It’s never nice having to reject someone, but sometimes it’s something we have to do.
All you can do is reject or let them down politely, and in a way that doesn’t upset or offends them.
Something I’ve had to do a number of times!
Here are some examples showing you how to reject politely in an email: samples you can use:
How to Reject Politely in an Email Sample
There are endless scenarios and situations where you might need to reject a request politely by email, here are some examples:
Politely Rejecting Someone for A Job Position
Thank you very much for coming in and interviewing for the [position] job on the [date].
You were clearly well prepared and came across well. It was a tough decision for us here at [company] but on this occasion, I regret to inform you that you were not successful.
I hope this doesn’t dampen your enthusiasm too much and that you will apply for other roles with us in the future.
Thank you again for your time, we wish you all the best in your job search.
I’m writing to inform you that unfortunately, you have not been successful in your application for the position of [position].
We received a high volume of applications and after careful consideration, we have selected another candidate whose skills and experience more closely match our requirements.
I will say that it was an incredibly difficult decision, however, and we were more t than impressed with you during your interview.
Thank you for taking the time to apply and we wish you all the best in your job search.
Politely Rejecting a Request for A Meeting
If you run a successful business I’m sure you get all kinds of requests to attend meetings that you know aren’t worth your time.
The best thing you can do is politely reject these requests without burning any bridges.
Here are a couple of templates you should be able to tweak and use for this purpose:
Thank you very much for your email and kind offer to meet up.
Unfortunately, I’m currently swamped with work and won’t be able to take you up on it.
I appreciate your offer and will be sure to reach out to you if I get some availability in my calendar in the near future!
Thank you for your offer to meet and discuss the [topic].
I’m currently in the middle of a lot of projects, so I won’t be able to attend on your proposed dates.
I’m sure it will be a great meeting, and I look forward to hearing about the outcome afterward!
Politely Rejecting Sales Offers
If there is one thing I get more of than meeting requests, it’s sales offers and companies trying to form partnerships with me.
I’ve become pretty good at politely rejecting these offers over the years without damaging any potential future relationships.
Here are a couple of examples you can use:
Thank you very much for getting in touch and sending through your proposal.
Unfortunately, this isn’t something we’re interested in at this time as it doesn’t align with the things we are working on as a company.
I appreciate the time you’ve taken to put this together and I will be sure to keep you in mind for future opportunities.
Thank you for your offer and for extending your proposed partnership to us.
After careful consideration, we have decided that it’s not something we’re interested in at this time.
I do think it has potential, however, and I am hopeful we can revisit this further down the line.
Thank you again and best of luck with your endeavors.
Politely Rejecting a Job Offer
Thank you very much for interviewing me for the [position] job yesterday.
I appreciate the time you took to speak with me and learn about my qualifications.
However, I regret to inform you that I’m not going to be able to accept the offer you proposed.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Thank you for your generous job offer proposal.
However, after careful consideration, I have decided that it’s not the right fit for me.
I enjoyed meeting you and [others] and gaining some valuable insights into a company like [company name].
It isn’t the right offer for me right now, but I hope you will keep me in mind for future opportunities.
Thank you again for your time.
Here is how to reject an invitation to dinner;
Here is how to reject a job interview without offending anyone;
Here is how to reject an invitation from friends to hang out;
Why It’s Important to Be Polite When Rejecting Someone by Email
When you’re rejecting someone, it’s important to be polite in order to avoid damaging any potential future relationships.
Not to mention it’s just good manners and common courtesy!
When it comes to business, you never know when the person you’re rejecting today could be the person you need to partner with or work for in the future.
Plus, on the human side, just think about how it feels to be on the receiving end of a rejection email of any kind.
It never feels good, right?
So, the least you can do is make sure you’re being polite when you have to turn someone down.
Call it manners, good karma, or just the right thing to do, for the sake of a little extra time I will always go out of my way to be polite and sincere when letting someone down by email.
Good Etiquette When Rejecting Politely by Email
I thought I’d finish by covering some good basic etiquette when rejecting someone politely by email to keep in mind:
- Reply promptly – the sooner you reply, the better. The recipient is probably anxiously waiting for a reply, so get it over with as quickly as possible.
- Thank them for their time – even if you’re rejecting or letting someone down, they still took time out of their day to meet/email you. So, thank them for their time.
- Use their name – using the recipient’s name makes the email feel more personal and less like a form letter or canned response.
- Get straight to the point – there’s no need to beat around the bush, just state that you’re rejecting their offer/request politely and directly.
- Briefly explain your reason for the rejection – if you can, let them know why you’re rejecting their offer so that they have closure and can improve for next time.
- End on a high note – finish the email on a positive note by again thanking them for their time or wishing them well in their future endeavors. It’s a small compensation, but a nice thing to do.
I hope you found the templates, samples, and information in this article helpful when crafting your own emails to politely reject someone.
Remember, it’s always better to be polite and professional than cold and heartless!
Do you have any other tips or examples of how to reject someone politely by email?
Please share in the comments below!
Image credits – Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.