How to Cancel a Job Offer

by Richard Bashara

    Cancelling a job offer can be a difficult decision, especially if you are competing for two equally compelling jobs. When you have made your decision, be sure to practice proper business etiquette to help preserve your reputation. Your industry may be smaller than you think, and word travels fast.

    Step 1

    Call the hiring manager after you have decided that you are declining the job. You should take some time to prepare a verbal statement to avoid sounding off the cuff and disinterested, but you should not let this time drag out.

    Step 2

    Be clear about why you are declining the job offer. If it helps, write what you want to say to the employer on a sheet of paper or type out bullet points so you can stay focused during the discussion.

    Step 3

    Leave the hiring manager with something positive to ensure you don't burn any bridges. Summarize what you like about the company and the job you are declining.

    Step 4

    Follow up with a written note thanking the hiring manager for his time and for offering you the job. Show appreciation and be respectful. The hiring manager most likely chose you from many potential applicants, so be sure to thank him for the opportunity.


    • Avoid using job offers as a tool for negotiations. If word gets around that you look for new positions to coerce pay raises from employers, your reputation could be irreparably damaged.

    About the Author

    Richard Bashara writes for various entertainment and technology publishers. He has been covering topics such as dating, Comic-Con and the technology trade since 2007. Bashara holds a B.A. in writing.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images