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How to Decline a Job Offer Politely: Tips & Email Example

By Amelia Wong Last updated March 15, 2024
How to Decline a Job Offer Politely

Learning how to reject job offers politely is a crucial skill in the professional world, to ensure you remain a positive reputation for yourself and the employer.

Imagine accepting a position that isn’t the right fit, only to later regret the decision.

Moreover, overlooking the importance of maintaining positive relationships during this process can result in strained connections and missed networking opportunities that might come in handy in the future.

In this comprehensive guide, I will delve into essential tips and provide email examples to help you gracefully decline job offers while preserving professional relationships.

Furthermore, I will share some strategies for maintaining connections even after turning down an offer, ensuring you know how to decline a job offer with professionalism and foresight.


Be Prepared: Before You Decline

1. Evaluating Your Decision

  • Career goals

Before you make the decision to decline a job offer, it’s crucial to evaluate your career goals.

While most job offers would provide you for almost a week to make a decision. Therefore, use this time to reflect on your aspirations, skills, and preferences to gain clarity on what you’re seeking in a job.

Run through the job description again to assess whether the current offer is in line with your short-term and long-term objectives.

  • Company values

Another important aspect for you to decide to accept or decline the offer is to consider the company values.

Do some research onto each organization’s ethos, culture and work environment through their websites. This involves understanding their mission, culture, and core values to ensure they align with your own preferences and professional ethos.

If this is important to you and you would like to work in an organisation that leaves positive impacts to the society and environment, looking into this aspect can help you decide if the organisation reflects your career aspirations and values.

  • Growth opportunities

It is important to find out what is the career progression in the company, whether there is an annual salary increment or any industrial standard training is available to ensure you are always upskilling on the job.

For individuals in accounting or finance positions, investigate the possibility of sponsorship for professional certifications such as ACCA, ACA, or CFA, which can greatly enhance your qualifications and career opportunities.

If your goal for the new job is to advance your skills and wanting to learn more technical knowledge on the job, then by questioning this aspect can help you make a well-informed decision about the long-term advancement potential of the role.

  • Benefits and perks

Before declining an offer, ensure the benefits and salary align with your needs. Evaluate remote work options, workload expectations, and available benefits to assess work-life balance.

Analyze the offered salary, bonuses, and perks to confirm they meet your financial goals. This comprehensive assessment ensures you prioritize your well-being, career aspirations, and financial stability when making your decision.2. Consider Your Alternatives

  • Are Other Opportunities in Play?

Review any job applications you have submitted or potential leads you have been exploring, assessing their compatibility with your career aspirations.

If you are still in the midst of job hunting, you should check out these 14 best job portals Malaysia 2024 for your dream job.

3. Seeking Advice if Uncertain

Research before accepting a job offer to make an informed decision.

  • Market research: Analyze the company’s stability, growth, and industry position to assess long-term viability and career advancement.
  • Connect with former employees: Gain firsthand insights into company culture, work environment, and growth opportunities through LinkedIn and Glassdoor.

This comprehensive approach empowers you to make a well-informed choice aligned with your career goals and allows you to decline gracefully if needed.


How to Politely Decline a Job Offer

1. Responding Promptly and Efficiently

When learning how to decline a job offer politely, it is important to provide the hiring manager with a response at the earliest. The ability to make a decision promptly can portray you as someone who is professional and respectful towards the employer’s time towards your application.

As soon as you have made the decision, inform the human resources (HR) team promptly and this way, it shows that you are passionate and committed.

However, if you are going to decline the offer, keep in mind to be concise, straightforward and avoid flowery or excessive compliments.

Whether to communicate through email or phone call, either way is often acceptable. Although it would appear to be more professional to send in your acceptance via email.

2. Express Your Gratitude and Appreciation

Whether you decide to accept or decline the offer, you should always show appreciation and gratitude towards the hiring manager and HR team for their effort in reviewing your application.

This is especially the case when the HR team has offered you guidance, advice and even adjustments in your application under extenuating adjustments.

Again, avoid being overly expressive so that you would look sincere.

Here are some examples that you can incorporate as an opening:


“Thank you for offering me the opportunity to work at [Company] as [Job Title].”

“Thank you for the opportunity to work in your company as well as the time dedicated towards my application.”


3. Clearly State Your Decision

When you are thinking on how to decline a job offer, don’t hesitate to explain your decision briefly and respectfully.

Remember that your reasoning should sound convincing and from careful consideration.

