I recently posted an article on 8 red flags to look out for when considering whether to accept a job offer. 

It’s possible the position you were considering was raising one or more of those red flags. Or maybe you tried negotiating for a better salary and they wouldn’t budge. The manager might give you some bad vibes. Whatever the reason, you’ve decided this isn’t going to be the career you want.

Today we will be going over everything you need to know regarding declining a job offer.

It’s Okay to Say No

Just like employers regularly decline applicants, applicants are turning down offers. It is perfectly okay and acceptable. You also will not be burning any bridges.

That being said, though, some hiring managers may get a little salty with you after you say no. In all honesty, it’s a good thing you turned down the position if that happens. 

When a hiring manager does not handle rejection well, they likely won’t do a good job handling other ways you need to advocate for yourself, including asking for raises or a day off. It also shows the company’s true colors for its lack of respect for employees. 

Respond Quickly

The minute you decide you are not going to take the position, inform your point of contact. 

There is no need to delay the inevitable. 

It is completely reasonable to spend a few days weighing the pros and cons of taking on the position. 

Any more time than that then you need to start asking yourself why you’re so hesitant to say yes in the first place. Chances are, there is a glaringly obvious reason, but you don’t want to accept it. 

Under no circumstances is it okay to ghost the business. That WILL burn bridges and you can say goodbye to any future employment there. This is important to consider if you happen either A. have a specialized skill set that is a small community or B. there are not many opportunities in your field where you live.

Respond Appropriately

A good rule of thumb is to decline the offer the same way you were given one.

A phone call for a phone call or an e-mail for an e-mail.

But what if you were offered the position in person? Then a phone call is appropriate as you do not want to waste any more of their time.

Be Appreciative but Brief

You are not the only one who went through the interviewing process.

Show you appreciate their time and consideration.

  • Thank you for the time you took in considering me for XYZ position. With due respect, I will be declining this offer. 
  • I appreciate the time you have taken to address my concerns and your patience during this process. At this time, I am going to pursue other opportunities.
  • I am very impressed by the dedicated and accommodating recruitment team. While I am grateful for the offer of XYZ position, I must respectfully decline. 

It’s okay to be blunt but there is no need to be cruel. 

Provide a Simple Reason

There is no need to write a 10-page novel as to why you will not be pursuing the offer. 

It might be REALLY tempting to say, “You seem like a micromanaging fool” or “Your company is clearly a highly toxic environment.” 

Don’t give in to that temptation. It is another sure-fire way to burn the bridge. 

It is okay to give a brief, vague reason though.

  • After careful thought, I have decided to pursue an opportunity that more aligns with my personal career goals.
  • I am going to join a different company that has provided a greater role with other benefits which I feel is a better fit for my skills and goals.
  • I’ve reflected on the pros and cons of leaving my current and have decided it is in my best interest to remain with my current company.

All of these examples are genuine and not rude, poising you to keep the door open if there are future positions you want to consider going after.

End on a Positive Note

It’s a good idea to sandwich bad news between positive affirmations. You started with appreciation. You politely declined. Now it’s time to end on good terms.

  • What you are doing for the community is very impressive and I hope to be a part of it in the future.
  • This offer may not have worked out, but I wish you all the best.
  • I am honored to have had the opportunity to interview. I hope we collaborate in the future.

Have you declined the offer but still doing some searching? Let Resume Assassin help you find the perfect position with no red flags!

Reach out today! www.resumeassassin.com or mary@resumeassassin.com

Connect on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mary-southern