How To Decline A Job Offer: Everything You Need to Know


Turning down a job offer is a big decision, you should always take time to consider why you have come to this decision as it is unlikely the offer will be reissued from that company again. But sometimes you will turn down an offer as the job you have applied for will not meet your career development needs both financially and career satisfaction.

Normally when a company issues you a job offer, they will give you a reasonable timeframe on when you need to make a decision. If you have made the decision not to accept the offer, you should let the company know as soon as possible, you don’t need to wait until the last day of the timeframe. Just remember that the company has gone through a recruitment process, which can be time consuming and costly and  they may have another candidate who would accept the position.

Reasons To Decline Job Offers 

There are many reasons why people may decline a job offer. This could be for financial or health reasons or because the role was not what you expected it to be. Relocation may be another issue.

What is important is that you identify the core reason why you have declined and be able to articulate that to the company that offered you a job. 

Reflecting On The Job Offer before Declining It

Before turning down a job offer, take some time to reflect on the opportunity at hand. When embarking on your job search, it's essential to consider the fundamental requirements you seek in a work environment. These could include career growth prospects, competitive salary and benefits, and a company mission or culture that values its employees.

Look at the pros and cons if you were to accept the offer and ask yourself if this is a company where you feel you can grow and develop. Does it meet the basic needs you have listed and if it doesn’t, can you compromise on some of those needs. 

Finally, if you were to accept this offer, does this company work in an inclusive environment where people from diverse backgrounds are treated in a respectful manner? Also try and determine if the development of its workforce is a strategic target for this company.

Reassess all of the above before you make your final decision.


Declining A Job Offer Politely 

When it comes to turning down a job offer, it's crucial to handle the situation with utmost professionalism and respect. By doing so, you not only preserve the relationship but also keep the door open for potential future encounters with the individuals involved in the hiring process. Who knows, there might be another opportunity within the same company that aligns perfectly with your aspirations.

By gracefully declining the current offer, you ensure that you haven't severed ties with the company, leaving room for them to consider you for other positions that may arise. It's all about nurturing connections and keeping your options open.


Declining A Job Offer: Samples And Templates 

Below is an example of an email declining a job offer:

Dear( Contact Name)

Thank you very much for offering me the position of [job title] with [company name]. After much consideration, I have decided that this role is not the right fit for me.

I appreciate the opportunity and the time you have taken in considering me for this position. 

Thank you again for your consideration and I wish you all the best in finding a suitable candidate.

Kindest regards,

[Your name]

Here's an example of declining a job offer for another role.

Dear [Contact Name],

I'd like to sincerely thank you for offering me the position of [job title] with [company name]. While it hasn't been an easy decision, I have chosen to accept a position with another company.

I'm grateful for the time you have taken in considering me for this role and wish you and [company name] all the very best in your future endeavours.

Thank you again for your consideration.

Kindest regards,

[Your name]

Declining A Job Offer Over The Phone/  Email

It doesn’t need to be complex when rejecting a job offer on the phone or by email. Keep it short, simple and straight to the point. Be honest about why you are not moving forward with the offer and reiterate that you are appreciative of it at the same time. Thank them for their offer and wish them well in their recruitment search. 

Declining A Job Offer After Signing The Contract

What should you do if you accept a new job but then change your mind? Don't feel bad if this happens to you. You're not the first candidate who has said yes to an offer but had second thoughts. 

If you regret taking a job offer, there are ways to politely withdraw your acceptance. It’s better to decline as soon as possible after you decide that this isn’t the role you.

The most important approach is to be professional when you decline a job, even if you have accepted it already. If you've signed an employment agreement, check the legal implications before you withdraw your acceptance.

If you can, it's better to have a conversation in person or on the phone to explain why you have decided not to take the job. Follow up with written confirmation of your withdrawal.

Regardless of why you have changed your mind, express your gratitude and let the company know that you appreciate the offer.

Getting The Right Job Offer 

It’s important to approach job hunting and sometimes, declining a job offer that isn’t for you is part of it. Work out what are the key elements in a job that will give you self worth, satisfaction, career development and financial wellbeing. 

It isn’t unusual for people to spend their entire career with the same company so carrying out research into the prospective company and role is important.

To find out more about landing the perfect role for yourself, check out our tips for job hunting.

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