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Job hunting tips

How to Decline a Job Offer….Politely

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by Marissa Cedro

9 months ago

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Picture this, you’re applying for jobs, interviewing and excited about the prospect of a new role.

Sounds great, right? It is!  Chances are, you may have to turn down an offer of employment if you’ve got a few on the table.

So what’s the best way to approach this?

1 - Don’t delay it.

If you make contact straight away, it will not only let you move on and focus on the role you’ve chosen to accept, but it will also allow the hiring manager to continue with their hiring process without delay.

2 - Say thank you.

It’s important to say thank you for the opportunity to have met with the hiring manager and for the generous offer.

If you were using a Recruiter, chances are quite a lot of work and back-and-forth went into the process to make you the job offer.

If it was a direct application. the hiring manager or HR took the time to meet with you and were probably excited to get you on board, so it’s important to acknowledge this and express your gratitude.  

3 - Give your reasons.

This is where the advice for going through a Recruiter and directly varies.

If you’re being represented by a Recruiter – be honest. We want to know why you’re choosing another role as it will help us when working on similar roles in the future.  We want you to accept the role that will make you the happiest and that best suits your career path. We will understand and be happy to give you advice if you’re struggling to decide between multiple offers.

If you’ve applied directly – keep it simple. There’s no need to tell them about why you have declined their offer. You could risk affecting your relationship with the organisation, which brings me to…

What not to do:

1 - Don’t burn your bridges.

Even though this isn’t the role for you right now, you never know what could come up in the future. Rejecting the offer in a respectful and honest manner will help you to maintain a good relationship with that potential employer.

2 - Don’t ghost them!

What looks worse than declining an offer? Ghosting the recruiter or hiring manager! Even though they may be disappointed, you’re not accepting the role, once they hear from you they will be able to move on with the process. This will also help you to maintain good relationships in the market.

You can read more about why you shouldn’t ghost your recruiter here.

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