How to Write a Letter to Decline a Job

Many companies choose to hire from within when positions become available. Being prepared to express your interest in a position that would provide an opportunity for promotion is essential to advancing your career. Typically accompanying your resume, a letter of intent for a promotion can provide evidence of your interest in moving your career forward to your supervisors and other managers. Use these tips to write a letter of intent for a promotion.


Starting to Write

Create a professional letter to demonstrate your intentions and interest in an available promotion.
  • Format your letter in a business-style format that includes your address, the employer’s address, a salutation, an orderly body of the letter and your signature.
  • Type the letter using a standard font, such as Arial or Times New Roman in 10 to 12 point size.
  • Utilize language that demonstrates proper grammar. Avoid politically incorrect phrases, profanity or other inappropriate language.
State your level of interest in the promotion at the beginning of your letter.

Explain to the reader why you’re interested, what the promotion would mean to you professionally and personally, and the aspects of the job that match your qualifications.

Send the letter as soon as possible after you hear the promotion is available.

Waiting may demonstrate to a manager or hiring representative that you are not as interested in a position as another candidate

Indicate how you would fulfill the duties of the position.

Demonstrate you understand the position by describing how you would go about the everyday tasks associated with the position. Describe the impact the position has on others, and elaborate about your intentions of working with other employees and departments within the company.

Analyze the challenges and opportunities for the position.

Clearly define any obstacles you foresee that would make realizing the goals of the position difficult. Hypothesize about how you would face these obstacles and create opportunities from them to meet the needs of the position.

Review your experience, qualities and skills.

List your education, talents and qualifications that demonstrate your ability to perform the job. Include any details about certifications or licenses you hold that make you more qualified for the promotion than other candidates in the company. Let the reader know you have the required skills for the position.

Sample Letters

Sample Letter to Decline a Job

Dear Roger,

I’m deeply sorry that another co-worker in the office had overheard a conversation that you didn’t originally intend for them to hear. I am happy that you contacted me over the issue and asked for my professional opinion so I’m going to give you my opinion:

When it comes to business and the office, that’s what kind of talk should remain in the office. When it comes to personal life, it’s highly recommended that you discuss it outside of work where there aren’t a lot of people sitting around you. Now, I’m a firm believer in keeping your comments to yourself and sometimes this isn’t always the case.

If any co-worker doesn’t drop the issue or begins to harass you, then kindly forward your report to the Human Resources department so they may deal with it.


Matt from Management

Decline a Job Sample Letter

Dear Jasperina,

I humbly beg for your forgiveness.  I was being ignorant and inconsiderate when I blurted out the remarks about your religious beliefs last night at our outing.  Totally carried away, I was lost in the heat of the argument and need to better control my own emotions, putting better sense first always.  We all have a right to own our own set of beliefs and I should be wiser as to make remarks that in any way, belittle yours.

I would be be ecstatic if you allowed me to make things up to you by preparing dinner for you on Thursday or Friday.  At 7:30 p.m. just show up to my house and I will make sure you are catered to in every way and I make the remainder of the day stress free for you.

Cannot wait to see you,


Be sure to apologize as soon after the offensive event as possible. A person's procrastination can lead to the need for two apologetic letters being written.
Sometimes there is a need to give detailed explanation of what happened but most do not. Analyzing the problem can seem more like an excuse than a genuine apology. Get to 'the point' and seek forgiveness for what happened.
If this letter is apologizing for something a child has done, there needs to be two apologies. The parent can apologize to whomever their offspring has hurt or offended, but there should be more. The child too should apologize, showing a corrective measure being taken. “Julian too apologizes and will do so again when they see you. Nothing was done with malice.”
If apologizing as an employee to a company, a letter will likely be required. This letter should include extreme details of what happened. If/When this letter of apology is turned in to a boss, it will likely be send to higher up company officials. It may also be stored on record. Make sure it looks professional. Make sure it is an accurate representation of yourself.
Sexual harassment has become an increasing problem in the workplace many have to apologize for. Where one used to get away with making comical sexual remarks or 'fooling around,' today it is a sensitive and offensive area. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, writing a letter is most imperative. It may not avoid a strike against you by the company or legal action, but there is a chance it will To take that chance to write a letter is worth its weight in gold. The letter should be written solely with the intent to ask for forgiveness. Make a clear apology. Promise it will not happen again, now that you are aware you offended someone. Do not be a part of the statistic that says most sexual harassers are repeat offenders. See the harm done, identify it, make an apology for it, and never do it again.
In customer relations, apologies can do a lot for business. The two words “I'm Sorry” can keep many customers happy. It shows your company is willing to admit fault and make up for it. Many companies make apologies by refunding, discounting, or giving customer's a material apology for the inconvenience. An end statement is also given, usually along the lines of “We value your patronage and desire a healthy relationship with you at all times. Thanks for understanding and sorry for the mistake.”