With unemployment at record highs, many job seekers feel lucky to receive any job offer. But whether the compensation is too low, the location is inconvenient or the job just isn't the right fit for you, sometimes you just need to say, "No thanks."

And while it may be tempting to turn down an offer verbally and leave it at that, it's more professional to write a formal letter to decline the job. Keep these four tips in mind as you write your letter:

Be Prompt: As soon as you've made your decision, call the hiring manager and write your letter declining the offer. The company will need to offer the position to someone else, and you don't want to hold up the process.

Be Courteous: You may be turning down this position, but you might want to be considered for future opportunities. Savvy job seekers use every possible chance to network, so thank all the people you interviewed with and wish them and their company continued success.

Be Diplomatic: If you've received another, more generous offer, avoid mentioning the details of the position you're accepting. Let the hiring manager know that you were impressed by the company and carefully considered the offer, but you are accepting a position that better suits your career objectives.

Be Concise: This is not the place to tout your credentials and career accomplishments. The company already realizes your value, so keep your letter short and sweet.

Here's a sample letter declining a job offer:

Nov. 17, 2011

Catherine Harper

Operations Manager

ABC Company

50 Corporate Plaza

Sometown, ST 00000

Dear Ms. Harper:

Thank you very much for offering me the assistant manager position. After careful consideration, I regret that I must decline your offer. Although you were most encouraging in outlining future advancement possibilities within ABC Company, I have accepted another opportunity that is more in line with my skills and career goals.

I enjoyed meeting you and the rest of your team. You have been most kind and gracious throughout the interview process, and I only wish that circumstances allowed me to accept your offer.

Best wishes for your continued success.


Tom Greenwood


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