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Job decline email sample
April 22, 2019 Anniversary Wishes 3 comments

Examples of email messages politely rejecting a job offer and expressing thanks for the offer, plus tips for declining a job offer and more letter samples.

Sending a rejection letter in a timely manner marks you as an employer of choice, too. Here are two sample job rejection letters that employers can send to candidates who were rejected following the job interview.

The following is a sample job rejection letter for a candidate who you hope will not apply again. He or she did not appear to fit your company work culture.

Job Rejection Letter Sample

Download the Word Template

Job Rejection Letter Sample (Text Version)

David Lee
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345

Cheryl Ramirez
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321

Thank you for coming in to interview for the position of accounting clerk with Draper, Inc. As you know, we interviewed a number of candidates. This letter is to let you know that you have not been selected for the position.

Thank you for taking the time to come to Draper, Inc. to meet our interview team. The team appreciates that you interviewed for the accounting clerk position.

We wish you success with your ongoing job search. Thank you for your interest in our company.

David Lee (signature hard copy letter)

David Lee
HR Director for the Employee Selection Team

Second Job Rejection Letter Sample

This sample job candidate rejection letter is for a candidate you might consider hiring in the future for a different job or when they have more experience in the area covered by the current opening.

Helen Smith
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345

Josie Lau
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321

This letter is to inform you that we have selected another candidate for our current job opening.

The interview committee wants you to know that it was a pleasure to meet you. We do hope that you will consider applying to our company again in the future for another role for which you might qualify.

Thank you for taking the time to come in to meet all of us at your job interview. We appreciate that interviewing is time and energy consuming. That is why we wanted to let you know that you were not selected for the current position as expeditiously as possible so you can continue your job search.

Again, thank you for your interest in our company. We hope to hear from you in the future.

Helen Smith
On Behalf of the Employee Selection Tea

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality. The site is read by a world-wide audience and ​employment laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources, to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct for your location. This information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance.

Standard Application Acknowledgement Letter

More About Sample Candidate Rejection Letters

Knowing how to decline a job offer with grace is a valuable skill. panicked on the phone, for example, then a polished email is probably better.

How to Decline a Job Offer Gracefully [Plus Email Examples & 10+ Tips]

job decline email sample

How to Decline a Job Offer With Grace: 6 Tips for Success

by Cheryl Lock, Contributing Writer  | 

Knowing how to decline a job offer with grace is a valuable skill. You need to be upfront and honest, but don’t want to burn bridges. Follow these 6 tips. Save

Here’s the good news: You’ve just been offered a job.

But, here’s the bad news: You don’t want it. You’re going to decline the job offer.

Maybe you’ve already been offered a different opportunity that you’re more excited about. Perhaps you just don’t feel like a good fit with that company and want to wait to find something more suitable. Or, maybe you were disappointed with their initial offer and know you’ll never be able to compromise.

Regardless of your specific circumstances, there’s one thing that hold true: declining a job offer can be difficult for both parties. You know you need to be upfront and honest, but you also don’t want to burn bridges or tarnish your name and credibility.

“Believe it or not, even if you don’t accept a job offer with this company right now, you may wind up vying for another of its jobs down the line,” says Brie Weiler Reynolds, a senior career specialist and career coach at FlexJobs. “Being tactful with your rejection will help these folks remember you positively, which might help in your future career moves.”

Fortunately, there’s a way you can decline a job offer with your relationships and your reputation intact.

Here are six tips on how to decline a job offer with grace.

1. Choose the medium that makes you most comfortable.

The first thing you need to figure out is how you’ll break the news. Should you show up at the office? Give them a call? Send an email?

Different communication methods have their benefits and drawbacks. So, I think this is the best golden rule to follow when turning down a job offer: use the same method they used to extend it.

If they called or left you a voicemail, then it shows the most professionalism to return their call. But, if they sent the offer via email, then it’s perfectly copacetic (and oftentimes less nerve-racking!) to type out a thoughtful message for your rejection.

