How to Withdraw an Application for a Job

Man using laptop computer to prepare for interview process
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Have you had second thoughts about a job you applied for? Did you decide that you don't want the job you just interviewed for? What is the best way to tell the employer you have changed your mind? 

There are many reasons to withdraw from consideration for a position. You might realize that the job is not a good fit in terms of your skills, interests, lifestyle, or income expectations.

In addition, you may have been offered another position that is more attractive, or possibly you have suddenly been promoted by your current employer. Sometimes intervening life or health changes make a job transition less appealing after you have begun the application process.

If any of these situations apply, it is both courteous and professional to submit your withdrawal from consideration to the employer as soon as possible.

Here's information on how to withdraw an application for employment, when you need to notify the employer, and the best way to let the company know that you are no longer interested in the position.

When to Withdraw Your Application

There is no need to withdraw from consideration prior to being selected for an interview. However, once an interview has been scheduled or completed, you should inform the employer if you no longer have an interest in the position and don't plan to proceed with the process.

Here's how to decline an interview, and if you've already scheduled an interview, here's how to cancel it.

How to Withdraw an Application

You can send an email or letter expressing appreciation for the employer's time and consideration, with the option to include a reason such as how the position wasn't a good fit. Or you can call the hiring manager and advise them that you've had a change in circumstances.

If you are considering withdrawing from consideration because the specific job you were interviewed for wasn’t a great match for your skills, by all means, explain this, tactfully, to the employer. Also, ask that they take you into consideration should a more appropriate position open with their organization.

Employers may redirect outstanding candidates to a different position from the one they initially applied to if they are impressed with the person's background.

How to Withdraw With a Phone Call

If you have established a solid rapport with the hiring manager or Human Resources representative throughout the application process, it is more professional (and considerate) to withdraw from consideration with a phone call.

If possible, speak directly with the hiring manager rather than leaving a voicemail or message. This discussion could lead to referrals for other jobs or even restructuring of a more appropriate position.

How to Withdraw With an Email

Here's when to withdraw from consideration for a job via email. You don't need to provide a lot of information. Keep it simple, and don't go into lengthy explanations of why you're withdrawing your application.

What to Include in the Email 

Keep it short and sweet. Your email message should be brief. Keep your message positive and state that you are withdrawing from consideration for the job.

If you choose to explain why, present your reason simply, making sure to avoid any comment that might be construed as criticism of the employer.

Relay your appreciation. Thank the person you met with for his or her time.

Be specific in the subject of the email. The subject line of your message should state your name and the fact that you are withdrawing your application.

Don't wait to send your message. It's best to send your withdrawal letter as soon as you decide this isn't the job for you. This will enable the hiring manager to continue the hiring process with other applicants.

If you said yes, but want to say no. If you already accepted the position then changed your mind, review these tips for turning down a job you already accepted.

Letter of Withdrawal Email Example

Here's a sample email message withdrawing an application after a job interview.

Subject: Your Name - Withdraw Application

Dear Name:

I very much appreciate your consideration for the (job title) with (company). After further thought, I have decided to withdraw my application for the position.

It was a pleasure meeting you. I appreciate the time you spent discussing the opportunity with me, as well as the information you shared on the job and the company.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I wish you success in finding the perfect candidate to fill this position.

Best regards,

Your Name

Keep It Positive

No matter how you withdraw from consideration, remember to remain professional and positive. Do not go into detail about why you do not like the company, your potential boss, etc. Instead, emphasize how grateful you are for the opportunity to apply for a position at the company, and for their time and consideration thus far.

A future job opening at the company might be a better fit for you, so you should seek to remain in the hiring manager's good graces.

Hiring managers also often maintain a network with other businesses. If they are impressed by a candidate but for some reason they don’t hire them, they may proactively alert the candidate to interesting job openings with other employers.