Formal Rejection Letter to Decline Job Offer (Samples)

A letter to decline a job offer is a formal document sent to a hiring manager or employer by a candidate to politely decline a job offer extended to them. It is also referred to as a declination letter. In the letter, the candidate expresses their appreciation for the offer and includes a respectful and courteous explanation of the reason for declining it.

Deciding to refuse a job offer is a delicate process, as mishandling it could harm your professional reputation. It is advisable to inform the hiring manager in writing about your stance as soon as possible. It should be clear that you have given the offer significant consideration but decided to reject it. Knowing how to draft a letter that accurately conveys your appreciation for the consideration and your regrets is essential, especially if you have multiple offers.

You should communicate your decision in writing because the letter is part of the official record. This helps preserve your relationship with the recipient. Choose your words carefully and remain respectful throughout the letter. This not only projects you favorably to the recipient but also encourages them to consider you for future employment opportunities.

To help you draft a professional letter, this article will address the reasons that may necessitate its use and provide a step-by-step guide on how to draft it. Samples and templates have also been provided to assist you with the writing process.

Why Decline a Job Offer? Exploring Personal and Professional Reasons

When it comes to the job search process, receiving a job offer is undoubtedly an exciting moment. However, there may be instances where declining a job offer becomes necessary. Deciding to decline an offer requires careful consideration and evaluation of personal and professional factors.

Some of the reasons are the following:

Inadequate Salary and benefits

You should know the appropriate salary range for the position before considering accepting it. Consider the position’s benefits, such as paid vacation, retirement benefits, and health insurance. You may reject the job offer if you consider that you are not being adequately compensated.

Personal circumstances

In a new work environment, you should prepare to invest more hours in familiarizing yourself with the company’s operations. However, accepting a position that requires you to work 70-80 hours per week is not the best decision if you have personal or family obligations. You might request remote working options or flexible hours, or the hiring manager may be willing to compensate for the long hours with paid vacation days. If they are unwilling to offer a favorable work and life balance, it is a valid reason to refuse a job offer.

Location and commute challenges

A job might become difficult if the commute to the workplace is lengthy and stressful. During the hiring process, pay close attention to the amount of time it takes to get to the workplace and determine if you are willing to do it twice a day for the length of your employment.

Before declining the offer, check for any adaptability to your work location and hours if you find the commute challenging. If not, even the perfect job may not be worthwhile if the commute affects your efficiency at work because of the distance and related stress.

Concerns about company culture and values

Company culture refers to the vision, mission, objectives, management style, and work environment, among other things. If you have thoroughly researched the company and found that its culture does not align with your own values, work preferences, or career goals, it may be a valid reason to decline the job offer. A poor cultural fit can impact job satisfaction, work-life balance, and overall job performance. It is important to prioritize your well-being and ensure that you will thrive in the work environment.

Other job opportunities

A valid reason for declining an offer is to accept a better offer. When you are presented with a more attractive opportunity, whether it is the salary, benefits, career growth, or other factors that are important to you, it is understandable to consider and potentially accept a better offer.

When communicating your decision to decline the job offer based on receiving a better offer, it is essential to express your gratitude for the original offer and acknowledge the positive aspects of the opportunity. You can mention that, after careful consideration and weighing your options, you have received another offer that better aligns with your career goals, compensation expectations, or overall interests.

Doubts and reservations

It is essential to carefully assess the job offer, taking into consideration factors such as job responsibilities, work environment, company culture, and growth opportunities. If there are significant doubts or reservations about any of these aspects, it may be wise to decline the offer. It is crucial to prioritize one’s own career goals, personal values, and overall job satisfaction.

Lack of growth opportunities

Every position you take should enhance your résumé. Assess whether you will have opportunities such as increased responsibility, capacity development, and challenging projects before accepting a job offer. If the job does not offer clear prospects for professional development, career advancement, or skill enhancement, an individual may choose to explore other opportunities that provide better growth prospects.

Timing and pending offer

Timing plays a crucial role in the decision-making process when considering job offers. The presence of a pending offer can significantly impact an individual’s decision to decline an existing job offer. Several factors contribute to this decision, including the prioritization of preferred opportunities, the search for a better fit in terms of responsibilities and prospects, the consideration of salary and benefits, the focus on professional advancement, and the need to address personal circumstances. The pending offer holds the potential for a more favorable career path, increased compensation, improved work-life balance, or better alignment with personal commitments. 

How to Write a Letter to Politely Refuse a Job Offer

If you have received a job offer you cannot accept due to any of the reasons outlined above, this article will now guide you on how to draft a respectful and polite letter to convey your decision.

Opening Paragraph: Express Your Gratitude for the Offer

Begin the letter by conveying your appreciation for being considered for the position and the effort spent by the recipient in the hiring process. Be polite and state that you regret declining the offer. Write in a tone that suggests you are willing to join the company in the future, should an opportunity present itself.

You may write this section as shown in the example below:

Thank you for the offer to join Vasik Labs as a Sales Representative. I appreciate your confidence in my abilities and interest in hiring me. Regrettably, after careful consideration, I have chosen to decline this gracious offer.

Body Paragraphs: What to Include

In the body of the letter, give a reason for declining the offer, apologize for any inconvenience caused, and extend an offer to maintain contact in the future.

Reason for not accepting the offer

In this paragraph, explain your reason for not accepting the offer. Even though you do not have to share specifics, be straightforward and truthful. Remember to provide some context for your decision. For example, if you reject the offer due to a lengthy commute, mention where you will be commuting from and detail how challenging it would be to get to the workplace. However, if you have personal reasons for declining, you do not have to share those reasons. The company can use this feedback to improve its recruitment processes.

