5 Steps to Politely Reject a Job Offer

Sep 29, 2022

After all the applications, interviews, and negotiations, you got a job offer! This is a huge opportunity in your career, but… this particular job isn’t what you want. Here are five ways to politely reject a job offer you aren’t interested in taking.

1. Respond In a Timely Manner

Do NOT ghost the hiring manager! Everyone deserves a response, no matter how well the process did or did not go. Most of the time, the company will ask you to respond within a specific time frame (24 hours usually). Make sure you respond before the deadline, even if it’s just to request more time. However, if you know for certain that you don’t want the job, go ahead and let them know. Don’t leave the hiring manager thinking there is a chance if there isn’t.

2. Thank the Hiring Manager

Even though you don’t want to take this job, you always want to show your appreciation to the people who took the time to meet with you. They have invested time to determine if you will be a good fit in their company, so be polite! Aside from thanking them for this opportunity, mention how you enjoyed learning about their company. “I appreciate your time and consideration, and it was wonderful to meet everyone on the team” is a great start.

3. Give a Brief Reason

You don’t have to give a reason why you won’t be accepting the job offer. But some hiring managers may be turned off if you don’t. Remember, they have invested time just like you have. If you do give a reason, don’t mention specific people or policies that you did not like. Be brief and general, stating that the position is not the right move for you at this point in your career.

4. Optional: Refer a Connection

If you have connections in your network who may be a good fit for the position, feel free to offer them to the hiring manager. They will be starting over with the hiring process once you reject the offer, so they will likely appreciate the help. Mention that you have contacts in mind and ask if the hiring manager would like you to send the contacts’ information for consideration. The hiring manager might decline, but you’ve offered. Note: Make sure you ask your connections before sending their information to the hiring manager!

5. Finish With Sincerity

There’s no need to be overly complimentary if you had a bad experience. But if you had a good one, it’s a nice touch to conclude with some sincere wishes for the future. “Again, thank you so much for your consideration and I hope our paths cross again in the future” would be a friendly sign off. This also tells the hiring manager that the door is open if another opportunity should arise for you to work together.

Written by: Alessandra Cespedes

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