How to (Politely) Decline A Job Offer

Sometimes, between applying for a job and getting the offer, you decide a role is not for you. For whatever reason, you now find yourself in the uncomfortable role of declining a job offer. Here are some tips to help you say ‘No thanks’ with grace. 

Don’t Stress. It Happens. 

While declining a job offer can feel uncomfortable, its a perfectly common step in the hiring process. Much like candidates interviewing for a role and not being selected – it happens. The average hiring manager understands this reality and is unlikely to burn a bridge with a connection as a result. However, there are always exceptions. Should you find yourself dealing with a vindictive hiring manager, consider yourself lucky for having dodged a bullet. A vengeful manager is unlikely to be a positive source of energy in the workplace. 

Don’t stress about saying ‘no thanks’ – it happens!

Be Sure. 

Now is not the time to bargain for a better deal. Do not turn down a role while hoping for a counter-offer. Sometimes it happens, but in most cases, the hiring manager will simply move on to their next candidate. 

Do It ASAP. By Email or Phone. 

Reaching out by phone is better (as always), but emailing is certainly acceptable in today’s age. 

Be Vague With Reasons. 

While saying something is better than saying nothing, you’re not expected to give a full explanation behind your refusal. Instead, keep it short but courteous. 

After careful consideration, I’ve decided to accept a position at another company/decided not to leave my current role/decided to re-focus my career in another area.

Say Thanks & Keep the Door Open

It’s a small world out there! You never know when you’ll cross paths with the hiring manager in the future. It’s always a good idea to exchange pleasantries and thank the hiring manager once again before signing off. 

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