How to Tactfully Decline a Job Offer Due to Salary + Examples

Declining a job offer due to salary is one of the harsher realities of job hunting. If you have little experience, you might feel uncomfortable and guilty about it. However, being honest is the best thing you can do in this situation.

Let’s look at what steps you can take to decline a job offer due to a low salary and make the entire process as painless as possible for yourself and the hiring manager.

Can You Negotiate Salary Before Declining a Job Offer?

It is possible to negotiate salary before declining a job offer. Engage in open and professional communication with the potential employer to discuss your salary expectations and determine if there is room for negotiation. This approach demonstrates your interest in the position and allows for possible compromise. You lose 100% of the salary negotiations that you don’t attempt.

What to Consider Before Declining a Job Offer Due to Salary

Let’s imagine for a moment that negotiations are off the table, and it’s a “take it or leave it” moment. Before you decline the job offer outright, remember that a job is more than just a salary. Think of the company culture, financial situation, and other potential opportunities you could pursue. 

If the offer isn’t that far off from where you would like to be and the culture is a tremendous long-term fit, taking the job may be more rewarding in the long term. On the other hand, if there is inadequate possibility for advancement, it may be another dead end and time to resume your search. 

How to Decline a Job Offer Due to Salary

Declining a job offer is never easy, and it can be very emotional. It is always important to remain professional and composed when declining their offer. This is especially important if this is a company you still admire but could not come to amicable terms with. By maintaining your poise, you leave the door open for future possibilities. Maintaining these connections may serve you in the future. 

Rejecting a Job Offer During an Online Interview

The tips outlined below apply equally to in-person, phone, or online interviews. Be courteous and let the recruiter know the proposed salary does not match your current financial needs. Ask if they can explain how they reached that figure.

All sorts of things can go wrong during an interview. For example, you might be informed that none of your references responded. If you can provide some other credentials to support your case, this may provide an opening for you to negotiate a reconsideration.

At this point, you can gauge their reaction and wait for their next move. Perhaps they will be willing to reconsider their offer and develop a better proposal. If that’s not possible, remain composed, thank the recruiter for their time, and communicate any interest you may have in future job openings. Always know where you stand and be willing to walk away.

How to Decline a Job Offer Due to Salary (Sample Letter)

Sending a rejection letter to a prospective employer after you’ve decided against the offer is a quick and effective way to communicate your decision. A rejection letter doesn’t have to be long. Making it short and to the point is better.

Here’s how to decline a job offer due to salary sample email that you can use:

Subject: Response to Job Offer – [Your Name]

Dear [Recruiter’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the job offer extended to me for the position of [Job Title] at [Company Name]. It was a pleasure to meet with you and learn about the company, its values, and the exciting opportunities this role presents.

After careful consideration, I have decided not to accept the offer as it currently stands. Although I am truly enthusiastic about the position and the prospect of contributing to the success of [Company Name], the proposed salary does not meet my expectations based on my experience, skills, and the industry standards for this role.

Please let me know if there is an opportunity to discuss the salary further. I would be more than willing to reconsider the offer if the salary package can be adjusted to better align with this range.

I want to reiterate my enthusiasm for the position and my strong interest in joining the [Company Name] team. I believe that my background and skills make me an excellent fit for this role, and I am confident that my contributions would be valuable to the organization. 

Please let me know if you would like to discuss this matter further or if there is any additional information that I can provide to help in your decision-making process. I am looking forward to your response, and I truly appreciate the time and effort you have invested in my candidacy.

Thank you once again for considering me for this opportunity.


[Your Full Name]
[Your Email Address]
[Your Phone Number]

Even if you have declined, the hiring manager might tell you that they will think about it and call you later. To wrap things up, we’ve included a few frequently asked questions about declining job offers related to salary below.

How do I know if the salary offer is too low for me?

To determine if a salary offer is too low, research the average salary range for similar positions in your industry and location. Take into account factors such as your experience, education, and unique skills. Websites like Glassdoor, Payscale, and can provide valuable insights. If the offer is significantly below the average range or your expectations, it might be considered too low for you.

How can I maintain a positive relationship with the employer while declining?

To maintain a positive relationship, approach the situation with professionalism and courtesy. Be honest about your reasons for declining the offer, express gratitude for their time and consideration, and emphasize your interest in their company. A polite and respectful approach can leave the door open for future opportunities and keep your professional reputation intact.

Can I decline a job offer after accepting it due to salary concerns?

Yes, it is possible to decline a job offer after initially accepting it. However, it’s essential to handle the situation delicately and professionally. As soon as you realize you have salary concerns, communicate them openly with the employer. Be honest about your reasons, express regret for any inconvenience caused, and show gratitude for the opportunity. Keep in mind that reneging on an accepted offer may impact your relationship with the employer and your professional reputation.

Can declining a job offer due to salary negatively impact my career?

Declining a job offer due to salary concerns will not necessarily negatively impact your career, especially if you handle the situation professionally and respectfully. Make sure to communicate your reasons clearly and express appreciation for the opportunity. Remember, it’s better to decline an offer that doesn’t meet your needs than to accept one that could lead to dissatisfaction or resentment. However, be mindful of your reputation in your industry and avoid making a habit of declining multiple offers without good reason.

Author: Kinda Frugal

Expertise: Money, entertainment, family, and travel.


Being “kinda” frugal to us means finding joy in simplicity and embracing the art of maximizing our earnings and getting the best value out of every dollar spent. It’s not just about saving money; it’s about creating a life that aligns with our values and dreams.

As we grew and evolved, we couldn’t help but share our experiences beyond just frugality. Our site now covers many topics close to our hearts, like entertainment, family, relationships, travel, and the latest trends. It’s become a hub of inspiration and practical advice for leading a fulfilling life in all aspects.