Declining a job offer can be difficult, which is why knowing how to politely decline a job offer is an art you must master. After all, no candidate wants to sever ties with a potential employer. We never know when our paths will cross again. In this article, we’ll be showing you how to politely decline a job offer.
How to Politely Decline a Job Offer
So you’ve found yourself when you need to decline a job. Let’s go over some things to consider when politely and professionally declining a job offer.
1. Make Sure You Want to Decline the Offer
Make certain that you want to say no. Changing jobs is a significant life event, and the decision isn’t always easy.
Consider all aspects of what it means to decline a job offer. Would your pay or salary increase significantly? What effects would accepting (or rejecting) have on your mental health and well-being?
What about workplace flexibility, remote work, or hybrid work? Do you see yourself progressing within the company? How well do your values match those of the company?
2. Show Appreciation and Gratitude
Many people most likely put in a lot of time during your interview process. Recruiting requires a significant amount of effort, from resume and phone screenings to interview panels and vetting sample projects.
It thrilled the offering company to have you on board and eager (and hopeful) for you to join the team. Begin your declination with a gesture of gratitude and appreciation.
Thank the recruiting and hiring teams for their time and consideration. It’s never a bad idea to go over what you’ve learned during the process again.
3. Keep the Networking Door Open
“You never know when your paths will cross in the future,” one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received from a mentor.
Timing is everything. You could, for example, interview at your dream company for a role that you’re not excited about. Or you may look for a unique position in a different region or location.
When you decline an offer, keep that networking door open. Offering to stay connected to LinkedIn is a good idea. You can also express your interest in the company again, but explain that the position was not a good fit for you.
“I’m declining this opportunity,” will not suffice. It’s critical to explain your decision, especially if you want to keep that networking door open.
You can be open, but you don’t have to share specifics. Assume you’re declining a position because another offer with a better compensation package, flexibility, and growth opportunities has come your way.
It is acceptable to disclose that information to the recruiter. However, you may relocate to a new area to care for a sick family member and will need to find alternative employment.
5. Always Leave the Door Open
Even if you believe you have a few job opportunities, burning bridges with a potential employer is never a good idea.
It is never a good idea to completely alienate a potential employer because you can never completely rule out the possibility of reapplying for a position. Even if you decline the job, express your desire to keep in touch.
Send the person a LinkedIn connection request to follow up. If you run into the hiring manager at a tech event or conference, take advantage of the opportunity to network or even grab a cup of coffee.
6. Provide a Recommendation
You may not always be able to provide a referral after declining a job. if you know someone else who is looking for work and might be a good fit for that open position, offer to provide their name and contact information.
Perhaps that employer will not require it and will instead hire another candidate. Making the offer demonstrates a certain level of care and consideration rather than leaving them hanging.
If you go this route, make certain that the person you recommend is both qualified and interested in the position. The last thing you want to do is recommend someone else for the job, only for them to decline as well.
6. Proofread, Edit, and Test Your Message Before Sending
From the perspective of a hiring manager, the only thing worse than a candidate declining a job opportunity is receiving a poorly written email about the same.
Your email reveals a lot about your personality and professional abilities. Make sure you carefully prepare the email and read it several times to catch any typos. Edit the email to remove any errors.
Read the email out loud to ensure that your message is clear and that the tone is polite. Don’t be in a hurry to send your email; polish it as much as you can.
How to Politely Decline a Job Offer Via Mail
When you need to decline the job via mail, here are a few guidelines to follow:
1. Don’t Procrastinate
If you’ve decided to decline the offer, don’t wait to notify the employer. Notifying the company in a timely manner will allow them to move forward more quickly in their own process.
2. Keep it Simple And to the Point
Begin by being direct and honest in your message. Don’t overdo it with compliments about the company or the people you’ve met. This is a rejection letter, after all.
Say what needs to be said as respectfully as possible while avoiding over-emotion.
3. Say Thank You
Thank the hiring manager for their time. Above all, maintain a tone of gratitude as you write the letter, letting the recruiter and hiring manager know you appreciate their time and effort.
4. Provide a Reason But Don’t Be Specific
Your reasons for declining the offer could be as simple as the company not providing you with the compensation you desired.
Perhaps you weren’t sure you’d get along with the hiring manager, or you weren’t enthusiastic about the company.
While these are valid reasons for declining a job offer, they should not include in your rejection letter. It suffices to state that you have accepted another job offer or that this job offer is not a good fit.
5. Consider Offering to Stay in Touch
If you struck up a friendly rapport with the hiring manager but the position wasn’t a good fit for other reasons, consider offering to stay in touch and providing additional contact information.
Don’t feel obligated to share this information, but some people may see this as an opportunity to expand their professional network.
How to Turn Down a Job Offer When the Timing Isn’t Right
When we come to work, we come as whole people. Personal lives can be complicated. Job hunting is a difficult and time-consuming process. Making a significant career change is not always the best option.
First, enlist the help of your support system to get career advice and feedback. It could be a mentor or a teammate for some. Others may benefit from working with a personal and professional development coach.
It’s fine if you’ve determined that the timing simply isn’t right. There are two key components that must be clearly communicated to the offering company.
More Information On How to Turn Down a Job Offer When the Timing Isn’t Right
Express your appreciation and gratitude for their investment in the relationship. Declare that you’d like to keep the relationship going. Connect with the individual(s) on LinkedIn.
Check-in with the recruiter and/or hiring manager regularly to see how things are going. Express your interest in the company and the team, and state that with the right position and timing, you’d be ready to make the leap.
You want to be considered for future openings. Declining a job offer does not always result in a completely closed door. It’s a tricky balancing act.
It is never easy to turn down a job offer. However, it is sometimes necessary because only you can make the best decision for yourself.
A well-structured email response, a call or even going there to meet them face to face to decline the offer will always serve you well. After you decline the offer, you can devote your time and energy to preparing for other interviews.
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