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How to Politely Decline a Job Offer (With Example Emails)

By | The Muse Editors |

Job offers can range from jump-out-of-your-chair-and-call-your-mom exciting to start-venting-to-the-group-text insulting. But regardless, you still need to respond.

Of course, it’s easier to reply to a job offer if you’re delivering positive news or just asking for more details or more time. But turning one down is a different story.

Whether you’re faced with an offer that you’d never accept in a million years or one that you’d consider (if not for the other, better offer you also received), here’s how to craft a gracious “thanks but no thanks.”

How to politely turn down a job offer without burning any bridges

Follow these steps to craft your email:

Step 1: Show your appreciation.

First and foremost, it’s important to thank the hiring manager for the offer and for their time. Yes, interviewing potential candidates is part of the job, but this person likely spent several hours reading your resume, trolling your social media profiles, and sitting down with you for interviews. They also may have gone out on a limb to talk you up to other people at the company.

So a heartfelt—and specific—thank you for that time and effort will go a long way. For example:

  • Thank you so much for the offer for the marketing manager position. I so appreciate you taking the time to consider me and for answering so many of my questions about the company and role.
  • Thank you again for the interview last week—it was great to meet the team and see the offices. I enjoyed learning about the operations director position, and I appreciate this generous offer.

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