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Break the News Without Burning a Bridge: How to Turn Down a Job Offer the Right Way

On the job hunt? Learn how to turn a job offer down.Have you decided to start looking for a new job? The current labor market is tight, giving the upper hand to job seekers, and motivating many to search for new opportunities. In this candidate-driven market, it likely won’t be long before you find yourself with a job offer–or maybe even a few of them.

It’s enviable to have options, but not every position will be a good fit for you: As such, you’re left with the uncomfortable business of letting down some of your would-be employers.

So, how do you reject a job offer without ruining your shot at future opportunities with an organization? We’ve come up with a few dos and don’ts that can help you navigate this delicate situation gracefully and professionally.

 

DO: Express Gratitude

Most importantly, you’ll want to give a warm thank you to the company that interviewed you.

When a company decides to pursue a candidate, they are investing their time toward the hope that the job seeker will be the right fit for the role.

That’s why we always suggest starting off by acknowledging and thanking the hiring team for their time and effort when declining a job offer.

Example: “I want to extend my sincerest thanks to you for engaging with me in this interview process. It has been a pleasure speaking with you and your team, and I am very grateful to have been able to learn more about [Company Name].”

DON’T: Leave the Hiring Team Hanging

If you are certain that you’re not going to take the offer, it’s best to let the hiring team know as soon as you have made the decision.

As mentioned above, businesses invest a lot into interview processes: That’s why it’s the courteous and professional move to tell a company that you’re no longer an option for them.

Example: “I earnestly appreciate the value of your time: That being said, I want to inform you that I will be unable to proceed in the hiring process. I am hopeful that your company will be able to find the perfect candidate to fill this position very soon.”

DO: Give Them a Reason

When you apply for a position, it’s probably because you think it might be a good fit for you.

But if you come to realize along the way that that belief no longer holds true, it’s only fair that you should tell the company what made you change your mind.

However, you shouldn’t get too specific with your reasoning.

It’s definitely valuable for hiring teams to hear feedback as to why they lost out on an applicant, but it is generally considered inappropriate to go into too much detail when explaining why you’ve decided to decline the position.

Maybe the real reason you don’t want to accept a position is because you read some concerning Google reviews, or you might have gotten a bad vibe from your would-be supervisor.

Either of these is a valid reason to decline a job offer, but it’s much more professional to keep your reasons vague.

By refraining from oversharing your criticisms of the company, you can remain in the company’s good graces–which may prove beneficial for your long-term career goals.

Example 1: “After careful consideration, I’ve determined that this position is not aligned with my current career goals.”

Example 2: “I am writing to inform you that I have received an employment offer which I have accepted with another company.”

DON’T: Leave the Rejection Open-Endedreject a job offer professionally and gracefully.

While turning down a job opportunity can be uncomfortable, you’ll want to refrain from sounding indecisive in your rejection letter.

It can be tempting to say things like, “I’m not sure whether this is the right fit for me,” in an effort to decline the job offer politely.

But in reality, this kind of language only leads hiring teams on. Conveying uncertainty about your decision may leave them hanging onto hope that they can discuss your concerns with you and still get you on board.

Ultimately, all parties are better off if you leave them with a clean break.

Example: “While it has been a difficult decision for me, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am unable to accept your offer of employment.”

DO: Offer to Stay in Touch

Staying connected is always a good idea: While a company or position may not be the best fit for you currently, you never know what may change or how your paths may cross again in the future.

LinkedIn is probably the simplest way to do this–it is the number one professional social networking site in the world, and it offers an easy way for you to stay informed about the company’s news.

Example: “If you would be open to connecting via LinkedIn, please feel free to send me an invitation: I would love the opportunity to stay informed about future news and happenings within your organization.” 

Sample Rejection Letter

Putting the above into practice, we’ve included an example below of an appropriate rejection letter template:

“Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

I want to extend my sincerest thanks to you for engaging with me in this interview process. It has been a pleasure getting to speak with you, and I am very grateful to have been able to learn more about [Company Name].

While it has been a difficult decision, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot accept your employment offer. After much consideration, I have determined that this role is not the best fit for my career path at this time.

Thank you for your time and attention throughout this process. If you would be open to connecting via LinkedIn, please feel free to send me an invitation: I would love to stay informed about future news and happenings within your organization.

Wishing you and the entire team continued success in your future endeavors.

Regards,

[Your Name]”

At FrankCrum Staffing, our employment experts are here to guide you through every step of your job search. From placement advice to job interview prep, we have the tools you need to help you achieve your professional goals. Contact us today to learn more about how FrankCrum Staffing can help you build your career!

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