There are many reasons why you would be inclined to turn down a job offer. The pay is too low, location too far or maybe the job just wasn’t what you thought it would be. Whatever your reason, turning down a job offer can be tricky. Even though you don’t want to be employed with the company offering you a job, you also don’t want to burn any bridges because you never know when their contact will be necessary. With this in mind, let’s go over some of the right ways to politely and gracefully refuse a job offer.
First and foremost, always be straightforward and honest concerning the reason, or reasons, you are turning down the offer. It’s not necessary to go into details about why you’re taking another job offer- whether it’s for benefits, salary or anything else. However, if you’re comfortable with sharing the reason and if it’s simply a matter of liking another job more, then be honest. Hiring managers will not be offended and will in fact appreciate your candidness.
If you’ve definitely made the decision to go in another direction, make sure to contact the hiring manager as soon as possible. Do not drag out refusing a job offer. In the time that a company is waiting for you to accept and begin working, another candidate who actually wants the job may have moved on. In terms of contact, it’s best to call the person who offered you the job rather than send an email. It’s much more professional and respectful and allows feedback. Not only should you call, but you should follow up the call with a formal written letter. Keep your letter short and professional so as to leave any opportunities for future employment open.
Your letter and phone call should contain three main points: a thank you, rationale and discussion of future opportunities. Always make sure to offer a thank you for the job offer and emphasize that you appreciate the company for giving you an opportunity. Be courteous and show your gratitude. Rationale consists of the many reasons why you may be turning down a job offer. Make sure to be tactful and professional when offering these reasons. They can vary from money to the job just not being the right fit. In any case, make sure to convey these feelings professionally. Always end your conversation with a promise to stay in touch and a good luck with their employee search. Above all, never burn any bridges because you never know if you might be interested in working for this company down the road.