You may express it as shown in the example below:

During the interview process, I had the opportunity to learn more about the company culture and the responsibilities associated with the role. While I am impressed by the work done at [Company Name], I realize that there might be a mismatch between my work style and the expectations of the position.

Apologize for any inconvenience

The recruiting process is tedious and time-consuming for companies. Most likely, the hiring organization dedicated multiple resources during the hiring process, from reviewing applications to evaluating sample projects and arranging interview panels. By acknowledging the time and effort invested by the hiring manager and the company, you demonstrate professionalism and show that you value their consideration.

For example:

I am sure the position presents massive potential for the right candidate. I regret any inconvenience I may have caused you and sincerely apologize.

Be willing to maintain contact

Just because you are declining an offer does not mean the organization will not consider you for other opportunities in the future. Offer to maintain communication by providing additional contact information if you develop a positive relationship with the hiring manager during the recruitment process. However, you should not feel compelled to provide this information. 

You may write this section as shown in the example below:

Feel free to contact me if any opportunities become available. You can reach me at (225) 400-9715.

Closing paragraph: Reiterate Gratitude for the Opportunity

Finally, conclude your letter by politely reiterating your gratitude for being considered for the position and your best wishes for the organization. Your name should follow a respectful closing salutation. Sign the letter to validate its authenticity. A polite sign-off helps maintain a positive relationship for future engagements.

For example:

Thank you once more for your consideration. I understand this decision may be disappointing, and I wish you well as you search for the ideal candidate.

Free Templates

If the process outlined above seems tedious, download any of the free, customizable templates for letters to refuse a job offer provided here. They are pre-formatted with the required placeholders to be easily edited to your preferences. They can also help you save time, especially if you have to write such letters frequently.

Rejection Letter

Rejection Letter

Rejection Letter

Rejection Letter

Rejection Letter

Rejection Letter

    Sample Letters to Decline a Job Offer

    When writing a declination letter, the wording should be based on your reason for rejecting the offer. Here are some samples you may refer to:

    Due to inadequate salary

    Thank you for your recent job offer for the position of Senior Development Manager at Manning LLC. I am grateful for the time you took to meet with me to discuss the role. Although it was difficult, I have decided not to accept the position.

    While the position matches my skills and experience, the base salary is insufficient. However, if you are willing to discuss the starting salary, I would be eager to learn more about what you have to offer. Feel free to contact me at 315-5533-0967. I apologize for any inconvenience my refusal may cause.

    I earnestly appreciate the offer and am grateful for your consideration. I wish you the best as you search for the best candidate for the job.

    To accept another offer

    Thank you for your recent job offer for the position of Cybersecurity Officer at Palm Beach Consulting. I enjoyed learning more about the role, the company, and its culture.

    I want to emphasize that this decision was not taken lightly. I must inform you that I have received another job offer that aligns more closely with my long-term professional aspirations and offers enhanced growth potential. Although I am genuinely impressed by your organization and the opportunity presented, I believe that accepting the other offer would be the most suitable choice for me at this time.

    I am thankful to have had the chance to meet you and the interview panel. I appreciate your time and assistance throughout this process, and I hope you find the right candidate for the position.

    When the role or company is not the right fit

    Thank you so much for extending me an offer for the Charge Nurse position at West Mercy Hospital. I appreciate your confidence in my skills and qualifications, which made you offer me the role.

    After careful consideration and thoughtful reflection, I regret to inform you that I must decline the job offer. Throughout the interview process, I have had the opportunity to gain valuable insights into your organization’s culture, values, and expectations for the role.  While I am impressed with the company and the team, I realize that the position is not the best fit for my skills, experience, and long-term career goals.

    I genuinely appreciate the time and effort invested by you and the hiring team throughout the recruitment process. It has been a pleasure getting to know the company better and meeting the talented individuals who are part of the organization. I sincerely hope that you understand my decision and accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused.

    This infographic is about tips for writing job offer rejection letter.
    This infographic is about tips for writing job offer rejection letter.


    In the professional realm, receiving a job offer is often an exciting and rewarding experience. However, there may be instances when accepting an offer is not the best decision for various reasons. In such cases, it is essential to handle the situation with tact and professionalism by writing a well-crafted job offer declination letter. This article explains the significance of writing declination letters, highlighting the importance of maintaining professionalism and gratitude throughout the correspondence. It discusses common reasons for declining job offers, such as cultural or job mismatch, pending offers, and better opportunities. Furthermore, it provides a step-by-step guide to crafting a well-structured and thoughtful declination letter. You may also download one of our free templates and customize it to your preferences. Send the letter as soon as possible, and remember to thank the hiring manager for considering you for the role. 

    About This Article

    Zhaniece Hill
    Authored by:
    Human Resources Specialist | Masters of Business, MBA, BAS Operations Management and Supervision
    Zhaniece Hill, an accomplished author, and writer, possesses an extensive 9-year journey as a seasoned Human Resources professional. With a Master's degree in Business Administration, Hill's profound insights into human capital management have been shaped by a diverse background spanning public and private sectors. Expertise in talent acquisition, onboarding, employee engagement, and benefits define Hill's remarkable HR acumen. With an unyielding focus on results, Hill's legacy is characterized by innovative HR solutions that elevate employee satisfaction, retention, and overall business performance. Continuously seeking fresh challenges, Zhaniece Hill utilizes her expertise to create a lasting impact in the realm of HR.

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