How To Decline a Job Offer You Already Accepted: A Guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

It's possible to find that, after careful consideration, you have decided that the job offer you had previously accepted is no longer a suitable job for you and so you intend to turn it down. Declining a job offer can prove to be advantageous in multiple situations, so it's useful to understand how to do it professionally. There are many reasons why you may choose to decline a job offer that you have already accepted. In this article, we explain how to decline a job offer you already accepted with professionalism and provide templates to guide you.

Related: How to Decline a Job Offer Professionally (Including Email Templates)

How to decline a job offer you already accepted

When you reconsider a job offer, you might be wondering how to decline a job offer you have already accepted. If that's the case, it's important to act quickly and professionally. These six steps provide guidance on how to decline a job offer you already accepted:

1. Decide if you're certain

Before making any hasty decisions regarding the declining of a job offer that you have already accepted, ensure that you are certain that you wish to do so. Take time to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of turning down a secured job offer, plus what you intend to do moving forward, such as securing another job or taking time out to reflect. You may also benefit from discussing your thoughts with someone you know so that you can hear from an outside perspective.

2. Check over your contract

If you are certain that you wish to decline a job offer that you have already accepted, your next step is to check over your contract if you have already signed one with your employer. More specifically, read the terms and conditions relating to the termination of your contract, as some employers may have obligatory stipulations that it's important for you to follow. Such stipulations could include a time frame during which you can decline your offer without consequence.

3. Consider any alternatives

Before sending your declination of the offer letter, it's important to consider any alternative options that may persuade you to stay. Options that this could include are pay raises, different working hours, such as a flexible schedule, or fewer responsibilities. If any of these factors are the reason why you have decided to decline the job offer, then you could consider renegotiating the terms of the contract and role with your employer.

4. Act quickly and decisively

One of the most pertinent things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to decline a job offer that you have already accepted is to act quickly and with decisiveness. This is because employers appreciate knowing that they need to find a replacement for your position and need as much time as possible to do so. Acting promptly also increases the chances of employers respecting your decision to decline the job offer.

5. Send a declining letter

If you have decided that declining the job offer is the choice you wish to make, you can now begin to draft a letter doing so. In this letter, it's essential to be tactful and openly express your reasons behind your decision. It's vital to avoid insulting the company as this could damage any potential for future relationships or job positions in the future. It's also a good idea to express gratitude to the company for giving you the opportunity, in addition to your best wishes for them in the future.

Related: How To Decline an Interview in a Professional Manner

6. Learn from the experience

Once your letter has been received and your job offer officially rescinded, you can now begin to learn from the experience and move forward. Reflecting on your reasons for declining the job offer is important, as it allows you to refocus your priorities regarding your career. You can then continue with your job search and find a position that is better suited to your needs.

Making the decision to decline a job offer that you have already accepted

Choosing to decline a job offer already accepted isn't a decision to take lightly. There are many factors that may influence your decision, including the following:

  • Security**:** If you feel like a job position does not offer you enough security or stability in the long-term, turning it down in favour of a position that does provide you with this affords you peace of mind.

  • Growth**:** If the position offered to you does not have ample opportunity for career growth in the future, you may want to consider declining it in favour of a role that does have the capacity for promotions in the future.

  • Wages**:** If the advertised wage for a position is lower than expected or does not meet your wage requirements, turning it down could afford your financial security in the future once you secure another role.

  • Culture**:** If the culture and work environment with the job offer clashes with your ideal work environment, you may wish to continue job searching until you find a position that aligns with your expectations.

  • Turnover**:** If a company has a high rate of employee turnover, this could be indicative of a larger underlying problem with the company, so you may wish to consider continuing to seek employment elsewhere.

  • Aspirations**:** If your long-term career goals can not be met or moved closer through this role, then you may consider instead finding a role that does help you move towards your end aims.

Reasons for declining a job offer that you already accepted

There are many reasons for declining a job offer that you have already accepted. These reasons can range from personal reasons such as a change in health or finances, or employment reasons such as changing your projected career path or wanting a change in your work environment. It's important that you identify and can explain your own reasons for declining a previously accepted job offer before you articulate this to the employer, so you can offer them a genuine reason for them to respond to, if possible.

Declining an already-accepted job offer template

Here is a template to decline a job offer that you have already accepted that you can tailor to your individual needs:

Template:

[Your full name]
[Your address]
[Your city, county and postcode]
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]

[The name of the hiring manager]
[Company name]
[Company city, county and postcode]

[The date]

Dear [Name of the hiring manager],

I thank you for the offer of the position of [job title] within [name of the company]. It's a source of delight and gratitude to me that you have offered me this position, in addition to the opportunity to work within a company as respected as [name of the company]. Unfortunately, after careful consideration, I have decided that it's necessary for me to turn this job offer down. There are circumstances that have influenced my decision to do so, as I shall outline to you below.

[Offer an honest and concise explanation of your reasons to decline the job offer.]

Once again, I thank you for the opportunity, and I wish [name of the company] every continued success going forward.

Kind regards,
[Your signature]
[Your name]

Related: How To Write a Formal Email (With Template and Example)

Declining an already-accepted job offer example

Using the above template, here is a worked example of declining a job offer that you have already accepted:

Anna Smith
123 South Road
Bromley
London
BR1 L3Y
01234 567890
anna.smith@email.com

Adam Jones
Jones Accounting
12 Bromley Road
London
BR1 R0M

Thursday 7th October 2021

Dear Adam,

Thank you for the offer of the position of Administrative Assistant in Jones Accounting. It's a source of delight and gratitude to me that you have offered me this position, besides the opportunity to work within a company as respected as Jones Accounting. Unfortunately, after careful consideration, I have decided that it's necessary for me to turn this job offer down. There are circumstances that have influenced my decision to do so, as I shall outline to you below.

Following a health scare earlier this year, my father has become ill. As a result of being widowed and without extended family, my family only has me to turn to for assistance. Because of this, it's necessary for me to leave the area in the next few days to take on the role of his live-in carer. As I am unsure about the duration of this arrangement, the full-time in-office position that you have offered is no longer tenable for me.

Once again, I thank you for the opportunity, and I wish Jones Accounting every continued success going forward.

Kind regards,

Anna Smith

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