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Rejection of Job Offer

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A polite refusal is an applicant's responsibility as well as a professional courtesy. You notify the employer that you are not interested in working for the company and thereby allow him/her to continue to search as quickly as possible. Also closing the door gently, ending negotiation pleasantly on a note of goodwill, makes good sense in terms of the future. In writing the refusal letter, use the indirect plan, giving reasons before saying no as described below.

Do not put off writing refusal letters. They are not crucial to you personally, but they are important to the employer and to others who may be under consideration for the position you are refusing. The sooner you step out of the way, the easier it will be for others.

What do you include?

  • Thank the company for the offer.
  • Be polite, but firmly reject the offer.
  • Give reasons why you turned the offer down. Doing this will improve the experience for future applicants.
  • Leave the door open in case you wish to apply for another position at the company in the future.

Model for Writing a Rejection of a Job Offer

May 10, 2001

Ernie English
1234 Writing Lab Lane
Write City, IN 12345

Dear Mr. English:

The purpose of this letter is to reject a job offer presented to you by a company. It is important to be polite, while at the same time firmly rejecting the offer. In the opening paragraph, thank the employer for the offer. Convey that although you appreciated the offer, you are unable to accept the position. You may also wish to use an indirect approach, by stating the reasons for your refusal before rejecting the offer.

You should then give the employer the reasons for your refusal. The rejection of an offer is somewhat unimportant to the applicant, but it is extremely important to the employer. It allows the company to formally move on to the next applicant. More importantly, it tells the employer how to make the offer more appealing for the next applicant. After all, how can they be expected to fix a problem if they don't know what it is? After you have stated your reasons for rejecting their offer, politely refuse the offer (if you haven't already done so).

End your letter with a sense of goodwill. This is important because you may wish to apply for a position with the company at a later date. Also, be sure to thank them for the time they invested while working with you.


Lucy Letter
123 Winner's Road
New Employee Town, PA 12345