Job offers are like buses … You wait for one for ages and it doesn’t show up, then they all show up at once! Having more than one job offer sounds great though – right? Well, not when you must turn at least one of them down. And that’s not always easy. Declining a job offer needs to be undertaken with skill and diplomacy. You want to do it, so that it doesn’t hinder you from securing another, perhaps more suitable role with the company in the future. But do not worry, candidates must turn down job offers all the time — just as employers turn down applicants all the time too. You are not going to burn a bridge by politely and professionally declining an offer. But rejection is hard for everyone, so you need to let the person who wants to hire you down gently. With that being said – here’s everything you need to know on how to decline a job offer with grace, while still preserving the working relationship for a possible future together.
Thank them for their time and show your appreciation
Be prompt, once you’ve decided that you’re not going to accept the offer, call or email the employer and let them know right away. Don’t put it off because that can cause a real inconvenience for them. Be sincere in letting the manager or recruitment team know that you are thankful to them for spending a significant amount of time reading your CV, shortlisting you and interviewing you. Ideally, pick something specific to thank them for, so your reply comes across as sincere. For example, if you asked a lot of questions relating to the role and they answered all of those carefully and in detail, you could mention that.
Give your reason
Be brief and ensure that your reasons are convincing and that your decision comes from careful consideration. Especially if you’ve spent a lot of time interviewing, it’s the right and respectful thing to do not to leave a hiring manager confused about why you’re declining the position. That said, there’s also no need to go into detail about the negatives.
Keep in touch
Try to be positive throughout, with your messaging. Many industries are a small world, so you don’t want to burn any bridges by being negative. Bring the letter or call to a close by thanking them for their time and wishing the company future success. You never know when you might cross paths with that company or individual again.