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Turning Down Job Offers without Burning Bridges

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Summary: In this Q&A article, learn how to politely decline a job offer to preserve a potential future professional relationship.


Question: I’m graduating this June and have been fortunate enough to receive several job offers. What is the best way of declining an offer? Should I give the actual reasons for not accepting, or could I just say I am declining because of personal reasons? The truth is that I’m waiting for something better.

Answer: In declining an offer, the exact wording is not as important as the message and tone conveyed. The goal is to graciously decline while holding the door open for future opportunities. Express appreciation for the time spent and interest expressed. Briefly explain that you are continuing your search or have accepted another position at this time. Refer specifically to aspects of their company that impressed you and indicate that you would very much like to keep the door open should your paths cross again.

Turning Down Job Offers without Burning Bridges by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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