Ultimately, when declining a job offer, it’s up to you to consider your unique circumstances and find the method that suits you best. If you’re convinced you’ll become too panicked on the phone, for example, then a polished email is probably better than stammering through a painful phone conversation.

it’s worth noting that if you decide to turn down a job offer through a call, sending an email may be requested so the company has something written on file. Even if that’s the case, you’ll know that the email is just a formality and that you’ve done your best to handle the rejection politely and personally with a call.

2. Start with a “thank you.”

When declining a job offer, it can seem a little counterintuitive to begin your message with a sincere “thank you,” especially since you aren’t accepting the opportunity. However, it’s important to remember that they’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and resources into the hiring process—there was the initial review of your application materials, phone screenings, and likely numerous rounds of interviews.

Once an employer has determined that you are the right candidate for a spot, it’s likely they assume you’ll feel the same way, so keep that in mind when turning down a position and be as appreciative and thankful of their time and effort as you can.That investment is worthy of your gratitude, so make sure you preface your rejection with appreciation.

What This Looks Like:“Thank you so much for this offer, and for the opportunity to get to know more about you and Company XYZ.”

3. Clearly state your rejection.

Believe it or not, this is a part that’s easy to skip when you’re focused on being so complimentary and diplomatic. Too much sugar coating confuses your message, and the hiring manager is left wondering exactly what your intention is.

When it comes to turning down a job, you need to be explicit about the fact that you’re passing on the opportunity. That doesn’t mean you need to be harsh or brutal—but, you do need to be clear that you aren’t accepting the offer.

What This Looks Like:“However, I have to decline the opportunity to fill this role on your team.”

4. Give a brief (honest) reason.

You might be tempted to gloss over any sort of reasoning in favor of getting your rejection over as soon as possible. But, the employer deserves some sort of explanation about why you’re unable to accept the position. And, providing an honest reason is usually better than leaving them to make assumptions. That said, be honest, be brief, and be specific, and the people who interviewed you will probably appreciate it.

You don’t need to dive into all of the details of declining the job offer, but you should be prepared to highlight key points—whether you’ve already accepted a different opportunity, decided that the role wasn’t quite the right fit, or have decided to stay in your current position.

It also helps to mention some of the things that you liked about the company to help soften the blow.

What This Looks Like:“I just accepted a marketing role with a different organization.”

5. Provide a recommendation.

You won’t always be able to provide a referral after turning down a job. But, if you know someone else who’s currently job searching and could be a qualified fit for that open role, offer to provide their name and contact information.

Maybe that employer won’t even need it and will instead go with their second-choice candidate. However, making the offer demonstrates a certain level of care and consideration—rather than leaving them in a lurch. If you do go this route, be sure that the person you suggest is right for the position, as well as interested. The last thing you want to do is suggest someone else for the job who will then turn it down, as well. Reach out to any potential referrals before making the recommendation and be sure to discuss details with them.

What This Looks Like:“If you’re still actively searching to fill this open position, I do know someone who could be a great fit. I would be happy to pass along their contact information.”

6. Express your desire to keep in touch.

Finally, cap off your rejection by letting them know how much you enjoyed the process and that you’d love to stay connected — assuming you developed some kind of a rapport with your interviewer. Consider contacting the people you met with after a month or so to check in and potentially grab a coffee.

The important next step? Actually do so.

Send an invitation on LinkedIn so that you can keep in touch in a casual, low-pressure environment. In fact, it’s smart to do that for anyone you came into contact with during the hiring process—you never know where those connections might lead in the future!

What This Looks Like:“Again, it was a pleasure to meet you and everyone else at Company XYZ, and I look forward to staying in touch. I just sent a connection request on LinkedIn, so definitely don’t be a stranger!”

Declining a job offer will never be something that you look forward to. But, fortunately, there is a way that you can handle it politely and professionally—and make it a little less cringeworthy in the process. Put these six tips to work, and you’ll avoid damaging your relationships and reputation, and create a favorable image of yourself that leaves the door open for future opportunities.

Looking for more opportunities?


This is a version of a post that was originally published in July 2017. 

Photo Credit:

Tags: general job seeker, job search advice, job searching

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Rejection letter or email to applicants - Letter Sample

job decline email sample

Job offer rejection letter example

If you're tempted to take the easy way out and decline a job offer verbally, express your regrets in writing instead. Here's how.

