How To Reject An Internship Offer Professionally & Politely (+ Examples)

how to reject an internship offer example

Knowing how to reject an internship is similar to knowing how to reject a job offer. This is a skill that you’re going to have to learn in your career.

When you and an employer discuss the potential of working together, both individuals have made a time commitment. And that time commitment should have a degree of respect associated to it.

This is the reason why learning how to politely decline an internship offer is going to bode well for your in your career because there is a significant chance you will have to do this with an employer once more.

How To Politely Decline Your Internship Offer

The steps to politely decline your internship is going to differ based on the actions that you and the employer have taken together.

For example, if you both have spoken over the phone regarding your internship offer. Then you’ll want to be sure that you connect with that employer by phone and have a discussion about declining their offer. If you spoke by email, use email.

Be sure you take into account the relationship you have with them and know what they prefer.

The general steps to politely decline your offer by phone:

Related: To Whom It May Concern (2019): Capitalization, Sample Letters, Expert Tips

If you’re going to decline the job offer by email, be sure you keep some of the same rules above, but follow these steps:

Related: How To End A Letter: Examples Of Salutations, Closings, Sign Offs

Example Email Declining The Internship Offer

Here is an example email declining an internship offer. The structure is polite, simple, shows gratitude and gets to the point.

Dear Ryan —

I want to first say how thankful I am that you offered me the internship. I have such a great degree of respect for you and the company and I’m completely honored that you offered me the opportunity to work with you.

Unfortunately, I’ve decided that another internship fits with my career path a little better and I’ll be taking that.

I’d really love the opportunity to work with you on a full-time basis if that arises.

Thank you so much,

Related: Resignation Letter (2019): Full Guide, How To Write It, Templates, Samples

Example Email Subject Lines For Declining The Internship

Here are some subject lines you can use when sending your email to the employer:

Related: How To Quit A Job You Just Started: Full Guide, Examples

Keep your subject line pertinent to the conversation you’ve been having with them. Make it clear so that the email stands out against any other types of email they might be receiving.

Tips For Declining the Internship

If you can, be sure that you follow some of these basic rules for keeping your relationship with that potential employer, intact:

Internship Resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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