How to Decline a Job Offer through Email

E-mail, or electronic mail, has become the preferred medium of business communication in recent years, given the flexibility, efficiency and convenience it affords. Most companies have internal servers setup for e-mailing and use the same for responding to, or dispatching official messages.

If you received a job offer you wish to decline, it is always polite and proper to decline it in person, or inform the human resources department on the phone. However, if you think sending an e-mail in this regard is more convenient, it is important to go about it carefully.


  • 1

    First of all, you need to get the correct contact address for the company or organization’s HR department. A company may have several e-mail addresses but not all of them are for correspondence regarding hiring and appointments. If you received an official e-mail with the job offer, it is likely that it was sent by the HR department - check it to see if there is a named person in it who you can respond to. If you have official mail from the organization, the letterhead may also have contact information. If nothing works, you can always visit the organization’s official website and look for the ‘Contact’ page.

  • 2

    Once you have their e-mail address, login to your own e-mail account (preferably the one you used for correspondence earlier) and create a new e-mail using the compose option.

  • 3

    After entering the e-mail address you found earlier, enter the subject of the email in the ‘subject’ box. The subject needs to be concise and to the point. If you are declining a Sales Executive offer, you can type Re: Job offer – Sales Executive – (Your name). ‘Re’ in this case shows the receiver that you are responding to something.

  • 4

    Start the e-mail with a proper salutation, addressing the HR department or the person who sent you the job offer. Begin by thanking the management for offering you the specific position and continue to explain why you have to ‘regretfully’ decline their offer. Try and give a proper reason for your decision, making sure your message is considerate and expresses gratitude.

  • 5

    If there is a genuine reason preventing you from taking up the offer at this particular time, mention the fact that you would like to apply again in the future if the circumstances change.

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