Thanks, But No Thanks: How To Turn Down a Job Offer

Remote Job Hunting

How To Turn Down a Job Offer

The job offer is not quite your dream gig? We dish red flags & how to politely decline job offers that aren’t right for you (+ an email template!).

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Landing a remote job offer is a major win! But before you hit "accept" and blast celebratory emojis across all your socials, let's take a quick pause and make sure this opportunity is truly a golden ticket to remote work bliss.

Not all offers are created equal, and that enviable work-from-anywhere flexibility can come with hidden not-so-cool caveats.

So this article can help you navigate that post-offer decision like a pro!

We'll discuss what separates a good remote job offer from the red flags that might mean it's anything but. Then we'll cover how to politely decline job offers without burning bridges.

After all, while the phrase "there are other fish in the sea" applies to the remote job market, you never know when a recruiter, hiring manager, or company may cross your path again in the future.

So, we'll even share a template for what to say in a job offer rejection email to ensure you get this right (you're welcome).

Let's start with the positives:

💎  Spotting the Gems: What Makes a Good Remote Job Offer?

Picture this: you're scrolling through WWR (shameless plug, but hey, we do have the best remote jobs!), and a position catches your eye.

After you decode the secret language of job descriptions, you quickly realize that it ticks all your boxes. You apply immediately, master the art of remote interviews, and finally receive a job offer.

Consider these points when evaluating a remote job offer to see if it’s right for you:

🙌  The Company Culture Vibes are High 

Value alignment is essential for employees and organizations. Meshing with the company culture means supporting its mission and ways of doing business. This increases the odds of feeling valued and like you belong.

During the interview process, you should get a good vibe from the team and feel confident that you'll be well-supported in your role.

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Ask yourself:
  • Do the company's mission and values resonate with you?
  • Does the company culture vibe with your personality?
  • Is there a culture of teamwork and collaboration?
  • Do the employees seem engaged or miserable?
  • What do employee experiences on review sites reveal about the organization?

💰  A Stellar Compensation and Benefits Package

Let's be real: money isn't everything, but it's certainly a big deal. A competitive salary, health insurance, paid time off, stock options, retirement contributions, and more of the best company benefits all add up to a job offer that hits the mark.

So don't be afraid to negotiate for a compensation package that reflects the value you bring to the table.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Is the pay in line with industry standards for your experience and skillset?

  • Is the compensation structure transparent?

  • Are there opportunities for raises or bonuses?

  • Does the benefits package offer health insurance, paid time off, wellness stipends, mental health support, and other perks that fit your needs?

  • Is there room to negotiate a personalized compensation package for your individual needs?

🤑  Definitely worth a read: How To Negotiate Your Salary for The Remote Job of Your Dreams (With Email Template)!

⚖️  Flexibility and Work-Life Balance

Remote work is all about flexibility: you should be able to work where and when you're most productive. So ask these questions to determine what degree of flexibility you'll actually have:

Schedule flexibility ties into work-life balance. WFH can easily blur the lines between being "on" and truly disconnecting. Working your own hours shouldn't translate to endless late-night emails or working weekends.

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To determine whether your potential gig offers this, ask:

  • Does the company outline clear expectations for working hours?

  • How does the organization encourage a healthy work-life balance and respect employee time outside work hours?

  • Do leaders encourage employees to take time off and recharge? Is there a mandatory minimum amount of time off per quarter or year?

  • How do leaders ensure manageable workloads and prevent burnout?

🤔  Psst! Do you know how to set healthy boundaries at work remotely?

🌱  Growth Opportunities

Stagnation is a major buzzkill, so always look for organizations that support your professional growth and career building. This could take the form of:

💻  Equipment and Support

Feeling well-equipped is essential for setting up a productive workspace and securing remote work success. So check your job offer to answer these questions:

  • Will the company provide you the necessary equipment (laptop, high-speed internet, etc.) to perform your work?

  • Will you receive a remote work stipend to make your workspace ergonomic and comfy?

  • Is there a coworking space allowance?

  • Do they offer support systems like a comprehensive remote onboarding period, regular check-ins, and clear communication channels should you have questions?

Pro Tip: Always ask questions during your interviews and the offer stage! This is your chance to clarify any doubts and ensure the position is a good fit for both you and the company.

It's perfectly acceptable to negotiate a job offer before accepting.

❌  Red Flags In a Job Offer: When To Say “Nah, Thanks”

Even though a remote job offer might sound tempting at first glance, there are times when it's best to politely decline. Here are the biggest red flags to watch out for:

☣️  Toxic Company Culture

Does the company culture glorify overwork and hustle culture? Does the interview process or company reviews reveal a workplace with constant negativity or poor communication? Trust your gut and avoid this red flag.

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🫤  Lowball Salary and Lackluster Employee Benefits

If the compensation and benefits package doesn't even come close to your expectations, and there's no room for negotiation, it's a clear sign to walk away.

Don't settle for less than you deserve! Plenty of incredible remote employers will value your talent and compensate you fairly — keep searching WWR to find them!

🙃  Unclear Expectations

Did the interview process feel confusing or leave you with unanswered questions?

Clear communication is essential in any job but especially important for remote teams with limited face-to-face interactions.

A good offer outlines clear expectations regarding workload, communication, deadlines, and more. If things are vague now, it could definitely spiral into major stress down the road.

