple “thank you for offering me this opportunity” will do wonders for your reputation with the company.

Provide A Brief And Honest Reason

After thanking them for considering you for the job and letting them know you won’t be accepting, you should provide them with a reason for declining.

After going through an entire interview process and being offered a job opportunity, you don’t want to leave the company with a ton of unanswered questions about what went wrong for you to decline their offer at the end.

Maybe the salary wasn’t up to par, the company didn’t seem like a good fit for you, or you’ve accepted a job offer from another company instead.

No matter what your reason, you don’t have to go into great detail about all things that made you decide not to accept.

Make your explanation short but honest, and if possible, mention something positive about the company.

Let Them Know You’d Like To Stay In Touch

You never know if you may be interested in working with the company in the future, so close with some sort of pleasantry to leave the door open for the future.

By letting them know you’re interested in working with them, despite this particular position not being right at the moment, they may even come directly to you with better opportunities later on.

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You can also let them know you’d like to stay in touch, perhaps by mentioning you’ll be inviting them to connect on LinkedIn.

Making connections, even if you aren’t interested at the moment, can prove to be a valuable move down the road.

Example Letter Template For How To Decline A Job Offer

Dear [Hiring Manager],

Thank you for offering me the position of [job title] with [Company Name] and for the time you spent with me regarding this opportunity.

After careful consideration, I’ve decided to respectfully decline due to [reason for declining job offer].

Again, thank you for your time and consideration. I really enjoyed meeting you and learning more about [Company Name]. Good luck with filling the position, and I hope our paths cross again in the future.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Final Word

Declining a job offer doesn’t have to be a stressful part of a job search.

In fact, if you do it with consideration and professionalism, you can expand your network and build new connections for future opportunities.

By using our tips above for how to decline a job offer, you’ll leave a good impression with any company that’s considered you for a position on their team.

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