Best Practices on How To Decline A Job Offer

In these challenging times of reduced job opportunities and many new professions, finding the perfect job for yourself could be tricky. And it is not so rare when the job offer isn’t a good fit, and in our best interest, we need to turn down the offer. It could be stressful and incredibly daunting for someone, and we will look at the best practices of how to perform this in the best possible way. Sometimes we will be hesitating whether we should take or turn down the job offer. And once the decision is made, you have several perfect ways of declining the job offer, and by following the steps below, you will be able to do it eloquently and honestly. Declining a job offer is maybe something you face for the first time, and you think saying no to a company means losing the relationship with the company.

Not necessarily. If you maintain a polite tone and diplomatic approach, you will achieve quite the opposite and leave the door open for future opportunities.

Stress and panic can also arise in some instances and leave you speechless or unable to respond to your best interests.

That is why it is best to remain focused and understand that the real question is not how to decline a job offer but how to leave the door open for future opportunities and initiate what best suits your needs and interests. The reasons why you have to choose to decline the job offer could be various. Perhaps the working environment, the salary, or maybe you have received a better job offer at another company.

No matter the reason, the decision should be brought reasonably, and the focus shall remain on leaving the door open for future opportunities.

To leave your chances open, just follow these simple steps described below:

Step 1: Decide wisely how would you convey the decline

What is the best way to decline a job offer? by email, phone call or video call, or meeting up in person? Most people think meeting in person is the most straightforward and honest way of doing it.

And maybe this is true, and you are wondering how to pull this off and do it perfectly.

To answer this, you only need to ask yourself one simple question:

How did they reach you to offer you the job?

Was it a phone/video call, email, or meeting up in person?

You will select the means that they first contacted you by and use the same message for all the different communication means.

Some people get extra nervous about confrontation, and if this is the case with you, it is always better to decline the offer via email as long as you feel confident to express your thoughts freely.

Step 2: Sending a Thanks message

Saying simple thanks and expressing your gratitude and appreciation for the time and dedication to your application will maintain a positive tone in the relationship and communication.

It also supports the intention of leaving the door open for any future opportunities with this employer and leaves the impression of you being interested in future collaboration and negotiations.

A template of most common phrasings on how to express gratitude:

“I am pleased and very thankful for extending this offer”.

“I also want to express my deepest appreciation for taking the time to know me and helping me understand all that this position includes”.

“I am thankful and honored for allowing me the opportunity to get to know you and your company”.

Step 3: Decline the Offer by keeping it simple and straight to the point

At this level, you need to constrain yourself from the expression of emotions, keep it simple and straightforward. Be straightforward, direct, and precise. Directly state that you are declining the job after a hard decision and give a particular reason for it.

Try not to be too direct, i.e., exclusive, and try to establish the perfect balance of being sufficiently explicit about conveying the message but not too directly to lose the opportunity for future mutual collaboration.

Compose the message in such a way to leave the impression that you have taken the time to consider your decision profoundly and that you leave space for future opportunities.

Besides that, give a specific reason why you have chosen to decline the offer. When describing a basis, try not to be a quality assurance agent that will point out everything negative about the request and the job.

Again, here, try to find the perfect balance of conveying the message but still being polite about it.

A template of the most common phrasings on how to decline the offer:

Regretfully, after thorough consideration, I had to make the difficult decision of declining your offer for this position, as currently, it doesn’t coincide with my initial expectations (salary, working environment, obligations).

Stay firm in your statement and decision, and prepare to continue the conversation if that is necessary.

Step 4: Remain available for future opportunities

Anyone who thinks ahead stays ahead. It would always be the best way to leave the door open for future opportunities; you never know how things might end up.

Remain in touch with the company and the recruiter. There is an old saying: “The more people you know or meet, the richer you are”.

You never know what turn things might take and how these contacts will benefit you in the future. So maintain networking status and remain available for future opportunities and connections.


As mentioned previously, declining a job offer for some people can sometimes be stressful, affecting how they react or convey the message. It is best to remain calm and reasonable, not emotional, so you can express yourself reasonably and not emotionally.

After you have made the decision, it is best to react immediately. Don’t procrastinate and prolong the process as this can cause additional stress for you and affect the relationship with the company/recruiter, i.e., thinking that you are not interested.

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