Career Advice

How to Politely Turn Down an Accepted Job Offer

After conducting a thorough job search, applying, scheduling an interview, and receiving a job offer. Yet, after taking on the new position, you later concluded that it wasn’t the best move for you. If you ever find yourself in this situation, it’s critical to know how to politely and professionally decline a job offer that you’ve previously accepted.

In this post, we go through the important points to think about and professional ways to decline a job offer that has already been accepted. We also include a sample and template for an employment letter to assist you in writing your own.

Important takeaways:

  • Your career may be affected by how you turn down a job offer. You don’t want to needlessly burn any bridges.
  • Be definite and strong in your rejection of an offer to prevent misunderstandings.
  • When a job offer is declined, be careful to thank the company for the opportunity and refrain from giving too many details as to why the offer was rejected.

Deciding to turn down an employment offer

Finding a new job can be thrilling, particularly if you are allowed to work for an organization where you had a positive interview experience. You might have accepted the offer right away because you were excited about the prospect of dealing with them, but later your circumstances changed, you received another job offer in the mail, or you realized the position wasn’t a good fit. It occurs. Having said that, you must get in touch with the employer as soon as you can if you decide to change your mind and do it politely.

How to write a job rejection letter

You may feel more assured if you comprehend the procedure for rejecting a job offer that has been accepted. The procedure for writing a letter to reject a job offer that you’ve previously accepted is as follows:

1. Decide to reject the employment offer with certainty.

You should give your decision some thought. You must be positive without a shadow of a doubt that you don’t want the job. Before contacting the company, it could be helpful to make a list of the benefits and drawbacks of rejecting the position that you’ve already accepted.

2. Verify your contract.

You may have reached the point where you and your employer will sign an employment contract. In this situation, you must carefully examine your contract to ascertain the clauses about quitting your job that is written there. There can be a window of opportunity where you can decline the job offer.

3. Move swiftly

It’s crucial to move as soon as you can after rejecting the job offer, even if you should carefully examine your situation and find the time to study your contract. Your employer will value your quick notification and be more inclined to respect your choice. They’ll probably need to find a successor for the job you accepted, though they might be able to give it to a different applicant they interviewed. Don’t wait to respond in writing to an employer after deciding to reject a job offer. As a service to them and to express your gratitude for the offer, you may assist the organization move forward more rapidly by promptly informing them of your decision.

4. Consider other options

Rather than rejecting the job offer, think about what you would be ready to take. Consider whether the employer might be able to provide you with something that would cause you to think twice about working for them. Before contacting the business, carefully consider these options. Consider revising your job contract if you believe better compensation, fewer hours, or new responsibilities will persuade you to accept the offer. Ask about the potential of working remotely if you believe the position would need too much time commitment owing to a long commute. Or, if you’ve decided that your desire to return to school prevents you from working a full-time job, ask if they can accommodate your schedule.

Consider requesting more time from your company to decide if your choice is based on your circumstances. It’s possible that things will change and you’ll be able to accept the offer.

5. Have a direct and truthful strategy

You must always be upfront with a company about the reasons you’re rejecting a job offer that you’ve accepted but do it diplomatically to avoid offending the business. Be succinct, and professional, and maintain a good attitude.

The first step in declining a job offer is to be direct and truthful in your communication. It’s a rejection letter, after all, so refrain from being overly complimentary about the position, the business, or the people you’ve met with. Keep your emotions in check and respectfully communicate what needs to be expressed.

6. Give a reason but avoid giving details

There are several reasons to turn down a job offer. Maybe the employer didn’t give you the pay you wanted, or you were not sure you’d get along with the prospective employer, or perhaps you were not ultimately enthused about the organization.

Although each of these valid reasons for rejecting a job offer is worth mentioning, you shouldn’t mention them in your letter of rejection. Just stating that this job offer isn’t a good fit for you or that you have taken a job offer somewhere else is adequate.

For instance:

  • I appreciate you giving me this job; it’s a wonderful opportunity. But after giving it some thought, I’ve chosen to take a job with another organization.
  • I appreciate the chance to work for your business. Though I sincerely appreciate it, I’m afraid I must turn down your offer at this time.
  • Thank you for your consideration of my application and your offer. But I’m afraid that after careful thought, I’ve decided to remain in my existing position.

