Turning down a Job offer Professionally

Turning down a Job offer Professionally

Refusing a job offer can be difficult for job seekers. It can cause them to question their career goals and motivations and to feel uneasy about the consequences of this refusal on their relationship with the hiring manager and the employer.  

The process for gracefully declining a job offer is quite simple, but implementing it requires clear and professional communication.

Before a candidate decides to write a rejection letter or e-mail, they should consider the factors behind their decision to decline the job offer. Is the salary lower than expected, but the candidate has not engaged in salary negotiations? Is the company culture not what the candidate expected? 

Some rejection factors, such as low salary, can be managed through better communication as a candidate. You can learn more about the right timing to bring up the salary topic during the interview process in this article.

But other factors may be irreparable, and it’s time to write a rejection e-mail to the company and hiring manager. See our tips to ensure a good impression during (and after) the opt-out.

6 Steps to Turning Down a Job Offer Professionally

Have you just decided to refuse a job offer? Now comes the delicate step of announcing it to the recruiter. How to decline a job offer without grilling yourself professionally? Here are six steps to follow so that the recruiter receives your refusal well.Le

1. Avoid the code of silence at all costs.

You know how unpleasant it is to have no news after an interview as a candidate. Out of respect for the person who received you, and because it is essential to maintain a professional attitude in all circumstances, be careful how you present your refusal.

2. Choose the right moment to refuse the offer.

By responding tit for tat to an e-mail, you position yourself as a candidate who has not taken the time to study the proposal.  

Choosing the right timing can also be strategic for you: wouldn’t you be better off waiting for responses from other companies before turning down a job?

3. Define how you will refuse the offer

By phone or e-mail, it’s up to you to choose the most appropriate way to do it. A polite and clear e-mail will suffice if an offer is received by e-mail. 

 On the other hand, if you decide to refuse an offer after having passed two job interviews, you should telephone the person in charge of recruitment.

4. Explain your decision and, if possible, argue your choice to refuse the job offer.

Clearly express your refusal and explain the reason. These pieces of information can also be taken up in writing if you opt for the more formal refusal e-mail.

5. Thank the recruiter for their time

 Remember to thank your interviewer for their job offer and any interviews you may have had together.

6. Keep in touch on professional social networks.

When the feeling is good during the interviews, it can be professionally interesting to keep in touch if you like the company.

Turning down a Job offer Professionally

Below are good reasons to decline a job offer:

  • You have consulted  career coach and determined that this job opportunity is not suitable;
  • After the interview, you find no motivation to move forward with the potential employer;
  • You were presented with a better chance with a higher salary;
  • A personal reason that does not need to be shared;
  • You have recently started a job search or the job search process, and you want to wait for another opportunity;
  • You are satisfied with your current job and your workplace;
  • You have received several job offers and have decided to change careers;
  • Does not feel comfortable with the new position.
  • The company is not a good culture fit;

These reasons do not need to be stated in job seekers’ rejection e-mails or letters. You need to have some internal reasoning to move forward in the rejection process and turn down the job offer.

How to justify the refusal of a job offer?

When you refuse a job offer, it is crucial to explain to the recruiter the reasons that lead you to make this decision. On the other hand, it is advisable to pay attention to the arguments so as not to offend the person who received you.

 For example, avoid going into detail if you refuse the position because of company values ​​or possible lousy contact with a manager.

If the refusal of the position is due to the content of the work, you will be able to detail your professional project. And who knows: maybe you will be contacted in a few months for a job more in line with your desires?

However, you don’t know what your professional future is made of: maybe you will face a social plan in a year? Perhaps the company you sent a rejection letter to will be offering your dream job in three months?

 You have understood: when you refuse a job offer, the big issue now is not to close any doors.

Tips for refusing a job offer without closing doors

  • Be transparent with your interlocutor, be sure always to be respectful in the relationship ;
  • Keep in touch on professional social networks: in this way, you broaden your professional network and remain open to possible opportunities ;
  • If you declined an internal offer, try to find alternative solutions to help your company in its search for new profiles ;
  • For example, by accepting additional responsibilities within the framework of your current function or by recommending a profile that could correspond to your employer’s needs.

 With this kind of proactive approach, you limit the risk of being sidelined. Refusal of a job can, on the contrary, represent an opportunity to make your professional wishes better known to the HR department.

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Example of Job Rejection Letter

 To assist you in your approach, find below an example of a job refusal letter. Take inspiration from it and adapt it according to the position and your interlocutor.

Dear Mr. X/Mrs Y,

 First of all, I would like to express my gratitude for the quality of our discussions and the time you have given me. I have received your job offer for the position of XXX, and thank you for the confidence you have shown in me. 

 After having thought about it for a long time, I regret to decline your offer because it does not correspond in all respects to my professional project.

 I sincerely hope that you will quickly find a suitable person for this position and suggest that we stay in touch if you have a new recruitment need that is more in line with my professional objective.



What to do Before Sending a Job Rejection E-mail?

Before sending a job rejection e-mail, consider where the job offer was made.  

A job offer is often made by e-mail; the candidate then responds to the e-mail by attaching the job offer and sending his refusal.

  • If the job offer was made over the phone, the candidate must schedule a conference call to decline the hiring manager.
  • If you respond to a job posting via e-mail, always reply directly to the original e-mail in a “thread.”
  • Avoid writing a whole new e-mail to the hiring manager.
  • The main reason to avoid writing a new e-mail to the hiring manager is that the original job posting is not part of the thread, leading to miscommunication with the hiring manager.
  • Send a rejection e-mail and decline the offer.

When should I send a Job Rejection Letter?

 Job seekers should send a rejection letter as soon as they feel comfortable with their decision to cancel their potential job. This may be after the first interview of recruiting process. Or after receiving the job offer. It is essential to communicate with the hiring manager, HR manager, or recruiter about their desire to drop out.

 Whether after receiving an offer letter or after the first phone interview, it is polite and respectful to communicate the decision to move forward with another potential employer at any point in the hiring process.

 The job candidate must continue to want the recruiter or hiring manager to feel that the candidate is a good fit for the position, even after rejecting the job offer or after a job interview. This is the ideal outcome for the potential employee, as they can come back to the potential employer’s offer later and resume discussions.

 The only action a job seeker needs to take to turn down the offer is to send back an official e-mail saying they want to drop out.


It’s not easy to decide how to reject a job offer, but the truth is that you can find yourself in this situation at various points in your career.

The best way to reject a job offer is in writing to register and formalize your refusal. Then, you must send an e-mail to the recruiter justifying your choice and thanking you for the opportunity.

Reference and Further Reading

How to decline a job offer gracefully | Michael Page Australia

How to Gracefully Turn Down a Job Offer | The Muse

 How To Turn Down A Job Offer – Forbes


 The Importance Of Communication Skills During A Job Interview – Ace The Presentation. 

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