Withdrawing a job application can be a tricky process. Many people might feel bad and guilty about doing it.
Whatever reason you may have, notifying the hiring company regarding your intention to withdraw is a must.
According to experts, here’s how to withdraw a job application:
Head of Job Market Research, JobSearcher
It’s always a difficult decision to withdraw from a job application. But if you’ve decided that it’s not the right job for you, or if something comes up that makes you unable to take the job, here’s how to do it:
Follow these tips to make the process as smooth as possible for you and the hiring manager:
Keep your explanation short
Keep your explanation short and to the point. You don’t need to go into a lot of detail. A simple statement like, “I’ve decided this isn’t the right job for me,” is sufficient.
Be professional and courteous in your explanation
Be professional and courteous in your explanation. Remember, you’re withdrawing because it’s not the right job for you, not because you don’t like the company or the people there. Thank the hiring manager for their time and consideration.
Give a simple reason to the hiring manager
It’s always a good idea to give a reason for your decision. Again, you don’t need to go into a lot of detail, but a simple explanation will help the hiring manager understand your decision.
For example, you might say, “I’ve decided to pursue a different opportunity that’s a better fit for my skills.”
Follow this email example:
Subject: Request to Withdraw My Application
“Hello [Hiring Manager],
Thank you for considering me for your company’s [position title] position. I wanted to let you know that I have decided to withdraw my application.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to apply, and I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
I appreciate the time you’ve taken to review my application and speak with me about the opportunity.
Senior HR Business Partner, Zety
Offer to recommend someone else in your place
Even if you decide to pull out of the recruiting process, you can still bring value to your would-be employer.
A great way to put a positive spin on your withdrawal email is to offer to recommend someone else to fill the position. Try to use your connections to help the company find the perfect candidate.
Maybe you know someone with just the right qualifications, who isn’t entirely happy with their current job, or one of your friends is actively looking for work?
Let the employer know if you have someone you could recommend in your place.
If you can’t think of anyone right now, let them know that you will try to find out if anyone in your network with a similar profile is open to a job change.
Connections are everything. The reality of the professional world is that it’s smaller than we imagine it to be and that we never know who we might run into again, maybe even at a focal point in our career.
That’s why it’s important always to try to leave the best impression.
Here’s a sample email example:
“Dear [Hiring Manager’s name],
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to participate in the recruiting process for the position of [position title].
I sincerely appreciate the time you took to interview me and provide more details about the role and your company.
After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I have decided to withdraw my application. I have accepted an offer from another company, which seemed like a perfect fit for me.
If you’d be interested, I can recommend a candidate with a similar profile to mine who might be interested in the position. I’d be happy to share their CV and contact information.
Thank you again for your time and consideration. I wish you good luck with finding the right person for the position.
You should contact and let the recruiter know immediately
While certainly not mandatory, a well-written withdrawal from a job application letter is always a sign of class and being considerate.
There are many reasons why an applicant’s circumstances may change (at a moment’s notice), so it’s always appreciated when a candidate can remove themselves from the running to save everyone’s time.
In other words, when you know that you no longer want to be considered for employment with a given organization, you should contact and let them know immediately.
With that in mind, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Being sincere, direct, and to the point is all it takes to inform the HR department of your desire to withdraw your application from their consideration.
While you may choose to state the reason for your decision, you’re certainly not obligated to do so.
Here is a sample letter template to do just that:
“Hello [name of the recruiter and/or hiring manager],
I am grateful for your consideration of my application for the position of [name of the job] at [name of the company].
However, I’d like to withdraw my application for the position at this time.
Once again, I would like to sincerely thank you for the time to interview me and share information about this opportunity at your company.
I do not doubt that you will find an excellent candidate to fill this role.
Sincerely [or Gratefully or Best],
Marketing and Procurement, Belledorm
Sometimes, life happens, and you’re unable to honor certain commitments. The same goes when entering the job market and sifting through the best possible offers.
Over the years, I’ve been both the provider and recipient of withdrawal from job application correspondences. In both instances, there are a few professional guidelines you should follow:
Send a withdrawal from a job application letter physically or via email
Depending on your circumstances or preferences, you can send a withdrawal from a job application letter physically (through the mail) or via email.
I recommend sending this correspondence through email, though, as it is the quickest and most convenient mode of communication.
Remain courteous and professional at all times
Whatever the case is, it’s important to remain courteous and professional at all times. Ensure your intentions to withdraw your application are explicit in both the letter or email subject and within the content of your communication.
