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How to Decline a Job Offer: Say No Like a Pro

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Receiving a job offer always feels exhilarating.

However, job hunting is similar to fishing; there are some small fish that you reject and release back into the water.

That’s because you might be looking to score a bigger catch. The small fish that you release back into the water can grow bigger at some point.

It’s essential to turn the job down politely and respectfully.

So, you’re probably wondering how to decline a job offer politely. That’s what we’ll tell you in today’s article!

When Should You Decline a Job Offer?

Declining an offer for a job can seem like a tough decision, especially when you’ve been looking for a job for a long time.

Of course, any job offer is something to celebrate. However, not every job is suitable for you.

After all, rejecting offers is a natural part of anyone’s job-hunting process.

1. When the Salary Range Doesn’t Fit Your Needs

We all have responsibilities and bills to pay. So, if the salary isn’t suitable enough for you, declining the offer is okay.

However, you should keep in mind that you can try negotiating the salary. Salary negotiation is a normal part of the hiring process.

In fact, most companies expect you to negotiate your salary, so they don’t give you the very best offer at first.

Therefore, you can always propose a counteroffer.

Of course, it’s not always about the money, as some jobs can provide you with valuable experience that can help you make progress in your career.

2. When You’ve Found Another Job

So, you’ve accepted a job offer already, and you receive one more offer from another company.

Turning down an offer because you’ve previously accepted another one is acceptable!

If you’ve received multiple offers, you need to figure out the best one for you, and then decline the rest.

We understand that choosing between two jobs can be puzzling, but it’s essential not to procrastinate and send your response as soon as possible.

3. When You Don’t Get a Good Feeling about the Company Culture

It’s perfectly acceptable to decline a job offer if you don’t get a good feeling about the company’s culture or values.

You can turn down the offer in case the company doesn’t have the best reputation.

After all, you’ll spend most of your time working in that company.

So, being comfortable with the company’s culture and values is essential.

4. When the Job Isn’t a Good Fit

Everyone has different goals and preferences on their job-hunting journey.

When you feel like the job isn’t a good fit, you can always weigh the pros and cons of the job.

If it’s not suitable for you, you can turn it down.

Generally, it’s crucial to consider not only what the job offers right now but also months down the road.

More importantly, you can always negotiate and talk about the aspects that make the job feel unsuitable for you.

You can end up reaching a middle ground or an adjustment to the position that makes the job a good fit for you.

5. When the Terms of the Offer Don’t Meet Your Needs

Declining an offer because it doesn’t meet your needs is acceptable.

It can be anything from the employee benefits package or employment contract to the amount of experience you’ll gain from the position.

Settling down for a job that doesn’t meet your needs isn’t the best decision. You need to think it through and decide what’s best for you and your career.

6. When the Commute or Relocation Is Too Difficult

Some jobs require relocation, which can be a hassle. Having a long commute can be exhausting both physically and financially.

You can ask the hiring managers if there’s an option to work remotely.

Other than that, it’s professionally acceptable to decline a job when the commute or relocation is difficult for you.

Is It Unprofessional to Decline a Job Offer?

No, it’s not unprofessional to decline a job offer.

Turning down jobs is a normal part of any job-hunting journey. Companies don’t expect all their job offers to be accepted.

However, you need to show appreciation for the job and give a valid reason for declining it. That can leave room for negotiation and future opportunities.

It’s crucial to respond to the job offer within 48 hours. Generally, your answer should be simple, clear, and to the point.

How to Decline a Job Offer

Declining a job offer can seem like a tough task. However, the following guide can help you with the process!

1. How to Decline a Job Offer Email

When writing a rejection letter or email, you need to be honest and straightforward. You shouldn’t go overboard with excuses or compliments.

It’s essential to express your appreciation for the offer. You can also offer to stay in touch and leave a door open for the future.

Here’s an example of what you can say in the email:

“Dear Mr./Ms. (last name of the hiring manager)

Thank you for considering me for the role of (name of the position). Although it was a difficult decision, I’ve already accepted a position with another company.

I appreciate your taking the time to interview me over the course of the previous weeks, and I hope we cross paths again.


(your name)”

2. How to Decline a Job Offer Due to Salary

It’s acceptable to turn down the offer if the salary isn’t suitable for you.

Generally, you need to be respectful, polite, and not apologetic. You can also come up with a counteroffer and negotiate the salary.

Overall, it’s perfectly acceptable to provide the hiring manager with a salary range that suits your skills and experience.

Here’s an example of what you can say:

“I’m thankful for the job offer. However, I believe the starting salary doesn’t reflect my skills and experience. I’d be more than happy to discuss the salary and find a solution that works for us all.”

3. How to Decline a Job Offer Politely

You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of being polite when turning down a job offer.

Whether it’s on the phone, in an email, or in a one-on-one interview, you need to be polite and respectful.

Politeness enhances relationships and builds rapport with others, which can be helpful in your future career.

Here’s an example of how to turn down a job offer politely:

“I’d like to thank you for your generous offer to work as (the job title) in your company. It’s an honor to consider me for that position.

Sadly, I won’t be accepting the offer. That’s because I decided to accept another position that’s more suitable for my goals and career.

Thank you again for your consideration, and I hope we cross paths again.”

4. How to Decline a Job Offer after Accepting

Declining a job offer after accepting it isn’t the easiest. Generally, hiring processes in most companies isn’t short.

It means that the hiring managers will have to look for another candidate and start the process all over again.

For that reason, you need to make your decision as fast as possible. The earlier you make your decision, the easier the process will be.

More importantly, you need to be certain of your decision. Of course, once you decline the job offer, you won’t manage to accept it again.

You need to show gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity that they’ve given you.

You also need to clearly state the reason why you’re declining the job after accepting it. Overall, the reason should be convincing.

Regardless of the reason that changed your mind, you should express your gratitude and appreciation.

If you’ve already signed an employment contract, you should read through it carefully to make sure there are no legal repercussions for your rejection.

That said, here’s an example of how you can decline an offer after accepting it:

“I’d like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to your offer of (job title) at the company. It’s been my pleasure meeting you and other the hiring managers throughout the interviewing process that took place over the past weeks.

Unfortunately, after careful thinking, I’ve decided that it’s in my best interest, as well as the company’s, to politely decline your offer.

I’ve found that the relocation process won’t be suitable for me in the meantime. I apologize for any inconvenience my decision might have caused.

I am impressed with the company’s achievements, and I hope we cross paths again in the near future.”

Wrapping Up

So, how to decline a job offer?

Refusing a job offer is acceptable as long as you do it politely and professionally. You can do so by showing appreciation for the job.

Then, you can provide the hiring manager with the reason you’re declining the offer.

If you still have any questions, please leave them in the comment section!

Overall, your rejection letter should be short, clear, and to the point. It’s important to leave a door open, as you might cross paths again in the future.

Good luck with your new job!

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