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You’ve sent a CV and covering letter, been summoned for an interview, prepared and researched, dressed up and sat through an interview and followed all of the essential job advice and tips and, finally, you've been offered a position. But actually, for whatever reason, the job is not for you. Maybe you've been offered something better. Perhaps you just didn't think it was right. How do you tell the employer that you will not be accepting the offer?
Like any letter to a prospective employer, a rejection letter should be:
It should also include all your contact details, even though the employer is not likely to have lost them since your application or interview.
Start with a brief thank you for the offer of a position and express gratitude for anything for any interest and time invested in interviewing you.
When writing your rejection, there is no need to explain your reasons for declining the offer in too much detail. That being said, if the reason for not taking the job is one you are happy to share, for example the offer of higher pay, more sociable working hours, more opportunities for progression or a role better suited to your skills, then don’t be afraid to mention this in your letter. You never know, if the employer really wants you, they may try and match or beat other offers.
Also important is not to burn any bridges or close any doors if possible. You might not want to take this job now but, who knows, somewhere down the line you could find yourself applying for another position at the company and you want them to remember you as professional, friendly and interested in the work they do. So remember this when writing your rejection letter.
As with all letters to employers, check spelling and grammar. Check again or get someone else to check. Mistakes are inexcusable, even if you are rejecting a position.