Don’t forget to express your gratitude for being considered
Additionally, don’t forget to express your gratitude for being considered by the company regarding their job application and a potential job offer.
Give a reason why you’re withdrawing your application
Regardless of whether you cross paths again in the future, it’s essential always to leave things on a positive note. You are welcome to give a reason why you’re withdrawing your application, but you are not obligated to do so. Ultimately, keep your communication clear and brief.
Hypothetically, if I were withdrawing my name from a job application, this is the kind of email I would draft:
Subject: Intention of Withdrawal from [company name and advertised position] Job Application
“Dear [hiring manager’s name or interviewer’s name],
I hope you are well. Thank you very much for including me on the shortlist for [name of the position you applied for].
It is with the most profound regret that I cannot accept your generous offer at this time. I appreciate you taking the time to discuss a potential working relationship and wish you the best with finding a suitable candidate for the above position.
I hope you have a great day, take care.
Tina Hawk, SHRM-SCP, sHRBP, SSHR
SVP Human Resources, GoodHire
Send a professional email before or soon after an interview
The best way to withdraw a job application is through a formal email, before or soon after an interview.
Withdrawing a job application requires sending a professional, respectful, and, most importantly, crystal clear email. You might feel sad or apologetic for having to do so, but it’s essential not to be clear in your language, leaving nothing up to interpretation.
The only instance where it would be more appropriate to withdraw your application via phone is if you’ve established a good relationship with the hiring manager.
In such a case, it might seem not polite to send an email when you’re close enough for a phone call to feel acceptable.
Here’s an example of a good email for withdrawing a job application:
Subject: Applicant Name – Withdraw Application
I want to thank you formally for your time and consideration regarding my job application for the role of X. Upon further reflection; I have decided to withdraw my application.
I hope you will understand my decision and that it doesn’t cause any significant inconvenience for you in your hiring process.
I appreciate the opportunity to interview for this role, and I wish you success in your search for the perfect candidate.
CEO and Founder, RebateKey
Include any identifying details like an application number or last name
Most applications include an application number or at least the applicant’s last name in the subject line. In the same way, make the process easier for the employer or hiring manager by including these details in the headline, including a “Withdrawal of Application.”
If an interview is scheduled, notify the HR or employer ASAP
During hiring season, companies’ schedules are often hectic. It is best to inform them ahead of your decision instead of going through the interview only to say that you are no longer interested in the role. Allow them to give your slot to other potential applicants.
Tactfully explain the reason for the withdrawal
If the reason for the withdrawal is a mismatch, it is best to be open about it. You can also respectfully ask to remember you once a more appropriate job role opens up. Similarly, you can indicate the other reasons for your withdrawal.
This can include personal issues, other circumstances, or better job offers. Who knows, they might offer you accommodations if they don’t want to let you go.
Thank you for considering me for the role of [role] in your company. After carefully weighing my options, I’ve decided to withdraw my application.
While I am ecstatic about [good points about the company that you are excited about].
[Place reasons here: I found that my skills do not match the job description/ I still lack the skills to perform the necessary duties of the role/ I was recently given a better opportunity elsewhere/ I have personal issues to tend to]
Again, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to learn more about your company and for the chance to be a part of it.
Head of People, PhotoAiD
Make it without damaging business relationships with companies you withdrew
There are various reasons why people decide to withdraw their job applications. Frequently, job seekers apply for many jobs at the same time. While their numerous hiring processes are taking place, they are hired successfully.
As a result, they must give up other job opportunities. What matters is how to make it without damaging business relationships with companies you withdrew.
Although you may not want to work there right now, networking is still beneficial for your future career.
Make the withdrawal politely
Respect recruiter’s time
Respect their time. Recruiters spend time reading and evaluating every job application. Therefore, declined applications mean wasted time for them.
Respect the time they use for you, apologies for your decline, and express appreciation. It can suffice to add the line “thanks for your time” in your email.
Express what you liked about that position in your email
Highlight your favorite aspects of the job offer. A simple withdrawal of an application can give the impression that you were unhappy with the job offer.
If you don’t want to miss out on a future opportunity, express what you liked about that position in your email. You will leave a positive impression and demonstrate your desire to rethink that job position in the future.
Explain why you withdrew your job applications
Explain your reasons clearly. People speculate about what we left unsaid. Therefore, explain why you withdrew your job applications.
It will clarify the situation and build your credibility and trustworthiness. The company will be more likely to maintain a networking relationship with you.
