Don’t Want the Job? 4 Sample Letters for Declining a Job Offer

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Declining a job offers you worked hard to get is not always an easy task, but can happen when you are aggressively interviewing. If you receive more than one offer at the same time, it’s critical that you know how to write a job offer rejection letter that expresses both your gratitude and your regrets.

When writing the letter, remain polite and courteous and choose your words carefully. Not only does this project you in a positive light to the employer, but it keeps doors open for future opportunities down the road. While you may be tempted to make a phone call to reject the offer, it’s more professional to compose a formal letter.

Here’s how to write a job offer rejection letter that won’t rub a recruiter the wrong way.

How to Write a Job Offer Rejection Letter

4 Tips for Writing a Job Offer Rejection Letter

Keep these tips in mind and read through our sample letters to get more ideas about how to be decline a job offer.

1. Be Prompt
Avoid procrastination when writing a job offer rejection letter. Not only does this give the company plenty of time to find another candidate, it’s also more thoughtful to get straight to the point and turn down the offer right away rather than allow then to think you are considering the position. It’s often difficult for recruiters to find the right employee for the job. Don’t let them believe they’ve found the perfect match when you have no intention of following through with employment.

2. Show Appreciation
Show appreciation and be gracious when rejecting a job offer. Recruiters often pore over resumes and spend several hours looking through social media to find the perfect employee. Thank the interviewer for the opportunity and express gratitude for the time they spend interviewing you. You never know when your paths might cross again so the goal is to decline the job offer with no hard feelings.

3. Give a Good Reason
Provide a good reason why you aren’t taking the position in your job offer rejection letter. Don’t provide any negative details on what you didn’t like about the company or the role. Instead, focus on the positives and wish the company success. If you don’t have a specific reason to offer (for example, “I’ve come to the realization that the commute required just won’t work with my childcare schedule.”) then it’s okay to simply say that that it isn’t a good fit for you at the moment.

4. Keep It Short and Professional
Recruiters are used to rejection. Keep your job offer rejection letter short and to the point. Avoid detailing the potential you saw in the position or the warning signals you saw in a would-be boss. State your main reason for declining and then provide a simple thank you.

Put our Cover Letter Builder to work when creating your letter for declining a job offer, and get help with fonts, margins, point sizes, formatting and much more.

4 Sample Letters for Declining a Job Offer

Compose each individual letter based on the reason for not accepting the position. Use these sample letters for declining a job offer as a starting point.

1. When It’s Not a Good Fit
Sometimes you like the company but the offered position just isn’t right for you. Make a brief mention of this and regretfully decline the offer.

Dear [Interviewer]:

Thank you so much for considering me for the position of [Job Title]. After careful consideration, I’ve decided to pursue a position with another company that’s more in line with my current career path and personal goals.

It was a true pleasure to learn more about the excellent work you do at [Company]. I appreciate the time and consideration you gave my application and wish you success in your efforts to find the perfect candidate.

I look forward to hearing from you in the future. If there are any questions you have for me, please let me know.

Best Wishes,

2. When You Need More Money
Monetary negotiations don’t always go the way you want them to go. If, in spite of going back and forth, you still couldn’t reach an agreement on what you need in terms of salary, you may need to decline the job offer. Consider this sample letter for declining a job offer on the basis of compensation.

Dear [Interviewer]:

Thank you so much for offering me the [Job Title] position. After carefully considering the compensation package outlined in your offer, I must regretfully decline. The salary does not meet the financial requirements of my current situation.

It was a pleasure meeting you and learning about your company. I wish you continued success and hope we will have the opportunity to work together in the future.

Again, thank you for your consideration.

3. Considering the Company Culture or Reputation
Occasionally, the work environment, company culture, or the company’s reputation can cause a candidate to decline a job offer. If something about the company doesn’t sit well with you, you may need to write a job offer rejection letter.

Dear [Interviewer],

Thank you for offering me the position of [Job Title] with [Company]. I appreciate your interest in hiring me. Unfortunately, I have decided to accept a position with another company that is a better match for my current goals.

Again, I appreciate the offer and your careful consideration. I wish you and your company continued success in all endeavors.

Best Regards,

4. Declining an Offer After Accepting It
In certain circumstances, you may need to turn down a job you’ve already accepted. When this happens, try this sample letter declining a job offer.

Dear [Interviewer],

Thanks so much for offering me the position of [Job Title] at [Company]. It was a pleasure meeting you.

Unfortunately, after a great deal of thought, I have decided to turn down this gracious job opportunity. I am truly sorry for any inconvenience this decision may cause and hope it will not affect any future relationships with your company.
I wish you continued success and hope to hear from you in the future.

Kind Regards,

During your job hunt, it’s possible that you will have to compose a letter declining an offer. Always remain positive and professional and stay honest. This keeps the company as a potential employer for the future.

About the Author

LiveCareer Staff Writer

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.

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