How to Decline a Job Offer Politely 

How to Decline a Job Offer Politely 

After searching for a job for a while and sending multiple applications, finally, you interview at different places and land a job offer.

But before you sign the contract, you find it ok to turn down the offer, maybe because of another appealing offer or because of a family emergency.

Whichever the reason for rejecting the offer, you have no other option than to decline the job offer.

Now which is the best way to turn down a job offer?

Do you just walk away and never show up to sign the contract?

Do you write formally to turn down the offer?

Or do you make a call?  

shaking hands

Professionally, it is allowed to write formally, explaining why you are not ready for the offer without facing any legal consequences. If you have not signed the job contract, you are legally allowed to change your mind.

If you have signed your contract, make sure to review it before turning down the offer to avoid facing legal consequences.

The beauty of turning down a job offer professionally is that sometimes, that simple act of declining increases the chances of employers considering you for another current role.

Additionally, the employer may still consider you for future positions.

With that, let’s go through some of the things to do before turning down a job offer.

Do a final gut check.


Before you hit the submit button to send a declination offer letter, it is good to make sure you are not ready for the job. Don’t rush to write that letter if you are not sure that you are not interested in the job.

Only proceed to write it once you are confident it is the right decision. Answering the following questions will even place you in a better position to turn down the offer:

  • Why am I not interested in this job?
  • Is the reason I’m not interested in this job likely to change anytime soon?
  • Is there a chance I’ll regret turning down this job?
  • Will taking this job help me get where I want to be in the long run?

Now let’s assume you are 100% sure you are not ready for the offer and fully prepared to write the declination of the offer letter. Below are tips you will find very helpful when writing your letter.

Tips for turning down a job offer

say it more precisely

  • Be positive: Never turn down an offer when not sure about your decision. If a scenario exists wherein you might take the job, for example, after a pay increase or other changes in the benefits package, then first try to negotiate a counter offer. However, if you have decided not to accept the offer, proceed to a timely rejection letter. Writing a timely rejection letter is a good show of professionalism.
  • Don’t procrastinate: As mentioned above, writing to the employer on time is a good show of professionalism. Not to mention that you will also let the company move forward more quickly with its processes.
  • Keep it simple and to the point: You may have a lot you want to say. That is ok, but this is not the right time to go overboard with excessive compliments. Just pen down your rejection letter, respectively. That is all.
  • Give a reason but don’t get specific: While you may have a reason why you are not ready for the offer, it is ok not to be precise. You can just say you accepted a job elsewhere or simply the offer is not a fit match.
  • Consider offering to stay in touch: Do you feel you had a warm connection with the hiring manager? If yes, you may want to consider offering to stay in touch by providing additional contact information. Providing additional contact details and staying in touch is an excellent way to build a professional network.
  • Say thank you: Above all, never forget to show the hiring manager or recruiter you really appreciated their time and effort. It is professional to be appreciative.

Note that while turning in a job offer is ok, it is good to avoid situations where you accept and then reject a job offer. The best option would be to ask the employer for more time to decide.

You might be surprised after taking extra time to decide; whether the offer is right for you.

Turning down a job offer email examples 


When you have accepted another position.

Subject line: Job offer – [Your name]

Dear Mr./Ms. [insert the last name of the hiring manager],

Thank you very much for offering me the role of [insert name of position] with [insert company name]. Though it was a difficult decision, I have accepted a position with another company.

I sincerely enjoyed our conversations and appreciated your taking the time to interview me over the past few weeks.

Again, thank you for your time and consideration; best wishes for your continued success, and I hope our paths cross again in the future.


Your name

When declining the job offer politely without specific details

question mark

Subject line: Job offer – [Your name]

Dear Mr./Ms. [insert the last name of the hiring manager],

Thank you very much for offering me the role of [insert name of position]. However, I have decided that this is not the right fit for my career goals at this time.

I sincerely enjoyed our dialog as well as discussions with your team, and I very much appreciate your taking the time to share information about the role and vision of [insert company name].

Again, thank you for your time and consideration; best wishes in your continued success.


Your name 

In conclusion

We’ve covered some tips to make it easy for you to decline a job offer. There are some job board platforms that do rate you based on the recruiter’s experience, but all in all, you want to decline without wasting your time or the recruiters.

You never know your last impression can lead you to your new position.