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How to Decline a Job Offer

How to Decline a Job Offer

Posted on April 2023 By Madeline Rowston

Woman Sending Email on Laptop at Desk

​We talk a lot about finding the perfect job, getting interviews and setting yourself up for success in the job search process. But what if you don’t want the job?

Whether you’ve got multiple offers or decided to keep searching, here are the best ways to politely decline an offer.

Start with a Call

A call is best to let recruiters and hiring managers know you’ve found another offer or have decided to decline the current one. It’s important to remain professional and express gratitude for the opportunity considering you’ve already built a relationship with them.

Our recruiters appreciate honest and open communication. They understand many offers may not be the right fit based on your current circumstances and will endeavour to help you continue your job search if needed.

With our emphasis on career coaching and mentorship, we encourage you to continue the relationship with us and reach out again in the future.

When to Email

If calling is not an option, a rejection email will be appropriate or even done in addition to the phone call.

We recommend following this three step template from Career Contessa that provides a comprehensive and simple way to structure your email.

1. Show Your Appreciation

2. Briefly Explain your Reasons

3. Share Contact Information

Multiple Offers?

If you’re deciding between multiple job offers, it’s best to be upfront and honest that you’re applying for other roles.

Meet more people and tour the office

To try and extend the deadline and make an informed decision, it’s wise to meet the people you’ll be working with as well as the environment. Work culture, team dynamics and physical space will have a huge impact on your day to day. Being able to understand how the team is structure, whether the office is open plan and first impressions of people can definitely help.

Ask for more time to decide

Be upfront and ask for more time. Once you’ve received the offer, express your gratitude and excitement for the opportunity. It is also an opportune time to ask the recruiter questions. It would be wise to ask the recruiter when they would like a response. In a competitive market they may expect a response within a week and others may be willing to wait or perhaps delay your start if you accept the offer.

This blog is inspired by Harvard Business Review.