How to turn down a job offer?

Believe it or not, learning how to decline a job offer can be just as important as learning how to apply for one. The fact is that it will depend on whether the doors remain open, or whether there is a second proposal with better conditions.

Read on to learn not only how to turn them down, but why, what to consider before and more. 

How to turn down a job offer
Written by
Table of Contents

Affiliate Disclosure: Some links of products or services will send you to partner websites where we might get a commission by recommending their product & service. 

Why You Should Politely Decline a Job Offer

While work is always a joy for the human being in search of financial stability, when the need is not so great we can always afford to say “no, thank you” to some offers.

But why turn down a job offer, and to be honest, having a gut feeling is not always a good answer. So we’ll give you some of the reasons that may lead you to make this decision:

It's Okay to Say No: When and Why to Decline the Offer

Declining a job offer is not easy for job seekers, especially when it comes after a long and stressful job search. However, it’s important to understand that it’s okay to say “no” if the job opportunity is not the right fit for you. It’s better to turn down a job offer that you’re not enthusiastic about than to accept it and later regret your decision.

How to Decline the Offer Politely and Gracefully

When you need to decline a job offer, it’s important to do so politely and professionally. The hiring manager and the company have spent time and resources on your application and interview process, and they have extended a generous offer to you. You should show your appreciation for the offer and explain your reasons for turning it down.

Keeping Doors Open: Why You Should Decline the Offer Professionally

Declining a job offer professionally can help you keep the door open for future opportunities and avoid to burn bridges. The job market is competitive, and you never know when you might need to reapply to the same company or work with the same hiring manager in the future. By declining an offer professionally, you’re leaving the opportunity open to work with them again.

Incompatible salary.

A salary that is incompatible with the market, or with the applicant’s work experience, is one of the most common reasons why candidates make the decision to turn down an offer. 

It is important to emphasize that it will always be worthwhile to negotiate, to talk to see what possibilities there are for an equalization. You can do this by arguing in favor of your professional experience and assessing how you fit with the vacancy. 

But in the event that there is no possibility of getting an upgrade in the proposal you will have to accept that the vacancy needs another professional. 

It is not in line with your professional objectives

Another reason for rejecting a job offer has to do with receiving a vacancy that is not in line with your career goals. It may be that it does not offer you the right space for your growth, or the company does not have a career plan.

If you are able to identify one of these scenarios, or any other, you don’t have to take a position that may stagnate you for a while.


It is very common that those candidates who are still in their current jobs are participating in the selection process in search of new opportunities, so do not feel guilty if you have done so.

It is at the moment when you receive the offer, and you proceed to talk to the current company to inform your separation from it, that you may receive a counterproposal with the intention that you do not leave your position. 

In order for it to be a real counteroffer it must be better than the offer that the other company is making you. If so, and you have no other reason to leave, you can reject and accept the counteroffer for an improvement of your situation. 

Multiple proposals

It is often another reason to reject a job offer, and while there are people who are not fortunate enough to be called by the companies where they apply, there are those who are contacted by more than one.

In the event that you have been chosen in more than one selection process, which would lead you to receive a proposal from each of the different companies, you will have to know how to choose the one that is best for you.

But, of course, this is something that will lead you to reject all the opportunities that have not lived up to your aspirations. 

Email Examples and Tips How to Politely Decline a Job Offer

When to Send an Email: The Best Time to Decline the Job Offer

When you’ve made the decision to decline a job offer, you should do so as soon as possible via email. Don’t wait until the last minute or avoid the issue altogether. A timely email shows respect for the hiring manager’s time and helps them move on with their search for the right candidate.

Example Emails: How to Politely Turn Down a Job Offer

Here are some example emails to help you draft your own polite and professional email to decline a job offer:

Email Template: Politely Declining a Job Offer

Dear [Hiring Manager],

Thank you so much for offering me the [Job Title] role at [Company Name]. I sincerely appreciate the offer and the opportunity to work with such a great team.

After careful consideration, I’ve decided to decline the job offer. Although it was a difficult decision, I believe it’s not the right fit for my career goals at this time.

Again, thank you for your time and consideration. I wish you all the best in your search for the right candidate.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

What should we consider before rejecting a job offer?

Before making a decision you should always question both the positive and negative aspects, and the effects it will have on your future and what you want for it. More so if it’s about your next area of work.

