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Properly Declining a Job Offer

The goal of any job search: to receive an offer. However, not every opportunity is worth grasping. Sometimes, at the end of the recruitment process, you decide that you’d rather move on. But how do you decline a job offer in a polite and professional way?

The question doesn’t just come down to etiquette and manners. There are practical implications as well. It’s true that you won’t be taking this job. And it’s possible you’ll never approach this company again. Then again, you never know…

Careers are long. Even if you don’t apply for another job at the same company, you could meet some individuals involved in the recruiting process. As such, you don’t want to burn any bridges.

Given these dynamics, it’s important to understand the proper procedure for declining a job offer. Here are a few tips to consider:

Tactics for Properly Declining a Job Offer

Don’t Ghost

Ghosting is rude. It’s also an easy trap to fall into. Sometimes, you don’t even mean to do it. Once you lose interest in a particular opportunity, your mind can wander, and you lose track of communication.

However, it’s important to close the loop with any potential employers. Respond to messages as they come and keep the lines of communication open. This represents the polite thing to do. It also solidifies your reputation for reliability and professionalism, which can help you down the road.

Respond as Quickly as Possible

If you aren’t taking the job, the firm needs to move on to other candidates. The sooner you let them know, the more likely it is that they can find a high-quality second choice. Wait too long, and other candidates might find alternative positions.

As such, the company will appreciate a timely response, even if the message isn’t what it wanted to hear. That way, you don’t leave an employer waiting for a response any longer than is necessary.

Stay Polite and Professional

Take a little time to craft what you want to say. Make your tone stays polite and professional. Express your appreciation for the opportunity and show that you regret that it didn’t work out. A few minutes invested in a well-considered message can cement a positive impression with the people you had met during the recruiting process.

Explain Your Reasoning

Let the hiring executives know why you’ve decided to pass on their offer. You don’t need to go into significant details. However, this info could be useful to them as they push forward with their recruitment efforts. It also provides context for your choice, allowing you to maintain a strong relationship with those involved.

Try to Maintain Contact

As you step away from your current offer, take a long view. You may want to circle around to this employer again at some point. After all, just because you don’t prefer this particular opportunity doesn’t mean that you won’t eventually become interested in this firm again down the road.

Even as you pass on the current job offer, take steps to build longer-term relationships. Look for ways to stay in contact with the people you’ve communicated with during the recruitment process. That way, if a better fit comes up at some point, you can reestablish discussions.

Looking for the Right Opportunity for Yourself?

Choosing the right opportunities can be tough. A lot goes into job decisions. It helps to have a strong advisor to back you up. A top professional recruiting firm, like Elby Professional Services, can give you the guidance you need to maximize your career potential.

Contact Elby today to help you make these tough decisions.