Monster Career Expert
Be polite, professional, and brief
If you’ve already started the interview process, you can inform your primary contact at the employer, such as a recruiter, that you would like to withdraw your candidacy. Be polite, professional, and brief.
You may want to say on the phone or write in an email, “Thank you for the opportunity to interview for this position. After further thought, I’d like to withdraw my application at this time.”
If you noticed toxic red flags during the interview, you do not need to reveal the reasons why you’re withdrawing. If you’re asked, you may want to keep it short and sweet, “It’s just not the right fit.”
If the reason for withdrawing is due to salary, you may want to add a line:
“The salary is unfortunately below my expectations. However, if another role is available in the future with the salary of $X [insert salary amount], please contact me as I would be happy to pursue the opportunity.”
I’m a former corporate recruiter and when candidates withdrew their applications, what was most important was how they behaved during the exchange.
Some candidates were considered for future roles that better aligned with their goals. They were professional and left things on a positive note.
However, a few unprofessional candidates (demanding language/emails, sour grapes, etc.) were not contacted again about future roles.
That’s why it’s crucial when applying and interviewing to think about how you’re presenting yourself to the employer for this specific role and future ones.
And for the relationships you’re building with the employer — when you withdraw, it’s not an anomaly, but when you’re professional and courteous, you may be considered for another role there in the future!
Founder and Managing Director, The Recruitment Lab
Be direct, to the point, and leave no ambiguities
As a candidate, you can withdraw your job application at any point in the recruitment process. You have to be direct, to the point, and leave no ambiguities when you do so.
This doesn’t mean you are unprofessional. You are simply saying you are no longer engaging in the process. Depending upon your relationship with those conducting the recruitment process, you either drop them an email or make a phone call.
Thank the hiring managers for their time
Thank them for their time and state that you wish to withdraw from the recruitment process. It really is that simple.
Do you give a reason for your decision? Maybe, it is, after all, your choice, and you should not feel any pressure to do so, but this is where things potentially become more complex.
Stating you have accepted another role, decided this is not quite the proper role for you can help the recruiters at the other end understand your rationale. It also helps keep those bridges intact for another day!
If your reasons are something beyond the norm, they haven’t conducted themselves in a manner you expected, or you have read something online that makes you feel this is not the organization for you.
I think you can reasonably expect some further dialog on the matter in question.
The more negative the issue, the longer and deeper the dialog. Employers should want to protect their branding, and if something is wrong, they may wish to learn and correct it. Finding a job is hard work!
Therefore, unless you feel strongly about things and expect some kind of apology, I’d be inclined not to overly invest your time and energy with an organization you reject.
Keep focused on your goals and find an excellent job with a great organization.
Head of SEO, On The Map Marketing
Notify the prospective employer via a letter of withdrawal
As an SEO Growth Director, I would like to say once you’ve determined that you’re not required or interested in a job opportunity, the first step is to notify the prospective employer via a letter of withdrawal.
Many people simply vanish when they decide they no longer desire the work, leaving the employer in the dark about what went wrong.
This is unprofessional behavior that should be avoided at all costs. Notifying the applicant in writing of your decision to withdraw the application serves two reasons. To begin, it establishes your reputation as a professional.
It should be formatted similarly to any other professional correspondence
Second, it serves as a record of your retirement in a formal manner. It should be formatted similarly to any other professional correspondence if you are mailing a physical letter.
You should begin by writing your contact information, the date, and the prospective employer’s contact information. There is no need to include the employer’s contact information if you send the withdrawal letter by email.
It should be addressed to the individual who contacted you to schedule an interview
Additionally, your contact information might be included in your email signature at the conclusion. Your withdrawal letter should be addressed to the individual who contacted you to schedule an interview.
Your letter or email’s subject line should be quite specific. Begin the letter with a polite salutation and quickly go on to the letter’s purpose.
Jonathan Brockman, P.C.
Practicing Attorney and Founder, Brockman Injury Lawyer
Withdraw your application as soon as possible to prevent wasting their time
Suppose you find yourself no longer looking for a job you previously applied for.
In that case, the best thing that you can do is withdraw your application as soon as possible to prevent the hiring manager from wasting any time reviewing your submission, which might reflect poorly on you if you were ever to apply for a position there again.
Be as honest as possible in these situations
The best strategy is always to be as honest as possible in these situations while not diminishing your possibilities of getting a job with that company in the future.
So what you need to do is open with your name and your application number if you have it to help the hiring manager find your submission with ease.
Next, state why you have to withdraw your application, whether you’ve already secured a position at another company or decided that this job is no longer what you’re looking for.
