Turn Down a Job Offer without Burning Bridges



Breaking up is hard. Especially when “breaking up” means declining a job offer that you’ve worked hard to get. You know it’s even harder on? The hiring manager. They went through the tedious process of selecting, screening, and finalizing candidates.


That being said some candidates have zero clue as to how to turn down a hirer with tact and diplomacy. They go about the wrong way to reject job offers they received, landing them a bad impression with the hiring managers and companies.


To help you write that not-so-pleasant email to a hiring manager, keep in mind these tips.


Be prompt

As soon as you’ve made your decision, call the hiring manager and write your letter declining the offer. Don’t wait another day to make that phone call. The more you wait, the more you might rethink your decision. The company also need to select another candidate to fill up the position, and you don’t want to hold up the process.


Be courteous

You may be turning down this position, but you might want to be open for future opportunities. Savvy job seekers use every possible chance to network. So, thank all the people you’ve interviewed with and wish them and their company continued success.

Be diplomatic

If you’ve received another more generous offer, avoid mentioning the details of the position you’re accepting. Let the hiring manager know that you were impressed by the company and carefully considered the offer, but you are accepting a position that better suit your career objectives.


Be concise

Cut to the chase. This is not the place to tout your credentials and career accomplishments. The company has already realized your value, so keep your letter short and sweet.


Here’s a sample letter declining a job offer:


Nov. 17, 2011


Catherine Harper

Operations Manager

ABC Company

50 Corporate Plaza

Sometown, ST 00000


Dear Ms. Harper:


Thank you so much for the offer of the Assistant Manager position. I so appreciate you taking the time to consider me and for answering so many of my questions about the company and role.


After careful consideration, I regret that I must decline your offer. Although you were most encouraging in outlining future advancement possibilities within ABC Company, I have accepted another opportunity that is more in line with my skills and career goals.


I enjoyed meeting you and the rest of your team. You have been most kind and gracious throughout the interview process, and I only wish that circumstances allowed me to accept your offer.


Best wishes for your continued success.



Tom Greenwood



Try to be positive throughout the process. Many industries are a small world, so you don’t want to burn any bridges by being negative. Consider your options wisely before making any decision. The last thing that you want to do is to decline an offer and regret it later.