It’s more professional to write a formal letter to decline a job.

With the economy back on track, employers are more likely to make a job offer today than they were several years ago. But whether the compensation is too low, the location is inconvenient, or the job just isn’t the right fit for you, sometimes you just need to say, "No thanks." And while it may be tempting to turn down an offer verbally and leave it at that, it’s more professional to write a formal rejection letter to decline the job.

Keep these four tips in mind as you write your rejection letter letter:

  • Be prompt: As soon as you’ve made your decision, call the hiring manager and write your letter declining the offer. The company will need to offer the position to someone else, 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 considered for future opportunities. Savvy job seekers use every possible chance to network, so thank all the people you 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 suits your career objectives.
  • Be concise: This is not the place to tout your credentials and career accomplishments. The company already realizes your value, so keep your letter short and sweet.

Here’s a sample letter declining a job offer:


Catherine Harper
Operations Manager
ABC Company
50 Corporate Plaza
Sometown, ST 00000

Dear Ms. Harper:

Thank you very much for offering me the assistant manager position. 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

Find the job that's right for you

What seems like a fantastic job at first may not be such a great fit after all—and that's okay. The good news is, there are other opportunities out there waiting for you. Could you use some help finding a job that is more in line with what you're looking for? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Keep your door open, and you never know what kinds of great offers will make their way to you.



Knowing how to decline a job offer with grace is a valuable skill. panicked on the phone, for example, then a polished email is probably better.

Rejection Letter

job decline email sample

Why and How to Turn Down an Interview Invitation

By Susan P. Joyce

Not every job interview represents a good opportunity, but you don't need to make any enemies. So a graceful rejection is smart.

Sometimes rejecting an interview invitation is a good idea because the level, the commute, or the employer are not right for you now.

On the other hand, if you can do the interview without putting your current job at risk, my advice is to accept the invitation to interview, even when you are not particularly interested.


Particularly if this interview is a phone interview, the risk is less (assuming you don't take the call at work) and the reward may be substantial. So, turning down a phone interview many not be smart.

Discovering if you really want to work for an employer should be a major goal of every job interview.

If you turn down an interview invitation, you lose the opportunity to learn more about them and to expand your network by meeting people who work there.

However, sometimes turning down the opportunity is the best idea. Here's how to handle that...

Resist the Temptation to Ignore This Invitation

This may be your first reaction, and there is NO question that far too many employers ignore job applicants, quite rudely! So ignoring them feels like an appropriate response.

However, for many reasons, including maintaining your reputation as a professional and NOT burning any bridges in the future, being polite and professional is a very good idea.

The good news is that being professional may pay very big dividends in the future with this employer or these people because you have left a good impression even though you turned down this opportunity.

Don't Say "NO" Too Quickly

You usually have at least one day to respond with an acceptance or rejection, so use that time. Or, ask for that day if it isn't offered.

Trusting your inner voice can be very smart -- most of the time. Particularly if your initial response is to immediately reject the opportunity, take some time -- at least a few hours -- to carefully consider the opportunity. Do some research to confirm your instincts, or not..

If every opportunity feels “wrong” to you, you could simply be avoiding the stress of a job interview or the disappointment if you don’t get a job offer as a result. In that case, don’t trust your instincts.

But, if you don’t feel negative about every organization and opportunity, pay attention. You may be right...

Good Reasons to Turn Down a Job Interview Invitation

Sometimes, turning down the job interview is the best option for any of these reasons:

  1. This employer has been laying off staff or profits and/or revenue are down, and taking a job there feels like a risky thing to do. (Research the employer before you accept an invitation! More on how below.)
  2. You are currently employed, and going to this job interview would be taking a big gamble. The risk is greater than the potential payoff because the job doesn't seem particularly interesting or special.
  3. This invitation is for a second (or third) round of interviews for a job, and this job and organization don't feel like a good fit to you.
  4. You have interviewed with this employer for a different job and didn't feel like the organization was “right” for you.
  5. You know people who work there, and they hate it.