Make sure that you say that you’re happy to be still contacted
Finally, make sure that you say that you’re happy to be still contacted (if that’s true) and that you are happy for them to keep you on file. If you want them to delete your information, you also need to make sure that you mention that.
CEO and Founder, Lift Vault
The applicant should maintain a professional relationship with the company
As a business leader, there’s nothing worse than filtering through job applicants and finding out that one of the top candidates on your list isn’t interested in the position, to begin with.
If a candidate learns more about a position and respectfully withdraws their application, it’s a great sign of respect and professionalism.
Here’s how that conversation can go, so the applicant can maintain a professional relationship with the company if they choose to pursue a job with them in the future.
Most people think of the hiring process as a much more robust and formal interaction than it really is. There’s a lot of pressure on each side of the equation, which often gives unequal bargaining power to the company.
Job seekers should remember that they also have in-demand resources in this negotiation, as they’re offering the company human capital. That’s an incredibly significant position to have.
Through the interview process, job seekers must remember that they’re interviewing a company just as much as the company is interviewing them. That means it’s absolutely okay to learn that the job isn’t for you at the end of the day.
Withdrawing your application allows the company interviewing you to move on and look at other applicants and actually saves them time in the long run.
Inform the hiring team via email and let them know you intend to pull yourself from consideration
When you withdraw your application, reach out to the hiring team through email and let them know you intend to pull yourself from consideration for the job. You don’t need to add too many details, as that can appear ungenuine.
State your intention to pull yourself from the hiring pool
Instead, state your intention to pull yourself from the hiring pool. If you’d like, you can invite that the company keeps your information on file for future consideration or include that you’d like to keep in touch with the hiring team about future positions that may be a better fit at a better time.
The biggest thing is to keep your messaging short (in the interest of time) and professional.
Head of Human Resources, Leena AI
Withdrawing an application after being considered for a position is normal, but there are a few things candidates should keep in mind while doing so:
The withdrawal should be informed through a formal and transparent medium
Firstly, the withdrawal should be informed through a formal and transparent medium, such as an email.
Secondly, the candidates should thank the organization for the opportunity given and state the reason for withdrawal clearly and concisely.
Finally, the message should be presented positively, rather than criticizing or expressing any negative feelings for the organization.
A sample template of a withdrawal email should look like this:
“To [name of HR or hiring manager],
Thank you for providing me with this opportunity and considering me for the position of [name of the position] at your esteemed organization.
However, I regret to inform you that I have decided to withdraw my application from the process. I have taken this decision after giving much thought to it.
Due to [reason for withdrawing], I decided that withdrawing the application is the best option.
I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused. I wish you and the team the very best in your future endeavors.
Managing Partner, Summit Search Group
Withdraw it as soon as you know you need to
Some candidates put this off because they want to avoid the confrontation, but this won’t do you any favors—it only delays the inevitable.
The sooner you notify the company that you must withdraw, the sooner they can shift their attention to other candidates, and they will appreciate your consideration of their time.
Be gracious and professional
Even if you haven’t yet reached the interview stage, thank the hiring manager for their time and consideration. You never know if you’ll want to apply for a different position with this company in the future, so it’s wise to conduct yourself professionally at all times to leave that door open.
Do not over-explain
If you’re withdrawing because you’ve found another job, that’s worth telling them because it lets them know you aren’t available for other positions they may have open.
However, if you’re withdrawing for another reason, that’s not something you need to share with them. A simple “I do not wish to be considered for this position any longer” is sufficient in most cases.
You don’t want to include any negative things you’ve heard or learned about the company if those are your reason for withdrawing unless they specifically ask you for that feedback.
Director HR, Mullen and Mullen
If you have received a better offer from a good company, you might be thinking about how to withdraw your job applications to other companies.
Use the portal to withdraw your application
Firstly, if the portal has an option to withdraw your application, you can use that option.
Secondly, companies usually have stages of assessing the candidate, and if you fail to participate in any of the stages, you are not part of the recruitment process then.
Thirdly, you can simply email the HR person you have contacted and explain to them how you can’t be part of the recruitment process anymore as you have secured a job.
Show the receiver that you are incredibly grateful for the time and effort they have invested in you
- Firstly, you need to show the receiver that you are incredibly grateful for the time and effort they have invested in you till the present.
- Secondly, give clarity when you withdraw your job application because you want to leave a good impression of yourself.
- Lastly, inform them in a timely manner rather than informing them a few hours before the interview.
