How to Reject A Job Offer

How to Reject A Job Offer

One of the most common worries people face in their careers is getting a job after losing one or getting their first job after graduation. So, landing a good job offer is a positive situation that causes happiness and is usually celebrated in many parts of the world. However, a job offer could become a source of worry for some. How? Some candidates have had no other option but to refuse an offer may be because the terms and conditions were not agreeable or negotiable. It could also be that they are led to reject an offer because the offer came after they have already accepted another one. Another reason to reject an offer is when someone receives more than one offer and has to reject the least favorable one.

Why then could rejecting a job offer prove worrisome? Whatever the reasons are, it is not always a happy feeling when you turn down a job offer. Taking time out to apply for the job shows that you had hopes of working with the company or organization. Some people worry about what to say and how to say it because it can be quite difficult to reject an offer while maintaining cordiality. They may feel that rejecting an offer could hurt the feelings of the employer who offered it or simply do not know what means to use in conveying their decision or the exact words to use. Your career is so important that you should always put it first when making work-related decisions. If after careful consideration, you decide that an offer does not tick all the boxes, then you should put emotions and sentimentality aside and refuse it, especially when you have tried negotiating to cut a better deal all to no avail or when you have better offers currently waiting.

So what is the best way to reject a job offer? We want you to get the best out of your career even if it means refusing an offer but it goes without saying that rejection should be polite. The offer could be the employer’s best shot, and while it is not the best for you, your refusal should not be aimed at taking the company down. Courtesy demands that you show appreciation for the job offer before refusing it. It shows that you are professional and diplomatic and hence, protects the connection you have built with the employer. Some make the mistake of ignoring an offer when they do not want to take it. But it is important to communicate with the recruiter or employer as soon as you make up your mind. Do not ignore them or take forever to give them your answer. Rejection is a formal no and can be said through a letter or an email. This is because, after an interview, employers send offer letters where the terms and conditions and job descriptions of the job are listed. You are expected to go through it and send it back with your signature on it to show that you have officially accepted the offer. Sending in a rejection letter instead conveys your decision too. Do not send your rejection as a text or through a phone call. When it is in a letter or an email, it gives you ample room to carefully pick your words and efficiently pass your message across.


How To Write a Rejection Letter

Like we have already mentioned, there could be a lot of reasons why you may need to send a rejection letter – when you have gotten a better offer, when the proposal does not offer all the remunerations and benefits you need, or even because you find out during the recruitment process or interview that the job is not in your field of interest and career goals or that the company culture and values do not align with yours. Therefore, the content of your letter should vary according to your reason (but we do hope that you won’t have reasons to write a lot of rejection letters in your career!)

The first paragraph of your letter should contain your appreciation for the offer. The recruitment team must have put in effort sorting through applications, preparing online tests, and scheduling Interviews. Acknowledging their efforts is a good step. The body of your letter should give your reasons for refusal, free of demeaning words, slurs, or insults. A rejection letter should be straight to the point and brief. It is not an opportunity to talk about the faults of the company or proffer them solutions to their problem. If you are writing because you have gotten or accepted a better offer probably from the company’s competition, the contents of your rejection letter should not be meant to compare the two companies. When you write because the salary is less than what you expected, use words in a way that leaves room for negotiation.

To aid you in building your own email or letter, we have created a sample email.



Dear (name of recruitment manager),

I hope this email meets you well. Thank you for taking out the time to go through my application and for the wonderful interview where you answered all the questions I had about the company. Overall, the recruitment process was fair. I also appreciate you for the offer of (add position).

Unfortunately, after careful consideration, I have decided to decline the offer because:

I have accepted another offer at another company (it is not necessary to mention the name of the company). Prior to receiving an offer from your company, I had attended interviews and gone through the recruitment process of this company. The opportunity you offer is a great one but my decision is to accept the first offer.


I have decided to decline your offer, not because of the role but due to the salary offered. After a careful calculation of my living expenses, I realized that the remuneration can not cover my day-to-day expenses or any urgent expense I may have in the future. However, I am open to further negotiation.

I wish the company well in all its endeavors and hope you find someone to fill in the position. Thank you once again for your consideration.

Your name,



Final Thoughts

Rejecting a job offer does not mean you are a bad or greedy person. It means that you want the best for your career and every recruiter will understand that. Sending an email makes your rejection formal and diplomatic. It further protects your relationship with the recruiters. Sending an email could open a room for negotiation in the case of salary expectations and remuneration. In the future, you can also receive a much better offer from the company.


Career Advice, Job Search Tips

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