7. Be grateful

It is crucial to express gratitude to your employer for the chance they have given you. Inform them that you appreciated speaking with them throughout the interview and that the business impressed you. Do your best to remember only the good times you spent with them and the attributes you found appealing. Always be grateful and positive during interviewing because you could desire to work for this firm again or discover your interviewer is employed by a different company.

Thank the recruiting manager for their time during the entire process as well as for making the job offer. Above all, compose the letter with an attitude of appreciation, letting the prospective employer and recruiter understand how much you acknowledge their efforts and time.

8. Make a phone call

The decision to inform your employer of the job rejection over the phone or in person has benefits, even if you might feel anxious. Before submitting the letter, you have the opportunity to describe your situation over the phone in a professional and personal manner. Your chances of keeping a good relationship with them may be increased by doing this. After having this discussion, you can formally reject the offer in an email or letter.

9. Think about proposing to keep in touch

If you built a relationship with the prospective employer but the position ended up being a poor fit for other factors, think about asking to keep in touch and sharing other contact details. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t feel forced to share this information if you reject a job offer.

Having said that, other people can see this as an opportunity to expand their professional network in the future.

10. Take lessons from the experience

When you’ve turned down a job offer, make sure you take the necessary actions to learn from the situation and try to avoid it in the future. Think carefully about the offer before accepting it, and if more time is needed, ask for it.


You can adapt the following sample to utilize it while rejecting a job offer that you’ve previously accepted:

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

Zip code, city, and state

[Your Telephone] 

(Your Email Address )

[Name of the Recruiter or Hiring Manager]

[Name of Organization]

[City, State, and Zip Code of the Organization]


Dear [Name of Recruiting Manager],

I appreciate you considering our application for the [Job Title] role at [Name of Business].

I am incredibly appreciative of the time you took to consider me and the chance you gave me to collaborate with you and the group. I found [Name of Organization] to be impressive and understand how you’ve had such great success.

Regrettably, I’ve decided to turn down your offer after carefully considering my options. I am currently unable to join you at [Name of Organization] due to my current situation. [Give a succinct, truthful explanation of why you are unable to take the post.]

I appreciate the chance and wish [Name of Organization] much success.

Best wishes,

[Your name]


This is a sample of a letter utilizing the sample above to decline a job offer that has already been accepted:

Robert Cliff

104 Upper Road

Manhattan, NY 20015



John Harrison

Argyle Accounting

90 Back Lane

Manhattan, NY 20015

December 21, 2021

Dear Mr. Harrison,

I appreciate you considering our application for the Accounting Internship opportunity at Argyle Accounting.

I am incredibly appreciative of the time you took to consider me and the chance you gave me to collaborate alongside you and the team. Brogan Accounting impressed me, and I can see why you’ve been so successful.

Regrettably, I’ve decided to turn down your offer after carefully considering my options. I am currently unable to join you at Argyle Accounting due to several factors. I have to go back to Germany to help take care of my sick mother because she has become ill. I’m planning to depart the country soon, and I’ll probably be gone for six months.

I appreciate the chance and hope Brogan Accounting has more success in the future.

Best wishes,

Robert Cliff

Email samples for rejecting a job offer

As previously said, it is important to be succinct and direct in your rejection of a job offer. Here are two emails that politely and succinctly decline a job offer:

Example 1: After accepting a different position.

Offer of employment – [Your name]

Dear [input recruiting manager’s last name],

I appreciate you considering me for the post of [insert job title] with [insert organization name]. Although it was a challenging choice, I accepted a job with another organization.

I genuinely valued your time in interviewing me over the previous three weeks and found our chats to be extremely interesting.

I’d want to take this opportunity to thank you once more for your time and concern. I wish you great success and look forward to the day when we can cross paths once more.


Example 2: When the position isn’t a good fit

Offer of employment – [Your name]

Dear [input recruiting manager’s last name],

I appreciate you considering me for the post of [insert title of position]. I’ve determined that at this moment, this does not align with my career aspirations.

I genuinely appreciated our conversation and our talks with your team, and I am very grateful that you took the time to explain the mission and goals of [insert organization name].

Thank you once again for your thought and time, and best wishes for your ongoing success.


