Declining a Job Offer Graciously: An Email Template

Posted March 5, 2019, by Emily Garbutt

When you decline a job offer you may feel tempted to write a long eulogy as guilt guides your writing hand. However, you definitely shouldn’t ramble on for too long as you flatter your interviewers, and try to carry out the divorce kindly.

As well as the golden rule of keeping your decline message short and sweet, here are a few other important points you should always follow:

Firstly, reply promptly. As soon as you’ve made the decision, let them know. No-one likes to be ghosted. Besides they’ve spent time on you, and given you an opportunity. Give them the decency of a quick reply (once the decision is done).

Secondly, stay professional, friendly and polite. Last impressions count. Declining your offer in a positive way, can mean in the future you could have the opportunity to interview with them again. Don’t close the door, you never know when you might change your mind and want to apply to them. Or what if a different opportunity comes up with the same company, and you’re gnawing at the bit to land. When that happens you’ll be glad you declined their offer professionally.

Thirdly, thank them for their time and for giving you the offer. Gratitude and grace can never hurt when turning someone down, in any scenario.

Lastly, do make sure to decline your offer in writing. If you’re not sure what to write, then check out our e-mail template below.

Before you know it, you can stop procrastinating and get that message sent!

Subject line:

Job Offer for [name of position] – [your name]


Dear [insert name],

Thank you very much for the offer you sent me [today/yesterday/last week]. I was very happy to receive this from you. However, after careful consideration, I have decided to turn down the position.

I do regret to decline your offer, but in the end, I have decided to accept a different offer which aligned better with my [career goals/ passions/ skills].

Meeting with you all, and going through the interview process with [insert company name] has been a valuable experience. I am very appreciative of the time you have taken to put us all through our paces.

Thank you again your time, I wish you all the best in finding a suitable applicant and I hope our paths will cross again in the future.


[your name]

Our handy job hunting tips will help you handle every step of the job hunting process with ease! While you’re here, download a free copy of our Interview Essentials eBook packed with loads of expert tips and insights. 

Emily Garbutt

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