Manoj is currently applying for jobs. He has two years of work experience and he’s looking for a change—something that challenges him.

He has interviewed with several places, but has his heart set on his dream organization. Manoj finally receives a job offer from them and another organization that he’s not as keen to join. To accept one, he has to reject the other. He is in a fix because he doesn’t know how to refuse a job offer. He’s worried he might offend someone or miss out on a professional networking opportunity.

Many of us have been in Manoj’s shoes, confused about how to decline a job offer politely. Read on to discover how to write an email to refuse a job offer to maintain your professional relationships and build your network.

  1. How To Reject A Job Offer

  2. How To Decline A Job Offer Email

  3. Sample Email For Rejecting A Job Offer 

  4. How To Write A Professional Email 

How To Reject A Job Offer

Your job search is a complex and unnerving process involving a lot of waiting around, impatience and worried nights. You’ve applied in the hope that you’ll get the next one for sure, but before you know it, there’s another rejection waiting for you in your inbox.

This may put you off or discourage you but persistent efforts will get you the job of your dreams. Soon, there’ll be times when you have not one but multiple job offers that need your skills, education and experience.

When that time comes, you’ll have to know how to decline a job offer in a way that’s courteous, expressing your gratitude for the opportunity and regret for not being able to pursue it.

Here’s a list of things to keep in mind when declining a job offer:

  1. Be polite and explain that you’ve decided to pursue other opportunities

  2. Don’t delay. Intimate the recruiter of your decision as early as possible

  3. Offer to connect with the hiring manager or your point of contact for future opportunities

  4. Thank them for the opportunity and their time

  5. Make sure to write a concise, impactful and honest email without beating around the bush

You may have your reservations about declining a job offer. You might wonder if you’ll ever get a job offer again. But knowing what you want from your career is your greatest strength. If the job doesn’t pay enough or the work isn’t something you’re passionate about, you have the right to seek better opportunities.

How To Decline A Job Offer Email

 An email to decline a job offer needs to be short, crisp and, most of all, polite. You can’t expect to get away with a quick, “I’m not interested”. The hiring manager took the time to reach out to you after careful consideration. The polite way to approach this is to thank them for their time and give a reason why you won’t take the job.

Here’s how you should write an email to decline a job offer:

  1. Start By Expressing Your Gratitude

A hiring manager probably sifted through a stack of resumes, interviewed multiple candidates (including you) and then decided to offer you the job. It’s definitely a long-drawn process with a lot of work. It’s a good practice to send a thank you note for all this effort. Here’s an example:

“Thank you so much for meeting with me last week. I had a great time learning more about your organization and what you do. The role offered an excellent growth opportunity and I appreciate your offer. However, at this time, I have decided to stay in my current position because there’s still a lot left for me to learn here.”

  1. State A Reason

You should always add a reason why you’re declining a job offer. This will help you appear more credible and aware of your decision-making process. In the previous example, the candidate wished to continue working in their current role. Similarly, you can write something like, “I have decided to accept an offer at another organization” or “I believe this role isn’t the right fit for me at this time”. You should give a short explanation without going into too much detail.

  1. Keep It Short And Simple

Considering it’s a rejection email, you have to remember not to add emotions to your writing. Steer clear of sentiments such as, “I wish there was something else I could do” or “I am so sorry I wasted your time”. It’s well within your rights to decline a job offer. The only thing you need to be mindful of is informing them in a timely manner. A short response focusing on the what and why of your email is the best way to go.

  1. Build Rapport

If you want, you can always continue your relationship with the team and organization. A healthy professional network is important for your career journey. You may need to work with them in future or reach out to them for a different opportunity. Build rapport with the hiring manager—or point of contact—by offering to connect with them online. If they do respond positively, you’ll have a helpful connection in your network. Professional relationships are significant for your growth. Wherever you can, you should try to reach out to people and maintain your relationships.

  1. Remember To Be Respectful

Be graceful and respectful when declining a job offer. You don’t want to sound arrogant or too blunt. Sentences such as “I can’t work with you because I found a better job” undermines their authority and disrespects their time. Professional emails should always be written politely. “Please” and “thank you” go a long way. Write that you’re grateful for the opportunity but you have decided to pursue other avenues. You should make the other person feel respected and acknowledged. Just as you are applying for multiple jobs, they’re assessing multiple candidates.

Understanding how to say no to a job offer will help you in your professional journey. You’ll learn not to be afraid of sending a rejection email, and write one that’s polished and well-crafted.

Sample Email For Rejecting A Job Offer

Keeping all the points in mind, draft an email that conveys your intent clearly. Here’s a sample email to reject a job offer:

Dear [Name],

Thank you so much for meeting with me on [day]. I appreciate your generous offer, but I have decided to [reason] for the time being.

It was a great experience getting to know your organization, work culture and team ethic. I was grateful for the personal tour as you took the time to explain how things work. The role offers a significant learning opportunity but I’m exploring other avenues at the moment.

I hope we can stay in touch. Thank you for your time.

[Sign off]

The email needs to be to the point so that the reader can identify your intention right from the start. Writing that doesn’t communicate what you’re trying to say isn’t effective. To write well, you have to first figure out what you want to convey. Once you have the purpose in mind, you can begin to write a compelling email. Always remember to respond to a job offer, even if you’re going to refuse it. Sending an email is proper etiquette rather than ignoring a job offer you don’t want to accept. This shows the hiring manager that you appreciate their gesture and respect their time.

How To Write A Professional Email

Professional emails for accepting or rejecting job offers or even applying for jobs can be written with the help of the GRT framework. The GRT framework stands for Goal, Recipient and Tone.

  1. Goal

Define your purpose—what you’re trying to achieve—with your email. If it’s declining a job offer, a clear goal is set out for you. You should define the goal right in the beginning so the reader knows what the email is about.

  1. Recipient

The recipient is the person who’ll be reading your email. You have to be mindful of their position and authority in the organization. Remember to keep it formal and as concise as you can.

  1. Tone

Regardless of position, your email should be formally written. Any emails related to the job application process must be crafted in a formal tone. This is a sign of respect not only for their position in their organization but also their time.

With the GRT framework, you’ll be able to structure your emails effectively. Harappa Education’s Writing Proficiently course will teach you how to write compellingly and concisely. Draft well-crafted messages to convey your ideas and intentions. Learn more about the GRT framework and concepts like how to summarize arguments. Be confident in your writing and give yourself the chance to become a wordsmith!


Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics related to the COMMUNICATE Habit such as What is Business Communication, Creative Writing SkillsResignation Letter Format & Job Application Format and draft well-crafted messages to convey your ideas and intentions.

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