You’re offered a job, however, you don’t want to take the position. Whether the pay is not what you’re looking for, the commute is too far, or maybe you were offered a better opportunity elsewhere. Regardless, you know you’ll have to decline the position – but you don’t know how to go about it. You know you need to inform the company that you’re not wanting to accept the position – so you want to be honest, but you also don’t want to leave a bad impression or ruin your chances down the road. So how do politely and respectively decline a job offer? Find out below!

Don’t Ghost

You’re offered a position; you know you don’t want to accept, but you feel rude declining, so you don’t say anything at all. You think to yourself, If I don’t respond, they’ll assume I don’t want to accept the position. False. Declining a job offer is not rude. It’s part of the process and a company willing to offer you a job – knows there is a 50/50 chance that you may take another opportunity. If the job isn’t right for you then it’s not right for you. But avoiding communication does not make the situation easier on either party. The company will most likely contact you consistently wondering why you are not returning communication. Just simply acknowledge your reasoning and decline so you and the hiring manager can move forward.

Don’t Procrastinate

Once you have decided that you are not going to accept the job, don’t delay your response. You will waste your time and theirs, and will add on unnecessary stress. So, when you’ve committed to declining, let the company know as soon as possible so you can both continue with the process.

Don’t Forget to Say, “Thank You.”

When you share you’re declining a position, you should first state your appreciation for their time and consideration. If you have been through the application process, an interview (or maybe multiple), and you’ve been offered the position – chances are the company may have gone through a process to offer you the job. So be sure to thank them for their time and consideration and anything else you’re aware of during the process – such as considering a salary increase, giving you an extended period to accept an offer, etc. This will show that you are respectful of the process regardless of not taking the position.

Don’t Forget to State You’re Declining

When you’re declining a job offer, don’t forget to specifically state that you’re declining. You may do a great job of explaining what you liked about the company, but you forget to share that despite those positives, you’re not taking the offer. Leaving an open-ended gray area creates confusion. So, don’t forget to clearly state that you are not following through with accepting the role.

Don’t Get Too Specific

You want to give a reason why you’re not taking the position. You could say something like “After extensive consideration, I decided to take another opportunity at this time” or an example from Indeed, “I have decided this role is not the right fit for my career goals at this time”. Stating that you have accepted another position, that this role does not fit your future, or maybe you’ve decided to stay at your current position, are all-sufficient answers. Just remember you do not have to give specifics. For example, you do not want to share that the company did not offer you enough money, or that you don’t think you’d get along with the boss. These specific reasons can be blanketed by a specific declining response of – I decided to go with another position at this time. Short and sweet and gives the hiring manager a concise answer to know whether to move forward with you or not.

Don’t Forget to Offer to Stay in Touch

To close out your response, explain that although you are not accepting the position, you would love to stay connected and keep in touch. If of course, only if you feel that you would like to and developed a great connection with the parties involved. This will keep the relationship open, and allow you both to reach out in the future of the opportunity arises.


[ Have you declined a job before? How did that experience go for you?  —  Let us know in the comments! ]