When you started out on the job hunt, turning down a job offer was probably the last thing you thought you’d do, but there are several reasons you might find yourself in this situation. Maybe the salary isn’t what you had in mind, the position won’t further your career, or it just doesn’t feel right. However, it’s important to maintain a professional and polite demeanor as you turn down an offer. We’ve rounded up some of our top tips and a few sample email templates to show you how to gracefully walk away.
Our Top 3 Tips:
- Be timely: you probably weren’t the only candidate interviewed, so be quick with your decision in order to give the employer time to secure another candidate. Waiting too long can cause them to miss out on the next best prospect.
- Be respectful: don’t go on and on about why you’re turning down their offer. Be respectful, brief, and honest about why you’re not accepting the position. It might have been a really great offer, but just didn’t point you in the direction you’d like to go in your career. In that case, be honest. However, if your potential supervisor was a jerk or you have amazing benefits with another offer, just list a few things you did like, and keep the rest to yourself.
- Express your appreciation: regardless of whether or not you want the job, the hiring manager chose you above all other candidates and took the time to thoroughly interview you. Express your appreciation for that. You never know when you might be in contact with this company or hiring manager again, so acknowledging his or her sacrifices can help soften the blow and avoid leaving a bad impression.
Now that you know how to walk away, we have a few sample emails that are perfect for turning an offer down with poise and tact.
Sample letter 1:
Thank you so much for the interview last month and for offering me the ____ position. I enjoyed the process and getting to know more about you, the company, and the role.
I’m extremely flattered to receive an offer to work with such a great team! This role seems like it would be an amazing opportunity, but after careful thought, I’ve decided to pursue a different position that I think will get me closer to my career goals.
Please let me know if there are any questions I can answer for you!
Thank you again for all your time.
Best of luck,
Sample letter 2:
Thanks again for the offer to join your team as the ______ and for the time you took to make sure I was a good fit. I know you took your time interviewing all of the candidates and I’m grateful to have been selected.
I am so impressed with everything in the works at ____. However, after thoughtful consideration, I have decided to accept a position elsewhere that will allow me a greater opportunity to grow my skills.
I greatly enjoyed getting to meet you and everyone on your team and hope to cross paths with you in the future.
Thank you again for your thoughtfulness throughout this process!
Sample letter 3:
Thank you for all the time you’ve taken over the last few weeks to answer all my questions and to ensure that you find the best candidate for the job. I am so grateful for the offer of employment as your ______.
Your team has some amazing strengths and the position seems like it would be a great opportunity. That made my decision a difficult one to make, but ultimately, I have decided not to accept the offer.
I would love to answer any questions you might have, so please feel free to give me a call at any time.
Wishing you and your team all the best,
Feel free to put your own spin on these letters and add to them as you see fit. However you choose to decline, choose your words with care and be direct and honest in your communication so you can make a clean break and look forward to new opportunities on your horizon!
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