How to say “no” to a job offer

NoYou’ve decided to decline a job offer, now what? Follow this no-fail 4-step plan and you’ll do fine.

1. Be nice. Thank them for the offer.

2. Be clear that you’re saying no. Leave no room for error. Don’t let them think you’re still considering it if another offer doesn’t pan out (unless you are).

3. Do them a favor and tell them why you’re not interested. Be specific; don’t say something useless like “it’s just not the right choice for me right now.”

4. Leave the door open in case something else comes up (or they change the offering). Your reasons for not accepting might just make someone rethink the position or there could be another opening in the future that’s a better fit for you.

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One Comment

  1. Posted November 18, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Someone recently asked me “What should the email subject line be for declining a job offer?”

    Ideally, declining a job offer is something you do in person or over the phone, not by email. If you really think email is appropriate, title the email something like:
    “Thank you for the offer”
    “(Position Title) and your offer”
    “Response to offer for employment”

    In other words, be very clear about what you’re contacting the person about, but don’t say “no” in the subject line.

One Trackback

  1. By Quora on May 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    What is the best way to refuse a job offer?…

    It’s important to remember to be unambiguous about refusing the job offer. This is a mistake a lot of people make. They either don’t effectively explain why they are turing it down, which can lead to misunderstandings and/or hurt feelings, or even wo…

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