😬  Micromanagement Mayhem

Being micromanaged is a recipe for remote work misery. Constant check-ins, excessive monitoring, and a lack of trust can make working remotely feel downright suffocating.

Look for offers from organizations that foster trust between teams and empower everyone to do their jobs independently.

👎  Limited Growth Potential

Every opportunity you take should align with and get you closer to achieving your long-term career goals. After all, life’s too short for dead-end jobs.

Politely turn down any role that doesn't challenge you, ignite your passion, or provide the opportunity to learn and grow in your career.

So, after weighing these remote work job offer considerations, you may now need to learn:

How To Turn Down a Job Offer with Professional Politeness

After combing through the offer details and enduring some soul-searching, you've realized this particular opportunity isn't the perfect fit. That's okay!

Turning down a job offer happens to the best of us at some point in our careers. The key is to do it professionally and politely, leaving the door open for future possibilities.

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Here's how to decline a job offer while maintaining a positive relationship with the company, hiring manager, or recruiter:

🙏  Be Prompt and Express Gratitude

You should always respond to a job offer as soon as possible — within 24–48 hours. This shows you respect everyone's time and don't want to leave anyone hanging.

When deciding how to decline a job offer after an interview, an email or phone call are both acceptable.

Start by thanking the hiring manager for their time and consideration throughout the interview process. Express your sincere appreciation for the opportunity.

Something like this works well:

Dear [Hiring Manager Name],

Thank you so much for offering me the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the role and your company during the interview process.

✍️  Clearly State Your Decision

Be clear and direct in stating your decision to decline the offer. No need to beat around the bush.

A simple, professional statement like, "After careful consideration, I've decided to decline the offer for the [Job Title] position at this time," will suffice.

✨  Briefly Explain Why (But Keep It Positive)

You don't need to go into a novel-length explanation, but if you're comfortable, you can offer a brief reason for your decision.

A concise explanation shows respect and can help the company improve its future hiring practices.

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Here are some options, depending on the situation:

You're seeking a better fit. If you're going to decline the job offer for another position, highlight what you're looking for in your ideal role. Or focus on how the opportunity better aligns with your career goals.

In this case, use these examples for how to say no to a job offer:

  • I'm currently looking for an opportunity that aligns more closely with my long-term career goals in [Your Area of Focus].

  • While I was very impressed with [Company Name]'s mission and the team I met during the interview process, I've decided to pursue a role that offers more opportunities for [Specific Skill Development].

  • I was very impressed with [Company Name], but I have received another offer that is more aligned with my long-term aspirations.

You'd like a better cultural fit. If you don't vibe with the company culture, try to highlight a specific aspect that wasn't an ideal fit. Just be tactful to avoid negativity here. 


  • While I was impressed with [Positive Aspect of the Company], [Deal-Breaker Detail] is an important factor for me in a remote position.

  • While I appreciate the offer, I'm still actively searching for a role with a bit more [Specific Aspect That Was Missing, e.g., growth opportunity, flexibility, collaboration, time off, etc.].

You need a better compensation package. If you want to politely decline a job offer due to low salary, go with:  

  • I'm truly grateful for the offer, but I'm currently exploring other opportunities that might be a better fit for my current needs.

  • While I was very impressed with [Company Name] and the opportunity, I'm currently prioritizing roles that offer a compensation package that aligns with my long-term career goals, which includes [Specific Financial Goal or Benefit, e.g., a competitive salary that reflects my experience in X, or a comprehensive benefits package that includes Y].

🧐  Express Your Continued Interest (Maybe)

If you're open to future opportunities with the company, let them know you're interested in staying connected.

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For example:

"I wish you all the best in finding the perfect candidate for the role. Should a future opportunity arise that aligns more closely with my goals, I'd be very interested in learning more."

💫  End On a Positive Note

Thank them again for their time and consideration, and wish them well in their search. Here's a closing that ties it all together:

"Thank you again for your time and effort throughout the interview process. I wish you the very best in filling the role and achieving the goals we discussed during our conversations."

📄  How To Reject a Job Offer: Email Template

Follow this job offer decline email template to make it easier and quicker to deliver the news:

Subject: Job Offer - [Your Name]

Dear [Hiring Manager Name],

Thank you so much for offering me the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. I truly appreciate the time and consideration you've shown me throughout the interview process.

After careful deliberation, I've decided to decline the offer at this time. 

I was very impressed with [Company Name]'s [Specific Attribute You Liked] and the team I met during my interviews. However, [Briefly Explain Your Reasoning Here].

I wish you all the best in finding the perfect candidate for the role.

[Optional: I would be grateful if you could keep me in mind for any future openings that might be a better fit for my career goals.]

Thank you again for everything.

[Your Name]

🐟  There Are Plenty of Fish In the Remote Job Sea

Declining a job offer can feel nerve-wracking, but remember, it's a sign that you're self-aware and focused on finding the perfect role.

Don't settle for anything less than an opportunity that excites you, values your skills, fuels your career goals, and fosters a healthy work-life balance.

So, keep searching, keep learning, and keep your standards high. We know there's a remote job out there with your name on it!

🚀  Find the remote job that ticks all the boxes on your wishlist on We Work Remotely — the #1 remote job board!Sign up for your Free Job Seeker Account or learn the perks of upgrading to a Pro Job Seeker Account to accelerate your job search today!

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