Guidelines for rejecting a job offer

Rejecting a job offer is a delicate matter that requires careful consideration and professionalism. Here are some guidelines to follow when rejecting a job offer:

  • Make sure your decision to reject a job offer is well-thought-out before you do. There is almost no likelihood that you will receive another offer for the job once you’ve turned it down. Keep in mind that this isn’t the time to try to get a better price.
  • Timeliness: Notify the employer as soon as you have made your decision, so they can proceed with other candidates or reconsider their options promptly.
  • Show appreciation: Express gratitude for the opportunity and thank the employer for considering you for the position. Being courteous and respectful is essential.
  • Be honest but diplomatic: Provide a genuine reason for your decision, but avoid being overly critical or negative. You don’t want to burn bridges or harm your professional reputation.
  • Keep it concise: Keep your message brief and to the point. You do not need to go into great detail about your reasons.
  • Personal communication: If possible, reject the offer over the phone or in person. This shows respect and professionalism, as opposed to a simple email or text message.
  • Be firm but polite: Make it clear that you have decided not to accept the offer, but do so in a polite and firm manner. Leave no room for ambiguity.
  • Maintain professionalism: Your reasons for rejecting the offer should be related to your personal circumstances, career goals, or the job fit—not based on any negative feelings about the employer.
  • Consider future possibilities: Leave the door open for potential future opportunities by expressing your interest in staying in touch and working together in the future.
  • Confidentiality: Avoid discussing the specifics of your job search with others, especially if you are still considering other offers.
  • Refrain from negotiating if not interested: If you are certain you do not want the job, avoid negotiating further. Negotiation might give false hope to the employer or other candidates in the pipeline.
  • Follow up in writing: After declining the offer verbally, it’s good practice to send a brief email or letter reiterating your decision and appreciation.
  • Last but not least, don’t be scared to turn down a job offer if it’s just not a good fit. It might be challenging and sensitive to decline a job offer, but when done correctly, it can allow you to go on to the ideal position and maintain your professional network.

Remember, even if you are rejecting a job offer, it’s crucial to maintain professionalism and leave a positive impression. You never know how circumstances might change in the future, and the job market can be surprisingly interconnected. Being respectful and considerate will help you maintain a positive reputation in your industry.


In conclusion, gracefully declining a job offer is a crucial aspect of maintaining professional relationships and leaving a positive impression in the job market. By adhering to the guidelines mentioned above, you can navigate this delicate situation with tact and courtesy. Express your sincere appreciation for the opportunity, provide a genuine but diplomatic reason for your decision, and ensure your communication remains concise and respectful.

Remember, rejecting an offer with politeness and professionalism reflects well on your character and may even open doors to potential future collaborations. By handling this process thoughtfully, you can build a reputation as a respectful and considerate professional, fostering a network of connections that may prove valuable throughout your career journey.

Frequently Asked Questions and answers on how to reject a job offer politely

  • How do I politely decline a job offer after receiving it?

You can politely decline a job offer by expressing your sincere appreciation for the opportunity. Thank the employer for considering you for the position and explain your decision in a diplomatic manner. Be clear and concise, and avoid providing unnecessary details that might lead to discomfort or misunderstanding.

  • Is it better to reject a job offer over the phone or through email?

While it’s generally considered more courteous to reject a job offer over the phone or in person, both methods can be acceptable. If possible, opt for a personal conversation to convey your decision with warmth and professionalism. However, if distance or other circumstances prevent a direct conversation, a well-crafted email can also be a suitable way to decline the offer politely.

  • Should I negotiate further before rejecting a job offer politely?

If you have decided not to accept the job offer, it is advisable not to continue negotiating. Negotiating further may give the employer false hope and create unnecessary expectations. If you are genuinely interested in the position, negotiate before making your final decision, but once you have made up your mind, communicate your decision politely and respectfully.

  • Can I keep in touch with the employer after rejecting their job offer?

Yes, you can definitely keep in touch with the employer even after declining the job offer. Express your interest in maintaining a professional connection and leave the door open for future opportunities. Building and nurturing relationships in the industry can prove beneficial in the long run, and the employer may remember your professionalism and consider you for other positions in the future.

  • How do I ensure my polite rejection doesn’t harm my professional reputation?

A5: To protect your professional reputation, it’s crucial to handle the rejection with care and consideration. Be honest but diplomatic in your communication, and avoid expressing any negative feelings about the employer or the job itself. Maintain a positive and appreciative tone throughout the conversation or email. Remember, people appreciate professionalism and courtesy, even when it comes to declining offers. A polite rejection can leave a lasting positive impression, potentially leading to other opportunities down the line

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