You go to job interviews with the goal of receiving a job offer. Yet, there may come a time when you have to decline an offer. The reasons are many: You may have received a better offer, or the job may not be in line with what you are looking for. Whatever the reason, the important thing is to decline the offer in a professional manner. Give the employer a call over the phone to discuss your decision and follow up with a formal letter. It'll bring closure to the situation and help you keep the door open with the employer and the person you dealt with.
Send a formal letter declining the job offer the same day or the next day you make the call. This shows the employer you are professional and courteous. "When" you send the letter is crucial. Think of it like this: It's no different than when you receive a job offer over the telephone and you wait for the paperwork to come in the mail to confirm the job offer details. You would expect it within a day or two, not weeks later.
Show your appreciation for the offer in your letter. It leaves the relationship on friendly grounds. It's no different than when someone offers you a seat in a crowded bus. You may say "No," but adding a "Thank you!" makes a difference. It shows you appreciate the gesture. Your letter can indicate, "I'm very pleased the job offer has been extended to me."
Provide the Reason
An employer will want to understand why you made the decision. Offer a diplomatic reason without going into too much detail. You might write, "The three hour daily commute required for the job does not suit my schedule well at this time," or "I have decided to accept another offer that is more in line with the career path I want to take."
Offer Good Wishes
End your letter by offering the contact and employer your best wishes. While you are not taking the job, you can express your hopes that they soon find another suitable candidate to fill the position. This expression helps create an amicable relationship that you may continue some time in the future.
Wendy Lau entered the communication field in 2001. She works as a freelance writer and prior to that was a PR executive responsible for health care clients' written materials. Her writing experience include technical articles, corporate materials, online articles, blogs, byline articles, travel itineraries and business profile listings. She holds a Bachelor of Science in corporate communications from Ithaca College.