When you are explaining, it is best to not mention other job offers or why the other company or competitor company might be a better option.

4. Share Your Reasons (Optional)

Now, it is time to explain why and how to decline a job offer politely.

Keep your explanation brief yet convincing and do not compare your offer to other offers or highlighting its shortcomings. Instead, focus on your decision, which should come from careful consideration.

Tailor your response based on the situation you’re facing. For instance:

  • If the work culture is not a good fit, adopt a vague tone without mentioning specific grievances.
  • If the pay is not enough, avoid discussing salary directly unless it’s the main reason for rejection. Instead, express excitement about the opportunity and mention market rates for your position.
  • If the commute is too arduous, mention the time it would take to travel to and from work and how it affects your decision.
  • If there’s not enough flexibility for your current needs, express your preference for remote work or flexible hours and mention it in your message declining the offer. This may prompt the employer to offer increased flexibility.

5. Maintain Positive Connections (Optional)

Feel free to offer to stay in touch if you find it beneficial.

This can be helpful if you were seriously considering the position and wish to maintain a dialogue for potential future opportunities.

A good way to do this is by considering connecting on professional networks like LinkedIn to keep your name on their radar and expand your industry contacts.

You never know when your paths may cross again, so keeping connections open can be valuable for future endeavours.

6. Proofread and Send with Confidence

Once you have composed your email, take the time to thoroughly proofread it before sending.

How to decline a job offer politely – Things to look out for:

  • Grammar mistakes, typing errors
  • Recipient’s email, name, designation
  • Email subject title
  • Say thank you at the end of the email


How To Decline A Job Offer – Rejection Email Examples

Crafting the ideal email on how to decline a job offer politely might seem daunting at first. However, don’t let that deter you from sending a response. You can utilise various email templates that are available online as a guide and tailor it to your circumstances.

Here are some polite email templates that you could refer to when rejecting a job offer for different scenarios.

Example 1: How to Reject a Job Offer Due to Accepting Another

Take a look at this example email illustrating how to decline a job offer after accepting one from another company:


Subject: Job Offer – [Your Name] Decision

Dear Mr. [Hiring Manager’s Last Name],

I sincerely appreciate the opportunity you’ve extended to me for the [Position Title] role at [Company Name].

After thoughtful deliberation, I regret to inform you that I must decline the offer. I have been presented with a different opportunity that aligns more closely with my career goals, offering greater seniority and potential for professional growth.

I want to express my gratitude for considering me for this position and wish you and your team continued success in the future.

Best regards,

[Your Name] ”


Example 2: How to Decline a Job Offer When the Role Isn’t a Good Fit

Use this example letter as a guide on how to reject a job offer that doesn’t align with your long-term career goals or desired career path:


“Dear [Insert Hiring Manager’s Name],

I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity to join [Company] as [Job Title].

However, upon careful consideration, I have decided not to accept the position, as it does not align with my long-term career aspirations.

I extend my best wishes in finding the ideal candidate for the role and am available to provide recommendations for your company. Additionally, I hope we can stay connected on LinkedIn for any future opportunities that may arise.

Warm regards,

[Your Name]”


Example 3: How to Turn Down a Job Offer Because of Personal Reasons

If you have to decline your job offer because of personal commitments such as continuing education or health issues, you can refer to this template:


“Dear [Insert Hiring Manager’s Name],

I want to express my gratitude for the generous offer extended to me for the position of [Role] at [Company Name].

However, upon thorough reflection, I have chosen to prioritise continuing my education rather than pursuing employment at this time.

Thank you for considering me as a candidate for the role, and I remain hopeful for potential future opportunities with your esteemed company.

Warm regards,

[Your Name]”


Example 4: How to Withdraw from a Job Offer After Initially Accepting

If you’ve already accepted a job offer but have had a change of heart and are concerned about appearing unprofessional, you can use the following template as a guide:


“Subject: [Position] – [Your Name]

Dear [Insert Hiring Manager’s Name],

I sincerely appreciate the offer extended to me for the position of [Insert Role], and for your thorough review of my acceptance.

Regrettably, after careful consideration, I have arrived at the challenging decision to decline the position. I have recently accepted another opportunity that aligns more closely with my abilities and skill set.

I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, and I am genuinely grateful for your kindness throughout the hiring process.

