Tips to declining a job offer graciously while keeping the door open

    how to turn down a job offer but keep the door open

    Declining a job offer can be tough, but it’s important to do it politely to stay on good terms with people in your professional circle. In this guide, we’ll learn how to turn down a job offer but keep the door open for the possibility of working together in the future.

    Can you turn down a job offer but still keep the opportunity open?

    Yes, you can say no to a job offer politely and still keep the door open for future opportunities. It’s about being professional and respectful, thanking them for the chance, and turning down the offer kindly.

    How do you do that?

    Here’s how to politely decline a job offer without closing the door:

    1. Be Thankful: Start by genuinely thanking the hiring manager for the offer. Acknowledge the effort they put into considering you for the role and setting a positive tone for the conversation.
    2. Be Honest but Kind: Give clear reasons for declining the offer, but do it diplomatically. Instead of focusing only on negatives, like salary or job fit, highlight reasons like your career goals or personal situation. For example, you could say you appreciate the opportunity but have decided to pursue a different path that aligns better with your long-term plans.
    3. Keep the Door Open: Even as you decline, express interest in the company and future possibilities. Let them know you admire the company and would be open to exploring other roles down the line. This shows you’re still interested in working together in the future.
    4. Stay Professional: Whether you’re declining by email or phone, make sure your response is professional and polite. Write a well-crafted email or prepare a script for your phone call to ensure your message is clear and respectful. And always double-check for any mistakes before sending.

    Following these steps will help you gracefully decline a job offer while keeping the relationship positive, leaving room for future opportunities.

    Examples to follow


    Subject: Gratitude and Apologies – [Job Title] Opportunity at [Company Name]

    Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name], 

    I genuinely appreciate the chance to potentially join [Company Name] as a [Job Title]. Meeting you and exploring the exciting prospects within your organization was incredibly insightful.

    After thoughtful deliberation, I must regretfully decline the job offer at this time. While I found [Company Name] and its team impressive, I have recently accepted another offer that aligns better with my long-term career aspirations.

    Please know that my decision does not diminish my respect for [Company Name]. I hold your organization in high esteem and am thankful for the consideration given to me for this role.

    Thank you once again for this opportunity. I hope our paths cross in the future, and I remain open to exploring potential collaboration.

    Warm regards,

    [Your Name]


    [Your Name]

    [Your Address]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    [Email Address]

    [Phone Number]



    [Hiring Manager’s Name]

    [Company Name]

    [Company Address]

    [City, State, Zip Code]


    Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

    I want to extend my sincere gratitude for extending the offer for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. Interviewing with you and learning about the opportunities within your esteemed organization was truly a privilege.

    After careful consideration of my career aspirations, I must regretfully decline the job offer at this time. While I was impressed with [Company Name] and the professional connections I made, I recently accepted another offer that better aligns with my long-term goals.

    Please understand that this decision was not made lightly, and I hold [Company Name] in the highest regard. I am thankful for the time and consideration you and your team have shown me throughout this process.

    I hope to have the opportunity to collaborate in the future, and I am open to exploring potential prospects. Thank you for your understanding, and I wish you and the [Company Name] team continued success. 

    Warm regards,

    [Your Name]


    Hi [Hiring Manager’s Name],

    Thank you for offering me the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. After careful consideration, I’ve decided to decline at this time. I value the opportunity and our relationship.

    Though I won’t be joining [Company Name] now, I’m still interested in future opportunities. Let’s keep in touch, and I wish you and your team continued success.

    Best regards,

    [Your Name]

    It is possible to turn down a job offer without burning bridges

    Turning down a job offer nicely is important for keeping good connections in your professional circle. You can say no to a job offer without hurting relationships. Just thank them, explain your reasons honestly, and leave space for future chances. Make sure to be polite and professional in your communication. This way, you can still work together in the future.