Attorney, Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP
Include your application number to speed up the process
Withdrawing a job application is the most polite way to rescind a submission without wasting anybody’s time. Personally, it’s a great way to show that you’re still a professional.
Whether you are withdrawing because you don’t think that the job is the right fit for you anymore or because you’ve been successful elsewhere, you must let the hiring manager know.
A tip I’ve passed on to many people is to make sure that you include your application number if you have it available to speed up the process for the people dealing with applications.
It’s also a good idea to know who the people working in HR or hiring are to refer to them by name potentially.
You can choose to disclose why you’re withdrawing your application if you want to, but I don’t think that it’s imperative – the goodwill is in actually letting them know that you are no longer applying.
If you want them to keep your details for future reference, feel free to let them know or request that they keep you on file. However, you can also request that they remove your information from their files and state that you don’t wish to be contacted again.
CEO and Founder, SignWell
Be clear, honest, and transparent in your email
Assuming you want to be polite but aren’t interested in the role, it’s essential to be clear, honest, and transparent in your email to the company.
Explain why you’re withdrawing from the candidacy
Explain why you’re withdrawing from the candidacy, whether that’s because your values don’t align. You were checking out the position, and it’s no longer the right fit, or even if the person you interviewed with said something you disagree with and can no longer move forward.
Go to the person who first reached out to you about the role
Next, it’s key to go to the person who first reached out to you about the role. Whether a recruiter or an HR lead, make sure your message gets to the correct person, not just the last person you interviewed with.
They’ll be the ones interested in your reasoning and can effectively take you out of the running (so you don’t get any awkward follow-ups).
Organizational Psychology Professional | HR Expert, AfroLovely
Keep your communication polite and concise
When withdrawing a job application, the point to keep foremost in your mind is that you do not want to burn any professional bridges.
Regardless of your reasons for withdrawing, keep your communication polite and concise, and don’t make any negative comments about the company.
Don’t leave the company hanging. As soon as you decide that the job is not suitable for you, let them know, so they have time to consider other candidates.
Be sure that it’s about you and not the company
Thank them for the opportunity to be interviewed. You can add that you enjoyed meeting the team/hiring manager. There is no need to go into a lengthy explanation about why you have decided to withdraw.
If you decide to give a reason, be sure that it’s about you and not the company. For example – you have decided to take a different career path/ accept a position elsewhere.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why would anyone want to withdraw a job application?
Found a better opportunity: Applicants might discover a more suitable or attractive job offer elsewhere and decide to choose that offer over the current one.
Personal reasons: Life circumstances such as family problems, health concerns, or relocation plans may change, making the position no longer suitable for the applicant.
Incorrect application: Sometimes, applicants discover that they have applied for the wrong job or that their application contains significant errors, causing them to withdraw their application and possibly reapply later with a corrected application.
Change of heart: An applicant may re-evaluate their career goals or interests and conclude that the job is no longer a good fit for their desired career.
Accepting another offer: If applicants have several job offers, they may accept one and withdraw their applications to the other companies.
Can withdrawing an application affect future employment prospects with the same company?
In most cases, withdrawing an application should not negatively impact future employment prospects with the same company, especially if you handle the withdrawal in a professional and courteous manner.
Employers understand that circumstances change, and applicants may have legitimate reasons for withdrawing their application. Some employers even appreciate your honesty and see it as a sign of integrity.
However, it is important to maintain a positive relationship with the company by promptly and respectfully communicating your decision to withdraw your application.
If you leave a good impression when you withdraw your application, the company may be more inclined to consider you for future positions.
Keep in mind that the impact on your future employment prospects may also depend on the culture of the company and how the application withdrawal is perceived by the hiring manager or HR representative.
What if the employer tries to persuade me to stay after withdrawing my application?
If an employer tries to persuade you to stay after you have withdrawn your application, consider the following steps:
Listen. Listen to the employer’s reasons and take the time to objectively evaluate their offer.
Re-evaluate. Reconsider the job, considering any new information or changes the employer presents.
Make a decision. If you still feel that withdrawing your application is the best course of action, stand by your decision and thank the employer for understanding.
What if the employer doesn’t respond to my withdrawal request?
If the employer doesn’t respond to your withdrawal request, you may consider the following steps:
Follow-up: If you haven’t received a response within a week, send the employer a polite email or call to ensure they received your message.
Remain professional: Regardless of the employer’s response or lack thereof, continue to handle the situation professionally.
Move on: Once you have informed the employer of your decision, focus on other employment opportunities and trust that your message has gotten through.
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