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Removing yourself from job consideration is a delicate and formal process, because you don't want to burn any bridges. Once you know you're not interested in the job, withdraw promptly rather than waiting to see whether you're offered the position. Handle the situation with professionalism by contacting the hiring manager or human resources department to announce your withdrawal.
Job Application Stage
If you've submitted an application but haven't heard back about the job, contact the hiring manager by phone or by email to request that your application be withdrawn. You don't have to provide a reason for your withdrawal. Ask the hiring manager or human resources department to keep your application on file. You might say, "I apologize, but I must withdraw my application at this time. However, I hope you'll keep my application on file in case the opportunity arises for us to work together in the future."
Offer an explanation for your withdrawal from consideration if you were invited to interview for the job. Talk to the hiring manager directly -- by telephone, email or in person -- to discuss your withdrawal. If you accepted another job, let the hiring manager know that you appreciate the company's interest in you, but that you accepted another position. Don't offer any details about the position you accepted. You can submit a letter, requesting your withdrawal from consideration, but a timely, courteous phone call or email is sufficient if you haven't been offered the position.
Formal Job Offer
Write and submit a formal letter, either by email or standard mail, explaining your withdrawal from consideration if you were offered the job. Send the letter no more than three days after the interview, according to Career Services at Marist University in New York. The letter provides documentation, so the company doesn't have to wonder what went wrong. If your reason for withdrawing is personal, you might say, "I must withdraw my application for employment due to personal reasons." You don't have to explain in great detail, but you want to assure the employer that it isn't her fault. If the position isn't right for you, state in your letter, "After careful consideration, I must withdraw my application. I don't believe my skills are a good match for the requirements of the job."
Say something positive about the company or your application experience, such as, "While I strongly admire and believe in the mission of your organization, I have accepted another offer," suggests the Office of Career and Professional Development at the University of California. Use a withdrawal-from-consideration letter to follow up on a telephone call. That way, the letter doesn't blindside the human sources director or the hiring manager, and you've already communicated your intentions verbally. If you choose to withdraw based on the terms of the offer, politely state the reasons. Leave the door open for renegotiation or a counter offer, suggests the Career Development Center at Indiana University Southeast.
- The Regents of the University of California the: Office of Career and Professional Development
- Marist University: Interview Thank You / Withdrawal from Consideration
- Virginia Tech: Division of Student Affairs: Accepting a Job Offer and Withdrawing from the Job Search
- Indiana University Southeast: Career Development Center: Decline Job Offer or Withdrawing from Consideration Letter
As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.