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How to Politely Decline a Job Offer? (With Examples)

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Being offered a position in the company is no doubt immensely satisfying. There are thousands of people out there urgently looking for a job, or better than the one they are currently doing, you included. And yet, even after going through rigorous interview sessions, when you are finally presented with a job offer, there can be any number of reasons why you might not want to take it up.

You could have received a better offer from another company, or the workplace could be too far away and make the commute difficult for you. Or, you could have some other personal reason. That means you would have to refuse the offer after all.

There are ways of politely refusing a job offer. The easiest way to do this is to write an email saying you cannot take it up. But there is something about the wording and how to put it formally in writing. After all, you never know- although you are refusing the offer, you might be again approaching the company for the same or a different position sometime in the future. So it is a mark of foresight to always remain polite during your interactions.

Here is how to go about it.

How to Politely Refuse an Employer who Just Made You an Offer?

If you have already made up your mind that you will not accept the offer, then here are certain things you must be doing.

#1. Send a Prompt Reply

Send a Prompt Reply
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Do not dilly-dally. Although you are not accepting the offer, the company would still be in need of someone to fill in the position. Unless you confirm your acceptance within a stipulated period, they would not be able to offer it to anyone else. So it is a mark of professionalism to send your refusal as soon as possible. They would then be making the offer to the next best candidate, who might be very interested. Even if you are not joining the organization, you should not be giving the employer any reasons to form a negative impression about you.

#2. Be Gracious

It would be best always to be gracious while refusing the job offer. Whatever your reasons for refusal might be, do not forget that you were offered a position in the company, which means a lot to many candidates. Hence, always say that you were thankful that the company had considered you suitable for the job.

#3. Give a Reason

It is essential to maintain transparency at all times, and one of the ways of doing so you have to provide your employer with a reason as to why you are declining the offer. Employers are also looking for the best candidates to fill their position. Your explanation of refusal might give them insight into what needs to change so that prospective candidates like you do not refuse their offers.

Also, rejected candidates often wonder what went wrong and why they were not offered the position. Similarly, the employer might also feel why the candidate had refused the offer. You do not have to provide a very comprehensive reason, but a little honesty always goes a long way.

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#4. Do not Sound Over-Confident

Do not Sound Over-Confident
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You might be rejecting the job offer because you have had a better job offer from another company. However, your letter of refusal must not reflect that. Politeness goes a long way, and you should not sound dismissive while responding to the employer who has just offered you a position. Be humble, and that will boost your self-esteem as well. You will also be in a place to come back to the same employer somewhere down the line in the future if the next time the job is better aligned with your career goals.

#5. Edit Your Email

While sending in your email declining the job offer, you must pay careful attention to the details. You should not send a poorly-worded email while declining a job offer. Proofread your email, and you can also use a spell-check or grammar-check tool to draft your email. A poorly-written email gives the impression that you are not very mindful of the employer. Proper editing ensures that your refusal is professional yet polite.

Some Sample Emails You Can use while Declining Job Offers

Here are some sample formats you may use to decline the offer. You will, of course, have to choose a sample that is the best fit for a reason due to which you deny the offer. Treat them as a template and add your detail accordingly.

1. When the Job Offer is Not Right for You

When the Job Offer is Not Right for You
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You might have applied for the position but later found out that the roles and responsibilities that come with it are not suitable for you or would not be in sync with what you have in mind regarding your final career goals. Here is how you can write an email refusing the job proposal.

Respected Sir/Madam,

However, after carefully considering the roles and responsibilities, I feel that the position is not aligned with my final career goals and personal growth. Hence, I will be unable to accept the offer. Thank you once again for your time, and I am sure you will soon find the right candidate who will do justice to the position. You can email me for an answer to any of your queries.
Regards
Your name

Bonus Read: The Best Thank You Email After Interview (With Examples)

2. When the Salary is Not Suited to Your Expectations?

When the Salary is Not Suited to your Expectations
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You might have negotiated your salary during or after the interview. Still, when you were finally offered the position, the offer letter might not reflect the package you had hoped for. In that case, you would have to deny the offer on those grounds. Here is how you may do that politely.

Respected Sir/ Madam,

Thank you for being considerate and thinking of me as worthy of joining your organization. However, after giving much thought to the compensation package you have offered, I will have to decline the job. As I had mentioned during the interview process, the salary you are offering is not commensurate with the expertise I can bring to the table.
However, I am still grateful for the opportunity you have given me, and I hope we will be able to work together sometime in the future one day.
Yours sincerely
Your name

When You Hear that the Company has a Poor Work Culture?

When You Hear that the Company has a Poor Work Culture
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When you start researching a company, there are several things you might find out about the organization eventually. Some might not be good, and you might not want to join the company. However, this isn’t something you can write in your letter, and hence, it is best to keep the letter short and professional. In the meantime, if you have secured a position at another company, you can use that as the reason for refusing the offer.

Respected Sir/ Madam,

Thank you for offering me a position at your esteemed company. However, at this point, I would be taking up a position at another company that is better aligned with what I have in mind in terms of roles and responsibilities.
It was a pleasure getting to know you and the kind of work your organization is engaged in.
Regards
Your name

Declining a Job Offer After Accepting it the First Time

Declining a Job Offer After Accepting it the First Time
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It could happen that you might have accepted a job offer, but later, you are offered an even better position with better prospects at another company. In that case, you would most likely have to refuse the first offer. This is how you go about it.

Respected Sir/ Madam,

Thank you for offering me the position of (Job Title) at your esteemed and renowned organization.
However, after careful consideration and much deliberation, I concluded that I would not be able to go ahead with the offer, although I had accepted it earlier. I apologize sincerely for any inconvenience it might have caused you. I hope there will be an opportunity to work together in the future.
Yours sincerely
Your name

Bonus Read: Should You Make a Lateral Career Move? Prospects and How to Achieve

Conclusion

Declining a job offer with utmost politeness is a mark of respect to the employer who had believed in you and had thought you were a good fit for the organization. You might have reasons for refusing it, but that does not undermine their offer. Using the examples, you will be able to form a proper letter of refusal while leaving the door open if you ever want to approach the company again in the future. This will also pave the way to building strong professional relationships in the future, and you can make this work for you later.