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How to decline a job offer ?


Understanding “how to decline a job offer?”

Declining a job offer is certainly not that thing that is being looked forward to. In this article, we help you to understand how to decline a job offer in a well mannered professional way leaving zero troubles and confusions. Even though declining a job offer is not an easy affair, it is rather a necessary exercise forced by various decisions taken by you about your future career prospects. Examples incorporated in each section will help you to navigate in such confusing situations.

Why do you have to “decline a job offer”?

There may be a variety of reasons that compel you to think in the direction of declining the job offer. In this section we explore few of those so that you will be in a much better position to customise/ personalise your reply to the concerned officials.

  • Not so apt work culture

It is possible that after consulting with few employees at the prospective organization, you may come to a decision against taking up the job offer. The collective attitude, timings, hierarchy and division of power and labour may not suit you. In short, the work culture may bother you a lot.

In order to stay alive in the relationship with the company, it is rather imperative that you should not mention this aspect about the work culture. Not to mention further, work culture expectations are indeed a great concern.

  • Not enough pay as expected

This ends up as the most practical reason for anybody to decline a job offer. If the salary concern is the only reason for you to decline the job offer, you can try conveying it to the hiring official. Or, you may opt out of expressing the low pay as a reason for declining the job offer.

  • Taxing commutation

Even though this looks like a rather silly reason, at many instances this turns out to be very decisive. Given that you really like working in the role offered to you by the company, an arduous commutation potentially hinders the possibility of ‘enjoying’ the workplace due to energy, time and resource loss.

  • Flexibility concerns

Another subtle yet important reason to decline a job offer can be related to the flexibility offered in the job role. For a person who really look to take up ‘work from home’ assignments, flexibility can pose great concerns that may lead to thoughts on declining the job offer.

The perfect way to decline a job offer (with illustrations)

  • Zero delay

Declining a job offer is a process that includes two stakeholders in equal magnitude. Once a decision is taken as to decline the job offer provided to you, it is very professional to let the company know your decision. As important as you want to keep yourself away from the job, the company needs to go ahead with the process of selecting other employees. Having zero delay in communication with the company is both polite and professional.

  • Comfortable medium, confident communication

The first nut to crack here is to decide how you are going to break this news to the concerned individuals. As one knows, there are a multitude of communication channels available. It is important for you to rely on a channel that you think best fits you as well as you are comfortable with. This is not to forget the rule of thumb that the suggested way to express your decision will be to use the same communication channel used by the company to offer you the job opportunity.

For example, if the organisation has sent you the offer via email (which happens in most cases), it is very apt to revert back with a thoughtful message via email.

Lest you forget that the final decision on the communication medium depends on your own comfort level. There is no point in having a troubled phone call when you can mail them. An email communication comes with the additional perk of a written formal evidence which is always preferred.

  • A mandatory appreciative start

Like any other professional communication, expression of gratitude is always suggested. An appreciative start sets the tone of the communication right, makes your communication less tense and more perfect. As a job seeker, you should never underestimate the effort that might have gone into the selection process through time and resources. To the energy spent in the hiring process, it is right to say that you are obliged to “thank” them positively.

Consider starting your job decline with appreciation a mandatory ingredient of your communication.

For example:  “I am very thankful for this job offer provided. It is a great opportunity to know more about the PQX Marketing Company in detail.”

  • Clarity of statement

There exists a thin line between overcomplicating things and communicating nicely. The more complimentary your language turns out to be, more confusing it may tend to be. It is undoubtedly clear that if the hiring officials of the prospective company fail to understand your communication in full spirit, it will not be considered professional enough.

There is no harm in expressing your decision through the best choice of words. Always keep in mind that you have to be explicit while passing the information as you cannot afford to have a confused result where you have to clarify it later. Being explicit and being harsh are not related at all. Hence, there is no point in holding the impression that being explicit is not professional.

For example: “Nevertheless, I have to turn down this job offer

  • Clarity of reasoning

As mentioned earlier, there is a lot of investment that went behind the job offer provided to you. So, it is not wrong to assume that the employer deserves to know the reason behind the decline of the job offer. One cannot be honest in this situation always while expressing the reason. But however, always try to be as honest as possible.

An honest reply will definitely be appreciated. Most importantly, keep the reasoning part as brief as possible. You may just focus on the keypoints and ignore the details of the same. Overdoing this part will never impress a hiring official.

For example: “I just negotiated to receive an accounts role in a different company

  • Establishing a relationship

Creating a conducive environment to establish a long term relationship in anywhere possible is one of the best practices in the job market. Your willingness to stay connected needs to be conveyed. Rule of thumb here is that you must take necessary efforts to ensure that the declining job offer didn’t ruin your rapport with the hiring official.

For example: “For sure, it was great meeting you and the rest of your team at New Possibilities Company. I really look forward to keeping in touch and staying connected.

Email examples on declining a job offer

Example 1:

Subject: Job Offer – [insert your name here]

Dear [name of the concerned hiring official]

I find this opportunity to extend my delight on the job offer provided to me in your company as a marketing executive. I am thankful for showing your belief in my skills and experience. Nevertheless, after giving a detailed thought about this offer, I have decided that I will not be able to proceed further to accept this offer.

I was really looking forward to being a part of the New Possibilities Marketing Company as you offered higher job prospects, promotion opportunities and networks. Regrettably, I have to decline this job offer as I look for more flexibility in work. Commutation all days of the week will cost me dearly in terms of time, resource and health.

Not to mention, it was my great pleasure to have communicated with you and the rest of your team at the company during the selection process. I wholeheartedly wish all good luck to you and to the organisation.

Again, I thank you so much for this offer.

Yours thankfully,

[your name here]

Example 2:

Subject line: Job offer – [insert your name here]

Dear [name of the concerned hiring official]

Thank you so much for offering me the role of accountant at Rapid Business Solutions Company. However, I am afraid that I have decided that this job offer does not suit my career expectations right now posing few concerns on flexibility and work culture.

I am very delighted to say that I sincerely enjoyed the selection process as well as discussions with your team at the company. I really appreciate your efforts  throughout the interview process.

Again, thank you for your belief and consideration. I wish you very best for your career success.


Example 3:

Subject line: Job offer – [insert your name here]

Dear [name of the concerned hiring official]

Thank you so much again for taking your time and resources to interview me last Monday, it really was a learning experience. I am really grateful to meet your team and learn more about the company in detail. I appreciate your generous job offer.

Nevertheless, I have come to a conclusion that this is not the perfect time for me to leave the current job position considering my career goals and future prospects.

Again, I would like to extend my thankfulness for the offer and my sincere regrets thatI could not proceed with it. Thank you for your time. I wish you all the best.

Best regards,

[insert your name here]

Key takeaways

Declining the job offer can be tricky at times. There are certain aspects to be kept in mind while pulling off a communication thread about declining the job offer.

  • Be accurate, appreciative, explicit and brief.
  • Avoid hesitant, confusing statements.
  • Ensure that the communication does not sound harsh and brutal.
  • Always keep the door open for the future. Long relationships will be fruitful in future.
  • Be quick and professional.
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