Warm regards,

[Your Name]”


Example 5: How to Turn Down When The Salary is Too Low

Here is a template on how to reject a job offer politely via email because of salary or compensation package not meeting your expectations or you are receiving a better offer elsewhere:


Subject: Job Offer Response – [Your Name]

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

I want to express my sincere appreciation for offering me the opportunity to join [Company Name] as [Job Position]. Your confidence in my skills and experience means a great deal to me.

However, after careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I must decline the offer. Upon reviewing the salary package, I have determined that it does not meet my current financial requirements.

I thoroughly enjoyed our discussions during the hiring process and appreciate the time and effort invested by you and your team. Please accept my best wishes for continued success.

Thank you once again for considering me for the role.

Warm regards,

[Your Name]”


Example 6: Declining A Job Offer To Stay At Your Current Job

Decided to remain at your current job? Then, you should inform the hiring manager promptly and courteously.

Even though you do not necessarily need to provide a detailed reason, it would be best to keep an open communication to maintain the positive image.


“Dear [Name of Hiring Manager],

I wanted to express my gratitude for extending the offer to join [Company] as [Job Title]. Your confidence in my abilities means a lot to me.

After careful consideration, I’ve made the decision that it’s not the right time for me to transition from my current role.

I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to interview and the offer extended to me. I wish you and [Company] continued success in finding the ideal candidate for this position.

Best regards,

[Your Name]”


Additional Tips & Considerations

Avoiding Common Mistakes in Rejection Emails

Here are six mistakes you might be making with your job rejection emails:

1. You’re not sending an email at all: Waiting too long or not sending a rejection email at all can frustrate candidates who are eagerly awaiting a response.

2. You’re not considering candidate experience: Failing to think about how your rejection email impacts the candidate experience can lead to negative reviews on platforms like Glassdoor and missed opportunities for future roles.

3. You’re not personalising your rejection emails: It’s essential to include some level of personalization in your emails, such as addressing the candidate by name and referencing the job they applied for.

4. You’re not leaving things open for future opportunities: Failing to mention future openings or including links to your talent pool can result in losing contact with potentially suitable candidates.

5. You’re not sending a timely response: Sending rejection emails promptly, once you’ve made a decision, is crucial for maintaining a positive candidate experience.

Maintaining Networking Opportunities After Declining

1. Focus on networking and building relationships within your industry

Even after declining a job offer, it’s essential to continue nurturing connections.

Here are some ways for you to expand your network, such asattending networking events, connecting with professionals on platforms like LinkedIn, and maintaining relationships with individuals you encountered during the hiring process.

This proactive approach to networking often leads to unforeseen opportunities and collaborations down the road.

2. Express your interest in potential future collaboration

Following the decline of a job offer, You can convey a genuine enthusiasm for maintaining networking opportunities.

By highlighting the mutual benefits of future collaborations—whether through involvement in projects, consulting, or other capacities—you demonstrate genuine enthusiasm for staying connected professionally.

This proactive approach not only nurtures positive relationships but also paves the way for future opportunities aligned with your career goals.

Moreover, expressing interest in future collaboration underscores your professionalism and openness to exploring synergistic possibilities, leaving a lasting impression on the employer or organization.

3. Leave a positive last impression

Make sure your final interaction reflects professionalism and gratitude.

Again, you should express your appreciation for the opportunity once again, reaffirm your respect for the company, and extend well wishes for their future endeavours.

Remember, the final impression you leave significantly influences how you’re remembered within the organisation and the industry at large.

Handling Follow-Up Questions or Requests from the Employer

After declining a job offer, employers might seek additional feedback or clarification. Respond promptly and respectfully, expressing gratitude for the offer and politely declining further discussion.

When giving feedback, emphasise professional considerations rather than personal opinions. By maintaining professionalism, you leave the possibility open for future opportunities.

Related: How to Accept a Job Offer: Tips & Email Examples



In conclusion, it is common to face situations like this during your career and wondering “how to reject a job offer” seems daunting at first. Once you master how to decline a job offer with grace is essential in navigating and establishing yourself in the professional landscape.

By understanding how to reject a job offer politely, you can maintain positive relationships with employers while respectfully declining opportunities that may not align with their career goals.

Essentially, learning the skill on how to decline job offer politely not only guarantees your career satisfaction but also lays the groundwork for future opportunities that align more closely with your aspirations.

This skill empowers you to navigate your career journey with confidence and integrity, paving the way for long-term success and fulfillment.

Amelia Wong

Amelia, a UK-educated corporate finance analyst with over three years in SEO and finance blogging, excels in creating insightful financial...

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