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Declining a Job Offer

You have started to receive job offers! With this fortunate situation comes the difficult responsibility to decline job offers you will not be taking. It is important to decline properly and thoughtfully, so as not to burn any bridges and eliminate useful contacts for the future. Similarly, it is never wise to choose the silence route, as you never can be 100% sure of where you career path may take you. Saying nothing is rude, and implies that you do not have respect for the hiring manager's invested time and work.

It is important to be polite, direct, and honest when handling a matter as sensitive as this. It is also essential that you handle this in a time sensitive manner, so as not to waste any more of the hiring manager's time. Remember- filling this position is/was part of their job requirements, so it is important to show consideration for their time and efforts.

Let's explore some polite and graceful ways to turn down a job you have applied for. If you have an extensive history of communication with the hiring manager, you might choose to make a friendly phone call that feels more personable, however, often it is easiest to best phrase a polite response in a letter/email. This also gives the hiring manager the ability to reflect on the email, and refer back to it if your paths should ever cross again.

Email examples how to decline a job offer

Dear (Hiring Manager's Name),

​Thank you for your recent offer to take over the (job title) position at (name of company). I truly appreciate your valuable time and consideration throughout this process. While it was a pleasure to meet you and learn more about the company, I regret to inform you that I will not be able to accept this offer.

I have recently chosen to accept a position at another company. (Keep in mind you can be as vague or as specific as you choose). This was quite a difficult decision to make, as I am aware of the tremendous and generous opportunity you have offered me. I wish you the best of luck, and I hope we have the chance to meet and/or work together in the future.

​Please keep in touch.
​Best Regards,

(Your name)

Reaching Back Out

Due to the fact that nothing is certain in life, it is important to maintain contacts and positive relationships with other companies. If you should find yourself in a position where the other job did not work out, you may want to reach back out to the company whose offer you declined. Once again, a thoughtful approach is required here. You do not want the company to think you're unreliable or indecisive, so a strategic plan is crucial.

You might write an email that says something like this.:

Dear (Hiring Manager's Name),

I hope this email finds you well. It was a pleasure meeting you this past(year or month you interviewed) and I was hoping our paths might cross again. I have decided that my current job is not fitting for my strongest attributes and I am in the process of finding other employment. I was hoping to have the opportunity to discuss any available opportunities at (name of company) with you.

​If the job I interviewed for is still available, I would be thrilled to be considered once again. I am also, of course, open to other employment possibilities as well. I have attached my updated resume below. Might we be able to arrange a time to discuss any available career opportunities in person? Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

​Best Regards,
(Your name)

My name is Joost and I have been active as a recruiter for the past 5 years. At, I share my experience, tips and the "secret" tricks to help you get a job. Do you have questions? Please send me an email via the contact form.