How To Politely Decline A Job Offer
How to decline a job offer:
- Make sure you want to decline the offer
- Choose the right medium
- Show a sign of gratitude
- Explain your reason for declination
- Express that you still want to stay connected
- Turn down the offer politely
- Give a recommendation
Many job seekers apply to more than one company to see how many opportunities they have and to look for the best possible salary, work culture, and environment.
But what happens when you have passed several job applications, and you have to turn them down?
Some find it challenging to do so because it just feels so unprofessional. But the truth is, if the employer can turn down an applicant, job seekers also have the right to decline an offer.
We’ve prepared a simple and honest guide on how to decline a job offer — the polite and professional way. Keep reading to learn how to do so while keeping your reputation and credibility intact.
Make Sure You Want To Decline The Offer
The hardest part of declining a job offer is figuring out if you’re completely sure about doing it.
To help you determine if you really want to turn down a job offer, try asking yourself the following questions:
- Is it because of workplace flexibility? (On-site, work from home, hybrid)
- Is it because your salary expectation hasn’t been met?
- Is it because the benefits they offer aren’t as good as you thought?
- Is it because you don’t feel that you’re fit for the role?
- Is it because the professional growth offered isn’t what you wanted or expected?
- Is the company’s office too near or too far from your address?
Choose The Right Medium
When declining a job offer, you can either email or call the employer or their HR department directly.
The former is the common medium of expressing a message these days, but there’s a personal touch when you call the company themselves because it shows that you appreciate the time they invested in you during the hiring process.
Whichever one you choose, remember to write down what you want to say to make sure your message is well prepared. And, remember to stay focused while explaining your declination of the offer.
Show A Sign Of Gratitude
Interviewing applicants is a hefty process for many companies. They invest their time for each applicant — and this is one of the common sources of guilt for some applicants when they decide to decline their offer. After all, no one likes feeling they wasted someone else’s time.
Fortunately, you can decline politely by showing gratitude and appreciation to the recruiting and hiring team during the entire process of your application. You can thank them for all the learnings and effort they’ve given you during the entirety of your application. By showing a sign of gratitude, you’re telling the company that you were grateful for the opportunity they provided, and the time they spent on you.
Explain Your Reason For Declination
Don’t feel bad about explaining the exact reason why you want to decline their offer. If it’s about you getting a better compensation offer and growth opportunities from another company then say it.
Being transparent to them is pivotal. But if you don’t want to share all the details then it’s alright, too. Just make sure that you don’t leave doubt or questions in their minds as to why you declined their offer.
Express That You Still Want To Stay Connected
Many recruiting teams choose to email applicants they rejected so that they can still keep in touch for future job vacancies. In that vein, you could also potentially ask to stay connected with this company, if you wanted to.
Staying connected could expose you to future job opportunities, should they arise — and their recruitment team considers making an offer to you again.
Turn Down The Offer Politely
Declining a job offer is not easy, especially for introverted applicants. But the truth is, everyone can turn it down politely and professionally.
Start with a note of thanks, such as “ I appreciate your offer of the opportunity to work with your company as [Job Title],” and then follow with a brief explanation as to why you have decided to turn it down. Finish off with another thank you note for their time, and some pleasantries.
Keep things short, but expressive. You want the hiring manager to know that you appreciated their time without seeming too insincere.
Give A Recommendation
It’s not easy to recommend someone that could be fit for the position you declined and although the employer might not consider it and instead look for another one, it’s a thoughtful and caring act.
Make sure that the person you recommended can fill in the position and is also interested. You don’t want to give a headache to the employer by recommending someone who will turn down the offer as well.
Turning down a job offer is stressful, especially if it’s your first time doing it. Fortunately, you can do it politely. Now that you know how to decline a job offer, you’re better equipped to make this interaction as professional as possible.
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