How Do You Decline a Job Offer Gracefully

Every job hunter spends weeks and months trying to find the perfect job and wait for employers to reach out to them with an offer. It can be hard to turn it down when an offer does come, even if that’s the only job offer you have received for months. While it can be the only job offered to you, the job may be something that you think won’t work for you.

Whatever reason you may have for declining an offer, you will need to do it gracefully to prevent any misunderstandings that may hamper your prospects. Here are some tips to help you decline a job offer gracefully:

Don’t Be Afraid To Say No

Some people are reluctant to turn down a job offer because they feel like they are not holding up to their actions when applying to the company. However, it is essential to note that you don’t promise anything if you used or went on the interview for the employer, and they understand that you may decline the offer once you know more.

Of course, there will be those who may take it badly, but it is not your fault if they do. Employers who react badly to an applicant declining the offer only show they are not a professional company you can work with.

Let The Employer Know As Soon As You Made A Decision

If you think the offer is not for you, don’t hesitate to contact the employer once you decide. While it is ok to decline through emails nowadays, doing it on the phone would be personal and help build a connection you may benefit from in the future, even if you are not going to work for them.

It will also give the employer time to check the other candidates they placed on hold because they are waiting for your response to their offer.

Provide A Reason Why You Are Declining

Although it is expected that employers don’t tell job applicants why they are not suited for the job offer, you should give the courtesy of saying why you are declining the offer. You don’t have to go into specific detail about why you are declining, but you can give them a general idea of why.

When you provide a reason for your refusal, the company may improve the offer for you to reconsider. If the offer is good, you can accept it. If not, it is ok to decline and tell them you appreciate their effort.

Provide Referrals

Aside from saying why you are declining, don’t hesitate to provide referrals if the company offering the job is good. It can be an excellent way to create a bridge between you and the company, which you can use in the future should they approach you again.

Say Thank You For Considering You

If you decline an offer, don’t hesitate to thank them for considering you for the position. With this response, you are letting the employer know that even if you are declining the offer now, you may consider joining the team in the future.

Don’t Burn Your Bridges

It will not be easy to decline any job offer that comes to you, especially if you have spent months looking for one and it’s the only one that comes to you. However, there’s nothing wrong with waiting for the right one to appear and declining the offers that come before it.

Before you respond to an offer, consider yourself, your job preference and the people hiring you. If the offer doesn’t sound too good, don’t be afraid to say no and check out other offers.

Received a job offer? So what are the next steps?
How Do You Empower Yourself at Work
What To Do After You Get a Job Offer?
8 Ways to Decide if a Job is a Good Fit for You

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. It is so important to be polite in this situation, Kally. Our daughter went from applying for a dozen jobs two weeks ago to being offered five in the last seven days. The job she accepted is the manager of a retail store, at their largest branch in our state. In fact, they rang her 20 minutes after the interview and said they had cancelled all other interviews and wanted her to start asap. Prior to this she had been offered another job and when she rang them back to explain she had been offered the other position, they in turn made her a very generous counter off that she politely declined 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally says:

      Oh that’s wonderful news, Sean! Your comment gave jobseekers hope now. Good points that you have shared. Thank you.


  2. Monch Weller says:

    Permit me to add another one: Always wish the company the best. This goes both ways — whether they reject you or you reject them. 🙂

    It has been a habit of mine when writing a final email to companies to wish them “the best in all endeavors”, which leaves a good impression.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kally says:

      Absolutely great sharing!!! Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice article Kally. Maybe you could do a post on how to graciously accept an honest apology, even when still angry. We teach people to apologize for their behaviour, but I’ve never seen anything on how to accept an apology, especially if emotions are still high.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kally says:

      Great idea, June! Love it totally. Let me work on that. Thank you so much for your wonderful suggestion.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. newwhitebear says:

    don’t be afraid to turn down an unrewarding job

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All good points! I especially like the point about “not burning your bridges.” Sometimes life comes back around.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. aruna3 says:

    Beautiful and motivating post,dear🌷

    Liked by 1 person

  7. msw blog says:

    Great post! Staying why you are declining the position even in general terms, can rub employers the wrong way, but then again that is problem a good reason to not take a position, if an employer is not open to feedback.

    Liked by 1 person

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