How to decline an offer graciously

Posted: November 23, 2011

You got the offer! You should be excited right? Well, sometimes the offer does not meet your expectations (if this is the case—come in and see us at ECS, we may be able to help!) or you feel that the company just isn’t the right fit for you. That is totally normal. Just remember that you don’t want to burn any bridges so if you find yourself in this situation here is what you should do…

First, you MUST inform the employer as soon as possible that you are not going to take the position. A phone call is preferred but they may ask you to follow up in writing. Always leave the door open for future possibilities, so remain polite and professional. You don’t have to go into detail about why you’re declining the offer.

Here’s what you might say:

Dear Mr. Jones,

I truly appreciated the opportunity to meet with you and your team at XX Company on October 3rd. The site visit was extremely interesting and informative, and the position seems very challenging. However, under careful consideration, I must decline your offer of employment. I wish you the best of luck in your recruiting efforts. (You might even want to wish them luck on a certain project or initiative they might have mentioned in your interview.)

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,

Ima Buckeye

Remember to decline graciously and in a timely manner. Holding onto an employment offer that you have no intention of accepting is not appropriate. That is seen as a disservice to your fellow students and the employer. Please respect their timelines and focus on the next company that will come along!

"It is tact that is golden, not silence."
-Samuel Butler