Declining a Job Offer in Writing

Businesswoman reading letter
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What's the best way to decline a ? It depends on your reasons for rejecting it. If the job , but you liked the company, state in your email or phone call that you were impressed with the organization but didn't view the job as a good fit for you. Your response might include a mention of the key skill sets that you would like to employ, level of responsibility toward which you wish to aspire or other elements of the prospective job that were missing.

For example, if the target job involved only , point out that you were interested in a position handling major accounts providing a clear pathway to ; the possible upside being that the employer thinks of you for another role currently available or one that might open up in the future.

When and Why to Send a Job Rejection Letter

Before sending a declination of offer letter, make sure you are positive you do not want the job. If a scenario exists wherein you might take the job (such as a pay increase or other changes in the benefits package), first try to . Once you send a rejection letter, there is almost no chance you will be offered the job again.

However, if you've considered the opportunity well and have decided not to accept it, sending a polite, grateful and timely job rejection letter is ​a terrific way to maintain a good relationship with the employer. You never know when, if or how your paths might cross again, so it's always a good show of professionalism to exhibit gratitude and timeliness.

When You Don't Like the Company

If the company is unappealing because of its culture, a , or its products or services, “thanks for the opportunity” with a simple reference to the job not being a great fit at this point in your career is sufficient. Candidates are generally better off not expressing specific dissatisfaction with the staff with whom they interacted or sharing any criticisms of the organization.

When the Job Doesn't Pay Enough

If a job and organization are attractive but the offered salary is insufficient, you might address this issue in your communications. If all efforts to fail to yield the results you require, send a communication expressing your thanks and reaffirming your excitement about the position, stating that you must decline due to the level of the salary.

Sometimes an employer will come back to you with a better offer once they see that you are truly willing to walk.

What to Include in a Job Rejection Letter

Your letter should include the following:

  • Expression of appreciation for the offer
  • Written rejection of the offer

Address the letter to the person who offered you the position. Include your contact information and phone number, even though it is on file with the employer.

There's no need to give extensive details as to why you're declining the job. Do not include any potentially offensive reasons, such as a poor work environment or feeling uncertain about the company's long-term future and profitability.

However, it is appropriate to briefly mention a reason for turning the job down. For example, you might explain that you accepted another offer, decided it was best to stay at your current job, or felt that the position didn’t ultimately match your career goals. Whatever the case, keep your explanation brief.

As with any communication sent to an employer, it's important to make sure that your letter is well written and does not contain typos or grammatical errors. Even in declining a position, all correspondence should be professional.

Sample Letters Declining a Job Offer

Review the following sample job rejection letters and use them as templates for your own letter.

Job Rejection Letter Example #1

Contact Name
Street Address
City, State Zip Code

Date

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

Thank you very much for offering me the position of Marketing Manager with Hatfield Industries. It was a difficult decision to make, but I have accepted a position with another company.

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to interview me and to share information on the opportunity and your company.

Again, thank you for your consideration.

Signature (hard copy letter)

Your Name

Job Rejection Letter Example #2

Contact Name
Street Address
City, State Zip Code

Date

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

Thank you very much for offering me the opportunity to work at Bronson Associates. Unfortunately, I will not be accepting the position as it does not fit the path I am taking to achieve my career goals.

Once again, I'd like to express my gratitude for the offer and my regrets that it didn't work out. You have my best wishes in finding someone suitable for the position.

Signature (hard copy letter)

Your Name

Job Rejection Letter Example #3

Contact Name
Street Address
City, State Zip Code

Date

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

Thank you for offering me the position of Unit Coordinator at Acme Enterprises and for reviewing my counteroffer with management. I fully understand that budgets are tight, but must regretfully decline the position at the current compensation.

Once again, I want to thank you so much for your graciousness during the negotiation process. I wish you and Acme all the best.

Signature (hard copy letter)

Your Name