Other reasons to turn down a job opportunity certainly exist — bad future co-workers, manager, location, commute, pay, etc. But, you won’t know if any of those apply unless you accept the job interview invitation.

Research the Employer Carefully

Hopefully you researched this employer before you applied. When you receive an invitation to a job interview, do MORE research now:

  • Know anyone who works there now or who worked there in the recent past? Reach out to ask about their experiences there.
  • What information do the employer review sites like have about this employer?
  • Test a few Google searches to discover if any negative things have been happening with this employer, like a product failure or a recent layoff. For search query ideas, read 50 Google Searches to Avoid Layoffs and Bad Employers.

I would not turn down an interview invitation based only on a couple of bad reviews, particularly if those reviews are more than one year old or applied to a different location.

Without referencing the negative reviews, very carefully ask a few questions during the interview, related to the issues raised to see if there seems to be a basis in fact.

The Two-Step Process for Turning Down a Job Interview Opportunity

If you decide that turning down this opportunity is the right decision for you (read more below), proceed very carefully! The people you are communicating with now may be in a position to hire you into a position with your dream employer in the future.

The best approach -- think of this as a thank you note (actually, it is a thanks-but-no-thanks note, of course, but maintain the thank-you-note mindset).

First, Send an Email Message

If you are 100% certain that this is not an opportunity you want, respond quickly (within 24 hours) and carefully (!) via email. Your written message documents your response and the reason for your response.

  1. Send it to your primary contact.

    This person isprobably the HR person or the recruiter. If you have already been in contact with the hiring manager or other staff members, send separate messages to each of them.
  2. Be diplomatic.

    Don’t burn bridges, and don’t tell lies. This employer and/or these people may be exactly right for you at some point in the future, and you don’t want to have future opportunities disappear because this one made a bad impression.
  3. Be careful.

    Don’t provide ANY detail about your reasons for rejecting their invitation. Those reasons could burn bridges for you or drag you into an extended and intense conversation about why you feel that way, with demands for details you don’t want OR need to provide. Keep your rejection message “short and sweet.”
  4. Suggest another candidate, if possible.

    If the organization has a good reputation, check with appropriate members of your network to see if anyone is interested in a referral. You can help a friend and also make a few brownie points with the recruiter or employer, too.

    NOTE: Be sure to have this person’s permission before referring them, and get their best NON-WORK contact information to use.

  5. Keep a copy of the message.

    You may need a copy of the message later, like for a possible future connection with this organization or these people.

No details are required! Keep the message short and sweet, like this:

Sample rejection message:

Subject: Interview invitation for [job title] [job requisition number, or other unique identifier, if you have it]

Dear [name of person ].

I greatly appreciate the opportunity to interview for [job title] and learn more about your organization.

However, at this time I regret that I must decline this opportunity [give NO reason at all, OR add "because I have accepted a job” if that is appropriate].

My colleague [name] is a very good fit for this opportunity. You can reach [her/him] at [personal email address and, possibly, personal phone number].

Hopefully, the timing will be better at some point in the future.

Please confirm receipt of this message.

Best regards,

If you want to be really thorough, you can also print a formal thanks-but-no-thanks, and send it via snail-mail, perhaps registered with return-receipt-requested so that you have proof you did your best to respond to their invitation.

Second, Follow-Up with a Telephone Call

If you don't receive a response to your message, call to be sure that your message was received. As rude as employers may be to job seekers, you don't want them to think you have "ghosted" them.

So call them to be sure they received your email. Use your message as the script. Leave a voice mail if you must.

If pressed for the reason you are turning down the opportunity to interview with them, say that the timing is just wrong in this instance, given what else is going on in your job (or your job search).

If pressed for what is going on in your job search, simply state that you are pursuing other opportunities.

If you have suggested another candidate for the job, recommend that they contact the other candidate and provide the contact information.

Bottom Line

Sometimes turning down an interview is the right thing to do. However, if you really aren't sure you reject this opportunity down, read How to Smartly Accept Emailed Interview Invitations.

About the author...

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn.

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When you need to turn down a job interview invitation, do it carefully and quickly, hopefully not So a graceful rejection is smart. . Sample rejection message.

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