Here’s How To Decline A Job Offer Like A Pro

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Feb. 5 2024, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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When declining a job offer, it’s crucial to approach the situation with professionalism and respect. Many individuals often wonder whether declining a job offer is deemed unprofessional. However, passing on a job in a courteous and transparent manner is a common and accepted practice. Keep reading for a few ways to decline a job offer with ease.

Express Gratitude

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Begin by expressing your appreciation for the opportunity. While you’re not obligated to provide a detailed reason for declining the job offer, you can briefly mention a general reason for your decision.

Example: “I am grateful for the offer extended to me and appreciate your consideration for the position. However, after careful consideration, I’ve decided to pursue another opportunity that aligns more closely with my long-term career goals.”

Keep It Concise

Be clear and concise regardless of the medium you opt to decline the offer. While experts at Nerd Wallet suggest you don’t need to go into unnecessary details, there may be an opportunity to highlight any positives you experienced throughout the interview process.

Example: “I hold your company in the highest regard and have enjoyed learning more about your team and company culture. I value the time and effort invested in the hiring process and have the utmost respect for your team.”

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Offer to Stay Connected

There’s no harm in building new connections. After all, one’s network is one’s net worth. That said, always express openness to staying in touch for future opportunities.

Example: “I hope our paths cross again in the future, and I appreciate your understanding. I am open to staying connected.”

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Introduce A Recommendation

Declining a job offer while recommending someone else requires clear communication. Tread carefully. Begin by highlighting why the candidate would be a good fit and follow up by offering to make the introduction. 

Example: “After careful consideration, I have decided to pursue another opportunity that aligns more closely with my current career goals. However, I believe [Name], a highly qualified and experienced professional, would be an excellent fit for the role. If you find it helpful, I’d be happy to facilitate an introduction or provide additional information to connect you with [Name].”

Note: Remember to ensure that the person you recommend is comfortable with the idea and genuinely interested in the position. 

Maintain Professionalism

At all times, keep the tone professional and positive throughout and avoid burning any bridges.

Example: “I appreciate your understanding and would like to thank you once again for the opportunity. I look forward to the possibility of our paths crossing in the future.”

In a nutshell, SHRM president and CEO Johnny C. Taylor Jr. states that the art of turning down a job comes down to consideration and timeliness. 

“The best way to turn down a job offer is verbally to the recruiter or hiring manager first, and then put it in writing,” Taylor said. “Your written response should be professional and polite and should include a brief statement for the reason you are declining the offer. While the process may seem awkward and uncomfortable, a definitive response is expected even if the response is ‘no, thank you.'”

In other words, honesty and professionalism are key. It’s a small world, and maintaining positive relationships can be beneficial in the long run.

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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By: Truth Hawkins

Truth Hawkins, a seasoned wordsmith with over a decade of experience spanning entertainment, culture, and lifestyle news, navigates the dynamic landscapes of pop culture, lifestyle, and music. More than a reporter, Truth is a dedicated storyteller, unearthing narratives that deeply resonate with readers and invites them to engage in meaningful conversations.

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