How to Decline A Job Offer In 6 Polite Ways

As we all know, finding a decent and appropriate job is not an easy task in today's world filled with challenging opportunities. However, rejecting an offer is not a simple thing either.

At times, you may find it embarrassing or uncomfortable when you have to figure out how to turn down a job offer. This is because we know that the company has spent a lot of time, energy, and financial resources to recruit us as an employee. Which prompts the question of how to decline an offer yet maintain a good impression?

6 Steps on Learning How to Decline A Job Offer

1. Make sure you really don't want this offer

Before turning down a job offer, make sure you really do not want the job. If you do like this job, but you are just not satisfied with some of the conditions (such as salary or benefits) presented by the company, don't reject the offer right away. Instead, you should first communicate with the company about your hesitations.

More often than not, if you express your enthusiasm for a job and the company is very satisfied with how they feel about you, your needs are likely to be realized (provided that it is reasonable). If is due to other reasons which may influence your future career prospects, you can consider turning down a job offer.

Note: One thing you should be clear about is that once you communicate your refusal, you will not get the job offer again. So, before you work on how to turn down a job offer, you must first be clear of whether you want the job or not.

2. Be Prompt in Your Replies

The next step of how to politely decline a job offer is to respond to the companies HR manager on time. If you really think the job isn't a good fit, it is best to reject the offer within two days of receiving it. It's never good practice to wait until the other party contacts you again regarding the offer. This is a basic courtesy of maintaining your professionalism in the workforce.

Next, we'll look at the benefits of responding timely to both parties:

For candidates: Even if you rejected the offer, you won't leave a bad impression nor be blacklisted by the HR as a troublesome candidate. If you ever come across the company in the future, you can be sure that you are still welcomed to join.

For companies: Your timely response saves the company material and resources. It will help them move forward quickly in their process.

If you have decided that you will be rejecting an offer, contact the company as soon as possible. This will save the company a lot of unnecessary trouble. Your proactive response is what lets them know the position was rejected, and the company can spend time and effort to screen the next candidate, instead of spending unnecessary time and resources to contact and wait for you.

3. Express your appreciation

Rejecting a job offer is a difficult thing to do. If you fail to reject the offer well, you could come off as "off-putting" or offend the company. The correct way to reject any job offer should be based on your sincerity. Be sure to let them know that you are very grateful for the opportunity. Don't forget to thank them for the time spent interviewing you. This is also a chance to build your professional network.

4. Give a clear reason

Regardless of why you turn down the job offer, there are ways to do so that you don't involve you slamming the door shut for later. If you are still thinking about rejecting an offer, do so by giving a suitable and respectable reason.

There is no need to explain in detail why you are refusing the offer, but you shouldn't give unjust reasons. It's okay to talk about your reasons on how to politely decline a job offer such as:

- I accepted another offer

- The job seems great, but it doesn't match my career goals

- After careful consideration, the job isn't the right fit for me

Notes: Your explanation should be simple. There must be no derogation about the company in your reasons, such as I am not sure about the company's future and profitability.

Now there may be several common situations when someone decides to turn down a job offer:

This job is not for you, but you like the company: You can say that you are very impressed with the company, but this job is not suitable for you. At the same time, you can tell them what you desire to work on.

If the job you wish to have involved technical management but the position offered only has you doing coding, you can say that the job is not suitable for you as you are interested in a managerial position. If you're lucky, your future employer may have just the position or, if there are such positions open in the future, you may be on the list.

Not satisfied with the salary: Some job seekers may be wondering how to decline a job offer if the salary is too low. Try to avoid blatantly mentioning your unsatisfaction with the salary offer. Before responding, make sure you know the going rate for your position. If a salary hike isn't possible, then try to negotiate in terms of benefits and perks that you'll be getting in addition to salary.

5. Stay in contact with the employer

Smart working adults always find ways to establish close connections with beneficial people in the workforce. The best outcome when rejecting an offer is when you are still able to maintain a long-term relationship with the company. Maintain sincere and positive communication and observe the company's dynamics from time to time. Express your willingness to know about their latest job opportunities. By doing this, you are laying a path which might be useful in your future career.

6. Express your apology by email

One way to work on how to turn down a job offer via email is to think properly on what you want and how you want your message to be received. Review it before sending it out for wording and tone. In the email you should be simple and straightforward.

Sincerely thank your interviewer for their time and effort, and let them know that it is appreciated. End your letter with a sincere apology for not taking the job offer and send your best wishes in their future endeavours.

Email Example on How to Turn Down A Job Offer:

Subject line: Job offer – [Your name]

Dear Mr. /Ms. [insert the last name of the hiring manager],

I'd like to thank you for offering me the position of [insert name of position] at [insert company name]. It wasn't an easy decision to make, but I will not be accepting the position.

I sincerely enjoyed talking to you and I appreciate the time you spent meeting with me to discuss the job. I am so sorry that things did not work out. Thank you for all that you've done.

Once again, thank you for everything that you have done. Wishing you all the best in finding a suitable candidate soon. I wish you and the company well in all future endeavours.




In conclusion, what seems like an interesting job at first, may not be right after all, and that's okay. Knowing how to politely decline a job offer is the first step to looking for better opportunities ahead and keeping your future opportunities open. Keep your mind open to new offers that will make their way to you.

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