How to Decline a Job Offer With Letter Examples

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What's the best way to decline a job offer? How you turn down a job offer depends on your reasons for rejecting the offer. Review advice on the best way to say "no thanks" to a job, so you can decline gracefully.

How to Decline a Job Offer

If the job wasn't a good fit, but you liked the company, you could state in your email or phone call that you were impressed with the organization, but didn't view the job as right for you.

Your response might include a mention of the key skill sets that you would like to employ, level of responsibility that you aspire towards, or other elements of the prospective job that were missing.

For example, if the target job involved only inside sales, you could say that you were interested in a sales position handling major accounts that would provide a clear pathway to sales management. The possible upside will be that the employer might consider you for another role currently available or a job that might open up in the future.

When You Don't Like the Company

If the company is unappealing because of its culture, your prospective supervisor, products, or services, etc. then a simple thanks for the opportunity with a vague reference to the job not being a great fit at this point in your career will be sufficient. Candidates are generally better off not expressing any dissatisfaction with the staff with whom they interacted or sharing any criticisms of the organization.

You never know when your path might cross with any of the players in the future.

When the Job Doesn't Pay Enough

If a job and organization are attractive, but a salary offer is insufficient, you might address this issue in your communications. Normally this would be done after first affirming your excitement about the offer and trying to negotiate a higher salary.

If this effort is futile you could send a communication expressing your thanks and reaffirming how excited you were about the job, but stating that you need to decline due to the level of the salary.

Sometimes an employer will come back to you with a better offer at this juncture once they see that you are truly willing to walk.

When and Why to Send a Job Rejection Letter

When you have decided not to accept the position, there are a number of reasons to reject a job offer with a letter. First of all, a letter allows you to clearly state that you are not interested in the job. With a letter, there is little room for confusion on either party’s side.

Sending a polite and grateful job rejection letter is also terrific way to maintain a good relationship with the employer. You never know if the employer will have a better offer for you in the future, so you do not want to burn any bridges.

Before you send your letter, make sure you are positive you do not want the job. If there is any way you would take the job (such as a pay increase or other changes in the benefits package), first try to negotiate a counter offer.

Once you send a rejection letter, there is almost no chance you will be offered the job again.

When you do write your letter, avoid procrastinating. Make sure to send your letter as soon as possible after you’ve decided to decline the offer. A timely letter is much more thoughtful than a late one.

What to Include in a Job Rejection Letter

Your letter should include the following:

  • Thank you and appreciation for the offer
  • Written rejection of the job offer

Address the letter to the person who offered you the position. Include your contact information and phone number, even though it is on file with the employer.

You don't have to give extensive details as to why you're declining the job. Definitely do not include any potentially offensive reasons, such as a poor work environment or feeling uncertain about the company's long-term future and profitability. Avoid these kinds of specifics in your letter to ensure your letter is received positively.

However, it is appropriate to briefly mention a reason for turning down the job. For example, you might explain that you accepted another offer, decided it was best to stay at your current job, or felt that the position didn’t ultimately match your career goals. However, keep your explanation brief.

As with any communication sent to an employer, it's important to make sure that your letter is well written and does not contain typos or grammatical errors. Even though you are declining the job, you want to make sure all your correspondence is professional.

Sample Letters Declining a Job Offer

Review the following sample job rejection letters, and use them as templates for your own letter.

Job Rejection Letter Example #1

Contact Name
Street Address
City, State Zip

Date

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

Thank you very much for offering me the position of Marketing Manager with Hatfield Industries. It was a difficult decision to make, but, I have accepted a position with another company.

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to interview me and to share information on the opportunity and your company.

Again, thank you for your consideration.

Signature  (hard copy letter)

Your Name

Job Rejection Letter Example #2

Contact Name
Street Address
City, State Zip

Date

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

Thank you very much for offering me the opportunity to work at Bronson Associates. Unfortunately, I will not be accepting the position as it does not fit the path I am taking to achieve my career goals.

Once again, I'd like to express my gratitude for the offer and my regrets that it didn't work out. You have my best wishes in finding someone suitable for the position.

Signature (hard copy letter)

Your Name

Related ArticlesWhen to Turn Down a Job Offer | How to Negotiate a Counter Offer

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