How to reject a job offer (with examples)

Drake Editorial

You’ve gotten through the job interview stage, but what happens when the job doesn’t align with your career goals or salary expectations? Whether you are looking to counteroffer or are in the position of being offered multiple opportunities, sometimes it’s necessary to decline an offer.   

Deciding against a role takes careful consideration, and there are many reasons why people end up rejecting an offer. Let’s explore the most common reasons why a role might not be a good fit, and how to respectfully decline an offer to avoid burning any bridges with a potential future employer.  

The role doesn’t pay enough

Employers may ask for your salary expectations to get a sense of whether they can afford your help, and gauge how much you value your work. 

In most cases there is an opportunity to negotiate a salary before you think about declining an offer. However, if the company can’t match your salary expectations, you may wish to politely explain this further when you decline the offer. 

You can communicate by first expressing your thanks, and reaffirming your excitement about the position, stating that you must decline due to the salary. 

Thank you for the phone call yesterday and the offer for the role of [Job title] at [company]. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to discuss salary expectations with me. Unfortunately, I will have to decline this role as the salary does not meet the financial requirements of my current living expenses. 

Thank you for the opportunity, I wish you and the company all the best.


The employer may come back to you with a better offer so be prepared to discuss a counteroffer if a higher salary would make all the difference.

You have applied for multiple roles at once

The trick is to be honest with the hiring manager or recruitment consultant from the beginning. 

Make sure you still communicate your current excitement for the role and position, but that you must respectfully see your other interviews through. They will appreciate your honesty and may even provide a more competitive offer at the time. 

If you eventually decide on an opportunity from another company, make sure you stay on good terms with a polite and professional response.    

Hi [Name], 

Thank you so much for offering me the position. After careful consideration, I have decided to accept a different position and won’t be able to accept this offer. I appreciate the time spent interviewing me and introducing me to your organization. It was a difficult decision, and I wish you success in finding the right person for the role. 

Thank you again for your time.

The role or company isn’t what you expected

It’s not uncommon to go through the interview process to later realise that the company or role doesn’t match your first impressions. 

Occasionally, the work environment, company culture, or role requirements can cause a candidate to decline a job offer. If something about the company doesn't sit well with you, explain that the job isn’t the right fit. 

Hi [Name], 

Thank you very much for offering me the position of [Job title] at [company]. Unfortunately, I have decided not to accept the position, as it isn’t the right fit for me at this time. I truly appreciate the offer and your consideration. Thank you again for your time and I wish you all the best in finding someone suitable for the position.

Making the right decision

You have spent time perfecting your resume, searching through countless job opportunities, and even several rounds of interviews to finally receive a job offer. Only to now feel even more uncertain of your next move. 

If this is a role you really want, take it now. However, if you have interest in some other positions that you might also be successful for, then the offer on the table might not be right for you now.If you can afford to decline an offer or stretch it out for as long as possible, then this could be the right strategy for you. 

Over time this process will become natural, and your dream role might only be a couple more offers away.   

Looking for a new opportunity but are not sure where to start? Browse our latest jobs, sign up for customised job alerts, or give one of our friendly consultants a call on 13 14 48



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