If you are not satisfied with the job offer, you’re going to turn it down, obviously. As for how to decline a job offer, that can be a tricky thing, and the way in which you do it is very important.

Saying “no” too bluntly can close doors or burn bridges, and that can end up costing you significantly in the long run.

This article will guide you through a few simple steps on how to decline a job offer with no consequences. You will also see some examples of how it can be done through email.

Key Takeaways

  • First of all, make sure you really want to decline a job offer. Put the pros and cons on paper and make a well-thought-out decision.
  • It is important how you decline a job offer, so do it politely and professionally, with appreciation and gratitude.
  • Briefly explain the reasons why you decided to decline the job offer, but don’t get into too much detail.
  • Make sure to leave the door open because your paths may cross in the future.

Decide if You Want to Decline The Job Offer

woman deciding how to decline a job offer

After declining a job offer, you may still wonder if it was a mistake, but following the advice on how to decline a job offer gracefully can leave a positive impression and keep future opportunities open.

Answering the following questions should help you gain some clarity in this regard:


After answering these questions, you should be able to see the better choice more clearly.

What Medium to Use to Decline a Job Offer

The answer to this question will be determined by the mode of communication you used for the hiring process. Also, the rules of professional behavior in the business world should be considered.

If the hiring process for a smaller business was conducted entirely over the phone, you can decline a job offer over the phone as well.

Knowing how to decline a job offer gracefully can help you end things on a positive note with the hiring manager or recruiter, and if your paths cross again, both of you will remember the interaction more fondly, which might lead to a better fit the second time around.

If, on the other hand, you got a job offer from a Wall Street titan, a Silicon Valley giant, or a law firm, you should decline it in a more professional tone, preferably via email. Email is always a bit more formal, and it’s a standard mode of communication in the business world, so you can’t go wrong with it.

Keep in mind that these are just road signs, and you will decide on the proper way to go about this based on the given circumstances.

Let’s take a look now at the best and most useful tips we’ve prepared on how to decline a job offer.

How to Politely Decline a Job Offer

The way in which something is said or done is sometimes more important than just doing or saying something. Keep this in mind when deciding how to decline a job offer.

Let’s zoom in on examples of how to decline a job offer.

#1. Do it Promptly

Time is extremely limited and valuable for both you and your potential employers.

So, don’t put this off longer than necessary. If you’ve decided not to accept the job offer, inform them as soon as possible. They will appreciate it, and you will also demonstrate your responsibility.

#2. Provide a Reason

Let them know why you didn’t accept the job offer. If you are not satisfied with the project role they have planned out for you, feel free to tell them. The same goes if you are not satisfied with your salary and believe you deserve more.

But it’s important to state a specific reason for declining the job offer. This will serve as valuable feedback to the company, and it can end up helping them in the long run, which is a good thing to be remembered for.

On the other hand, avoid going into excessive detail. The most important information for them is your decision, and after that, some clear and concise feedback. You’ll probably be wasting your breath, as they don’t want to refocus their resources on someone else.

#3. Show Gratitude & Appreciation

You should always express your appreciation for the time and effort they put into you.

When the company offers you a job, it means that they trust you and think that you are a good fit for them. Also, their hiring team worked hard to find the right candidate, so make sure to acknowledge that.

#4. Stay in Touch

As we’ve mentioned before, don’t slam the door shut. Offer to keep in touch instead.

Even if your paths do not cross in the future, maybe they will recommend you to another company that will suit you better.

How to Decline a Job Offer: Email Examples

Let’s say you decide to inform the company via email that you’re not accepting the offer, which will most often be the case.

When composing the email, you need to make sure you apply everything you have read here.

We have also prepared several examples of how to decline a job offer via email, including how to decline a job offer due to the salary, not being the right fit, accepting another offer, and not being interested in the role.

Due to The Salary

Greetings, John,

First, let me say that I really appreciate the chance to work for an organization of your caliber. While I do think that this would be a great learning experience overall, I regret to inform you that I can’t accept your job offer at this time. I want you to know that I am well aware that this is a new position and that you have a certain budget for it; however, your offer does not line up with my salary expectations.

I am grateful for your time and consideration, and I sincerely hope our paths cross again in the future. Best of luck in finding the right candidate.


Nicole Smith

Due to Not Being The Right Fit

Hello John,

I want to say that I really felt appreciated and comfortable during the hiring process, and I want to thank you for that. However, once my first impressions have settled, I realized that, despite my belief that the position would give me an opportunity to improve my knowledge and acquire new skills, I do not see myself performing those tasks, at least for the time being, as I want to try a different career path.

I highly appreciate your time and consideration, and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Kind regards,,

Nicole Smith

Due to Accepting Another Offer

Hello John,

It was a pleasure meeting you and learning about your organization in person; you seem like a great team. However, another company made me an offer with much better benefits in the meantime. This job represents a big career step in the right direction for me, so I decided to take it.

I want to thank you and your team for your time and consideration. I wish you great success in your future work, and I hope we will stay in touch for any possible opportunities down the road.


Nicole Smith

Due to Not Being Interested in the Role

Hello John,

I really appreciate you giving me the chance to work for a reputable organization like yours. Although I do think this would be a great step up in my career, I have to turn down your job offer. The position does not seem to match my skill set or my current career trajectory.

I’m grateful for your time and consideration, and I wish you luck in your search for the ideal applicant.

Best regards,

Nicole Smith

Five Extra Tips on How to Decline a Job Offer

Keep these extra tips in mind if you want to negotiate a job offer or politely turn one down in a professional way:

  • Consider negotiation. If the job is perfect in every respect except the income, you might want to try negotiating a higher amount. Research the market rate for the position, and don’t be afraid to bring up pay negotiations with the recruiting manager, as there might be room for negotiation.
  • Be concise and honest. Don’t go overboard by complimenting the company and team too much. Instead, express your gratitude and be upfront about the fact that you have other offers or that the offer isn’t right for you.
  • Be considerate. Show that you value the time and opportunity they have given you.
  • Be professional. Mention that you are aware that the hiring process takes time and that the recruiters made an effort and recognized you as a potential candidate. Phrase this respectfully, but without too much emotion.
  • Show respect – Never criticize the company or make negative remarks. It is important to know how to decline a job offer politely because you never know when your paths will cross again in the future.

Final Thoughts

Sooner or later, you will be forced to decline a job offer, and it won’t be a simple choice because, as we already stated, the future is unpredictable.

However, keep in mind that feeling unsure about a job offer is natural, and if you follow the advice in this article, including how to decline a job offer gracefully, you will do it properly without closing any doors.

Good luck finding what you want to do and what suits you best.