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Best Ways to Decline a Job Offer

By Isny Dewi R

04 November 2019

Best ways to help you to decline a job offer.

Landing a new job can be an arduous process, and it’s thrilling when you finally get an offer. But unfortunately, not every employment opportunity is the best next step on your professional path. Still, it can be difficult to figure out how to decline a job offer that you’ve ultimately decided isn’t a fit. Luckily, some human resources experts have the best ways to help you to decline a job offer, here they are as we quoted from Reader’s Digest.

1. Respond Swiftly
If your gut says this isn’t the job for you, say it sooner rather than later. “Remember, it is the hiring manager’s role to fill this position,” says Jodi R.R. Smith, president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting and a former human resources line manager. “Do not play games! As soon as you know you will not be taking the offer, let the hiring manager know. Be polite, be prompt, and be to the point,” says Jodi.

2. Show Gratitude
When weighing how to decline a job offer, don’t forget to show your appreciation to the very people who thought so highly of your talent and skills. “Too many candidates fail to appreciate the work done by HR staff, largely because they feel that they are doing all the work in getting the job,” says Fiona Arnold, director of Red Crest Careers in the United Kingdom.

“Showing HR staff that you appreciate what they have done for you will help maintain a positive relationship, even if you are ultimately delivering bad news,” says Fiona.

3. Be Vague
You may have spent the interview process going into specific details about your exemplary work history, but when mapping out how to decline a job offer, it’s fine to be vague. “There is no need to go into great detail about why you are turning the offer down,” says Roy Munk, president of GHS Recruiting.

Munk adds, “simply explaining that you do not feel it is the right fit at this time in your career is sufficient. However, if you wish to keep the door open for future opportunities, you may want to be more specific. Was the position not advancing your career? Was the compensation off? Would there be a role within the company that you would like to be considered for in the future?”

4. Don’t Lie
The world is smaller than you think, particularly when operating within any given professional field. Even a little white lie told to save face when declining a job offer can hurt you in the future. “This imperative to be honest goes not just for how you decline the job offer but everything leading up to it,” says Tasia Duske, CEO of Museum Hack.

Tasia continuinng, “if you tell a potential employer that it’s your dream job and then you decline it because you got your actual dream job somewhere else, then you aren’t being honest.”

5. Leave the Door Open
Experts agree that it is possible to leave the door open for another opportunity within the company whose offer you are turning down. Politeness goes a long way, as does transparency. “If you are genuine when turning down an offer and truly were excited about the company, role, and team, that will show in your conversation,” says career coach Stephanie Dennis, who hosts the podcast Career Talk: Learn – Grow – Thrive.

“You can let the person know that and share that you’d love to keep in touch for future opportunities. More often than not, if you handle the situation with respect and honesty, the person you’re talking to will be happy to keep you in their pipeline,” Stephanie continued.


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