How do I Reject a Job Offer?

B. Miller
B. Miller
It is important to thank employers for a job offer, even if it is rejected, to avoid burning bridges.
It is important to thank employers for a job offer, even if it is rejected, to avoid burning bridges.

If you find that you need to reject a job offer, the most important thing is to be polite, honest, and respectful. You never know if you will need or want to work with this company in the future, or if they are in contact with other companies with whom you might want to work. Depending on the extent of the interview process, and the amount of time that the company has invested in you already, you may want to reject the offer in a formal letter as well as over the phone.

Before you reject any job offer, consider why you are rejecting it. In some cases, it may be obvious, but other times, you may realize that with some negotiation, you might want to accept the job after all. Consider what parameters you would be willing to accept that would make you willing take the job. Do not, however, appear to the company as if you are willing to negotiate if you aren't, because that isn't fair to anyone. Whatever you choose to do, remain firm, and do not waffle back and forth in your decision.

When you have decided to reject the offer, be straightforward about it and be honest about your reasons. If you were offered another position elsewhere, if you would prefer to live in another location, if the position is not related to your career goals, or if you simply need a higher income, share those reasons with the company. You do not need to go into detail in any of these situations, but simply sharing the information is necessary. It is always better to be honest than to try to hide something and be found out later, which can reflect very poorly on you.

Always remember to thank the company for their time, and for considering you for the employment opportunity. Do not burn any bridges; tact and politeness will go a long way. If you must reject a job offer from your present employer, such as for a promotion or different position within the company, the same rules apply. It is important to explain why you feel that you want to remain in your current position, or what would specifically make you consider accepting the new position. Negotiation in these situations as fine, as long as you are aware of the possibility that you could end up unemployed at the end of it.

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Discussion Comments


@Suntan12 -I agree with you. Rejecting a job offer needs to be done as soon as possible so that the company knows not to waste any more time on your job candidacy.

When rejecting a job offer, you should be gracious and you should mention positive things about the company that you liked so that the person extending the job offer does not feel completely rejected. You should also express that you will accepting another opportunity that suited you a little better.

I don’t think I would mention if the salary was higher because if it is a job that you really were not interested in doing, the higher salary would not entice you to accept it.


I think that rejecting a job offer in a timely manner is important because you will want to give the company some time to find an alternative candidate. A job offer letter takes time to develop and if you are rejecting a job offer you always want to keep this in the back of your mind and reject the job immediately.

A letter to reject a job offer should show an appreciation for the time that the company took to go through the interview process with you and because you appreciate this you would like to let them know that you have either decided to go with another opportunity or you feel that you may not be a right fit for the company.

The interview process is also an opportunity to figure out if you want to work for the company as it is an opportunity for a company to see if they want to hire you.

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    • It is important to thank employers for a job offer, even if it is rejected, to avoid burning bridges.
      By: fotopak
      It is important to thank employers for a job offer, even if it is rejected, to avoid burning bridges.