I had accepted an offer letter from an employer 45 days ago, but now I got another (better) offer letter from a different company. Now I am wondering, what should I write in a letter to HR at the first company in order to inform them that I will not be joining them after all? I was supposed to start in 15 days.


3 Answers 3


Declining an offer after already accepting it is very unprofessional (at least) and maybe illegal (breaking some terms of contract), it can also severely burn bridges for you. Moreover, in your case, you took 3/4th of the time to revise your decision - which makes it even worse.

Read the offer letter acceptance criterion carefully and if you're ready for the facing the consequences (if any) of backing out, send an email mentioning:

"Hello, I regretfully inform you that due to the circumstances, I will not be able to join your organization. It was a pleasure having the chance to be part of the organization. Thanks."

Keep it short and simple.

  • Can you please mention what to write in subject. Thank you.
    – r15
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 13:53
  • 1
    Do you have a contact? I'd maybe use the last communication from them as the subject -- "Start Date", or "Offer", or whatever. Go off of what the last communication was, and apologize for having to back out. Don't feel bad for doing what is best for you and your family.
    – Keith
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 14:21
  • @Keith - Thank you for your motivation. Yes I have contact number. Go off of what the last communication was?
    – r15
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 14:58
  • 1
    That's probably how I'd do it. If they sent an offer letter, reference that.
    – Keith
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 16:01

Make it very short and simple.

There is nothing you can say that will change what you have done.

Let them know now, so they can get started on either contacting another finalist, or starting the search over.

Now keep in mind depending on what you signed, and what country you are in you could be in violation of a contract with penalties.


You have no obligation to write an apology letter, and in my personal opinion, it would be pretty tacky to do so. If you haven't signed anything with the first company, you didn't commit to them yet and it isn't too late to change your mind. They will (or, at least, should) understand this. Simply tell them that you've changed your mind about the offer and move on.

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    @JoeStrazzere A moral commitment or legal commitment?Currently its a promise you are breaking (the company has not give you anything and you have not done anything for the company).The commitment happens when you do work for compensation.Not saying that breaking a promise will not have consequences but having not received anything I would feel no obligation if a better opportunity turned up.I like think about it from the company perspective;If the company had a change in its situation would they give me a second though in canceling the job opportunity. Most American companies would not. Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 19:26
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    @JoeStrazzere So you are never ever going to leave the company you currently work for no matter what the situation? I seem to remember you committed to them when you accepted their initial offer. Commitment is a two way street. Employee will work for you the company and the company will pay the employee. As long as scenario is Mutually beneficial. Either party may break the commitment at ANY time when they no longer feel that it serves their best interests (that's why we have contracts). Commented Jun 8, 2019 at 3:21
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    @JoeStrazzere Now I make a commitment to my friend I will keep that commitment. Unless something like my mother dies! I am going to the funeral; and I would expect a friend to understand the situation. All commitments are situationally dependent (there are no absolutes). Commented Jun 8, 2019 at 3:24
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    @JoeStrazzere If you give your word. And would keep that commitment no matter the situation. Then you are a better man/woman/person than any others I have ever met. Commented Jun 8, 2019 at 3:28
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    @JoeStrazzere Maybe if we don't use the highly negative phrase "broken commitment", but rather we use the term "Give a notice of a change in situation". If we look at America employment most companies are "at-will". Either side can make a change at any time. I see no difference of you giving notice and the OP giving notice. Commented Jun 8, 2019 at 12:50

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