How to Decline a Job Offer
The process of finding a job can be strenuous, with the seemingly never-ending applications and interviews. And while receiving job offers is something to be celebrated, figuring out how to choose between them, and more specifically, reject a select few, can be challenging to navigate.
Step 1: Show Your Appreciation
Your priority should be to let the hiring manager know you’re grateful for both the offer and their time. They most likely spent numerous hours reading over your resume and looking further into what you have to offer (through social media and in interviews).
So, expressing your appreciation through a simple, heartfelt thank-you is critical to incorporate in your rejection. Some examples may include:
- Thank you for offering me the Sales Manager position. I greatly appreciate the time you took to evaluate my skills and for answering all of my questions so thoroughly and promptly.
- Thank you for walking me around the office space at my interview! I enjoyed meeting everyone and really learning more about this opportunity and the company’s culture.
Step 2: Give a Good, Brief Reason
It’s important to inform the hiring manager of the reason why you cannot accept the position. However, simplicity is critical; over-explaining or including irrelevant details may confuse your actual justification. Therefore, use the following examples for your brief reasoning:
- After much consideration and thought, I’ve decided to accept an offer from another different company.
- After evaluating all my options, I’ve determined that it may not be best to leave my current position at this time.
You can further develop your point if it makes sense to—for example, if you’ve gone through an extensive process with the hiring team, you could express to them that you enjoyed getting to know them, but had an offer that would better suit your career.
In the case the position is undesirable altogether, stating that “This ultimately does not align with my current career goals” works as well.
Step 3: Keep The Conversation Open
The job hunting world is tight enough, so it is in your best interest to leave them with a good impression. If possible, incorporate something you and the hiring manager have already discussed, such as a conference you’ll both be attending. If not, merely wishing them the best is sincere and keeps things amicable. Here are some examples of what to say to stay in touch:
- Thank you for your time again. I wish you and your team all the best going forward.
- I hope we can connect again at a networking event or conference. Let me know which ones you plan to attend, and we can meet up!
Declining an offer always feels somewhat awkward, but always remember, it is for the greater good when it comes to your career.