To accept or decline…

I got the job… now what? There are decisions to be made here. The first one is the easiest.

Accept, simple as that. Let HR know you are willing to move forward, sign all the initial hiring paperwork and get ready for the next chapter in your life. Okay so there’s more to it than that, but in a nutshell you apply for the job, they want you and you accept.

But what happens if you decide you don’t want the job or need a little more time to think over their offer without blowing your chances. The course of action that is taken here must be handled with the utmost tact and care. What you don’t want to do is turn down the offer in a way where you could never re-apply in the future or worst, accept and you aren’t really happy with the terms. Trust me after being there for a while you will start looking for ways out.


Declining an offer:

Once you realize that the job isn’t the right fit for you after all let the interviewer know right away. But, before you call sit down and write out what you want to say, a few talking points if you will.

Always start off by thanking them for their time. Remember they put in the effort necessary to look over your resume and ultimately pick you out of the bunch.

Next politely state that you have decided to not accept their offer after careful consideration.

If they ask what the reason for not accepting is, calmly state job “x” had more in line of what you were looking for at this moment. You don’t have to divulge too much information about another job you have in mind. At this point some employers will try and push further to see if salary played a part and will try and match if they can. If salary was your deciding factor and they can match it or offer a little more then you are all set, remember get everything in writing (receipts or it didn’t happen).

If they don’t ask then before you end the call thank them again. You never know if you will want to re-apply at that company in the future, it may be a little hard to do if you’ve left a bad taste in their mouth from before.

Another option is to write a letter that is brief and put down the same things you would say if you were on the phone with them.

Example of a rejection letter

Interviewee name


                                City, State Zip Code




                                Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss Last Name,

                Thank you very much for the offer of (title of position) with (company name). Unfortunately at this time I have decided to accept a positon with another company.


                My sincerest appreciation for taking the time to interview and share with me information on the position and your company.


Again thank you for your time and consideration.





The reason you are declining the job offer in your letter may spark them to offer a different position if they feel you are the right fit.


Buy more time:

Never accept the offer on the spot, take the time to consider all the pros and cons before committing. Evaluate all the benefits the job is offering and make note of the things you can do without.

Write out your dream job and compare it to the offer package. Keep in mind this is not a perfect world we live in, so there is no guarantee you will find a job that aligns with everything on your checklist.

Show the employer that you are eager about the opportunity but would like a little more time to decide. This shows that you are interested and will aid in the company giving you leeway to think about their offer.

If there were any questions that you felt were left unanswered, now is the time to ask them. This includes benefits such as: 401k, paid and unpaid vacations, normal work hours, peak seasons of activity, and company culture. Getting a handle on these subjects will better solidify if this company is the right fit for you.

Give a hard deadline for when you will have a decision made and stick to it. This is a great way to showcase how you are committed to sticking to your word and plus it leaves no room for procrastination. You wouldn’t want your time wasted so don’t waste theirs.

Negotiate if you are still feeling uneasy about the opportunities the company is offering. Don’t let a good job pass you by because the commute was a little longer than you wanted. Instead ask if there is a possibility of you telecommuting a couple days out of the week.

If there are other offers on the table that want you also, let them know you have another job offer from company “A” and give them the same hard deadline. Compare the opportunities of all the companies and make your decision.



The takeaway from this article is that jobs are never really set in stone; it’s how you make the most of your situation that counts. If you find out later down the road that the job you accepted is not really what you wanted no worries. Put in the time to gain the experience necessary and start afresh.


2 thoughts on “To accept or decline…

  1. Yes I learned NEVER accept an offer where they’re offering you less than what you’re worth because it could take 3-5 years to receive the pay they should have offered you in the first place.


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