That’s why we have some questions to ask yourself before turning down a job offer:

What is it that you are not willing to negotiate?

We all have some condition that we are not willing to negotiate, and it may well have to do with the flexibility of schedules, the proximity to your home, aspects within the work environment, or the conciliation with your family environment, among others.

Make a list of all those things that are important to you, and that you are not willing to negotiate, so you can stand firm to them and reject the offers that do not give you what you need.

Do you agree with the salary?

Always keep in mind that the salary is not the only reason why you are working, which makes it not the most important thing when accepting or rejecting a proposal, but it is a fundamental aspect with which we must agree.

It is important that the offer you are going to accept provides you with a salary that you can be happy with, as this will help you feel valued, and will make you value your work more.

Within this same question, another aspect to consider before rejecting a job offer is what the company offers you for the future, there may be bonuses, periodic raises, additional payments, and more to stabilize the balance.

How in line are you with your new superiors?

Your new superiors will be important people in your life, as they will be the ones who will be in charge of setting your next goals and will serve as a motivation for you to get better and better at your job. 

The idea is to get an ally to help you advance your career, so figuring out how well you are on the same page can help you avoid entering into working relationships that lead nowhere. 

How will your success be measured?

The best way for you to know what is expected of you in a job is to ask, so at any point in the interview you will need to have asked how your success will be measured, the objectives to be met and what they expect of you.

If you are clear about all of the above, then you will be able to better understand the position you have applied for and make a more realistic decision about whether you want to fill it or not.

What is the culture of the company?

There are many people who leave this aside, but it is another point to consider before rejecting a job offer. There is nothing better than knowing that the company’s beliefs are in line with yours. 

Here you can take into account if you are someone who cares about the environment, inclusion, equality, and many other aspects that can also be important for companies today.

How to prepare to communicate the news?

Understanding how to communicate the rejection of a job offer is vital, because not only do you want to leave a good image of yourself if you accept the offer, you also want to decline it in the most professional way possible.

And the first thing you should do is learn how to communicate with the recruiter, remaining polite, courteous and being responsible for each and every word you say or write.

To give you a better understanding of what we’re talking about, we’ve outlined some vital aspects of turning down a job offer:

And although how to prepare to communicate the rejection of a job offer will always talk about considering in depth the opportunity that is being presented to you, it is also important that you know that deciding as soon as possible is vital.

If you have been in the job market before then you will recognize the importance of quick responses, so at most you will want to take a day to consider the offer, communicate with the recruiter and explain your reasons.

What to do if we receive a new proposal?

In some cases, when you are specific about the reasons why an offer has been rejected, the second proposal comes with the intention of getting closer to the applicant’s interests.

This will happen if the recruiters really have interest in you and see you as having the potential to fill the position being offered. But you can’t get there without an honest negotiation where you set the bar.

If you receive a new proposal, you don’t have to reject it or accept it immediately. The whole process of analyzing how good it is to say yes or no comes into play again.

By being able to separate what that new proposal will be from the previous one you will then have an objective approach. And if you feel that the offer has been improved enough then you have no reason to turn it down.

On the other hand, if it’s still not what you want for yourself, you know how to say “No, thank you” properly. 

What to Do If You Have Another Offer: Politely Turning Down a Job Offer

How to Decide Which Offer to Accept: Finding the Right Fit for Your Career Goals

If you have another job offer, you may need to decide which one to accept. It’s important to choose the job that best aligns with your career goals and personal circumstances. When deciding to accept a job consider factors such as salary, benefits, work environment, job responsibilities, and growth opportunities.

Turning Down an Offer: Staying in Touch with the Hiring Manager and the Company

If you need to decline a job offer, it’s important to stay in touch with the hiring manager and the company. You may want to ask if there are other job opportunities available or keep an open line of communication for potential future openings.


If you ever need to decline a job offer, remember to do so politely and professionally. Show your appreciation for the job opportunity, explain your reasons for turning down the offer, and keep the door open for future opportunities.

Recruiters and hiring managers are often well-connected in the job market, and they may be watching your professional conduct online. Be sure to stay professional when declining a job offer, both in your email and any other online communication.

Remember that the decision to turn down a job offer is not always an easy one, but it can be the right one for your career goals and personal circumstances. By turning down a job offer politely and professionally, you’re keeping the door open for future opportunities that may be a better fit for you.

More about Professional Career