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Got a Job Offer but Don’t Want to Accept? Here Are Some Tips on How to Decline It

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Decline a job offer by following these basic principles:

Don’t delay.

You don’t want to wait when it comes to declining the job offer. It’s best to be quick about it so that you don’t lead the company along. As soon as you’ve made your decision, email or call the hiring manager to let them know you won’t be accepting. The sooner they know your intentions, the sooner they can continue their search and offer the role to another candidate. 

Be honest.

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to declining a job offer. State your reasons clearly, whether it’s because the job didn’t meet your expectations, the compensation wasn’t up to your standards, or because you’ve decided to accept another offer. There’s no use making excuses or being unclear about why you’re declining – the company will appreciate your honesty.  Remember: Being honest doesn’t mean you have to be insulting or rude. Don’t say “You’re not paying enough for this position” or “I’ve found a better job with another company.” Try “I’ve accepted a position with a higher salary” or “I’m looking for something with a bit more growth potential” instead.  Always include a “thank you.” Always wrap up your decline of the offer with a sincere “thank you.” Thank the hiring manager for their time and for the opportunity you’ve had to learn more about the company and what they do. Not only is this the polite thing to do, it leaves a good impression on the hiring manager. You just never know when your path might cross with this company again in the future, especially if you are aligned with their objectives and values. It doesn’t hurt to connect with the hiring manager on LinkedIn, either.


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