Getting a job isn’t easy, but believe it or not you may decline a job offer after you sign the contract. Sometimes the excitement of getting a job offer results in overlooking factors that you need to consider. Have you ever accepted a job offer but then changed your mind? Perhaps a family emergency has changed your situation, or you have gotten your career goals that you just can't turn down.
Declining a job offer takes careful consideration, and there are many reasons why people decline a job offer. But what if you sense that you would not be a good fit with the company culture, or during the discussion, you realise that the actual job does not match the job description you signed up for Do keep in mind that it's not just you. You can simply write a formal email or call the HR or hiring manager you work with and state the proper reasons. Here’s how to reject a job offer politely after signing a contract!
- **Review your contract**
Before you can decline a job offer, you need to know whether any legal issues might arise.
Did you sign a contract or an employment agreement?
If you have already signed an employment contract, you might want to make sure there will be no legal repercussions to rejecting the job offer. For example, some contracts say that you have a specific period of time during which you can reject the job or that you have to give a certain number of days' notice.
Even if that is the case, it is recommended that you communicate your situation to the company’s hiring manager. An employer may prefer to let you out of a contract rather than invest onboarding and training time into an employee who will likely quit.
Was your acceptance merely an email or phone call saying you’d love to take the job offer gracefully? In that case, declining the job offer after the fact is a much easier undertaking.
- **Decline the job offer quickly**
Like the way hiring managers turn down other candidates during the interview process, job seekers also have the right to turn down job offers. Don't worry about burning bridges. The hiring team will understand. You need to do it in a respectful and professional way that would not damage any good relationship with the company in the future.
Let the company and the hiring team know immediately if you change your mind after accepting the job offer politely. That way they can find your replacement and it wouldn’t interfere with their starting date for the available position you were offered for.
- Show your appreciation and gratitude
Remember, even though you’re rejecting the job offer, the company that hired you hasn’t done anything wrong.
In fact, the company’s hiring managers have already put time into you during the interview process and the internal candidate feedback sessions when they chose you for the job over other candidates. As far as they know, their search for an employee is over.
Appreciate their time and the fact that refusing the job offer means they may have to start the hiring process all over with new job seekers.
Instead you should thank the recruiter for the generous offer and job opportunity as it shows that you appreciate the job offer and the opportunity to meet and to learn about the company. Also don’t forget to apologize for declining the job and by sending a polite, grateful, and timely job rejection letter is a terrific way to maintain a future relationships with the employer.
- **Be honest and tactful**
Let the employer know why you change your mind, but do so without insulting the hiring manager or the company. If you realized that you don't think you will get along with the other employees, just tell them that you do not believe you would fit in with the work culture.
In this war for talent, it's not uncommon for candidates to receive multiple job offers during your job search process. And there are lots of reasons why employees are leaving their jobs in today's market. If you found a job title or job opportunity that you are much more interested in, explain that you were offered a job that is more in line with your skillset. Do not say anything negative about the company and always remain positive and give them the best wishes for the company continued success.
- **Call them**
Speaking with the employer directly (either on the phone or in-person) is the best strategy because it allows you to explain yourself more clearly and increases your chances of maintaining a positive relationship for future opportunities. You should then follow up the conversation with a letter or email confirming your conversation.
A conversation in person or over the phone is the best way to personally explain and apologize.
If you are nervous about speaking with the employer directly or if you are worried you will not be able to fully explain yourself over the phone, you can send a formal rejection letter to decline job offers.
You could simply say that it was a pleasure meeting them. Unfortunately, after a great deal of thought, you have decided to turn down this gracious job opportunity. You are truly sorry for any inconvenience this decision may cause and wish for the company success.
Follow with a brief explanation of why you have to decline a job offer. Here are some examples of how to explain your reason:
1. “After careful consideration, I’ve accepted a position at another company.”
2. “After much consideration, I’ve decided to decline your job offer to focus on roles that are more in line with my current career goals and the work I was hoping to do.”
- “I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to discuss salary expectations with me. Ultimately, I will have to decline this role/job offer as the salary is too far outside my expectations to leave my current position.”
- “After much deliberation, I will not be accepting the job offer, as it is not the right fit for my long-term career goals.”
- “After much consideration, I have decided to pursue another role that will offer me more opportunities to pursue my interests in [insert interest] and [insert interest].”
- “Unfortunately, I have decided not to accept the position, as this job title isn’t a good fit for me at this time.”
- “While this position seems like a great opportunity, I’ve decided that now is not the best time to leave my current position.”
In certain circumstances, you may need to turn down a job you've already accepted. When this happens, you can use this sample letters when declining a job offer.
Dear (employer name),
Thank you so much for the job offer for (job position) at (company). I truly appreciate and am glad for this opportunity. I was impressed with (company). It was a great pleasure to meet and talk to you.
Unfortunately after careful consideration, I have decided to decline the job offer from you. I have recently decided to accept another position that I believe is a better fit for my abilities and skill set. I am so sorry for any inconvenience my decision may cause.
I wish you the best and success to the (company).
Thank you so much for offering me the [Job Title] position. After carefully considering the compensation package outlined in your offer, I must regretfully decline. The salary does not meet the financial requirements of my current situation.
It was a pleasure meeting you and learning about your company. I wish you continued success and hope we will have the opportunity to work together in the future.
Again, thank you for your consideration.
Make sure you don't violate any rules, so read your employment contract thoroughly before you decide to decline the job. Pondering of why you should decline this job offer is very recommended. Make sure your decision is firm. Next, call the recruiter or hiring manager about your decision, better than sending an email. Tell them how you are sorry about the decision to reject the job offer and say thank you for the given opportunity to work with them. They picked you to fill in the position and spent time interviewing you, you should express gratitude.