Thanks. But, No Thanks | Turning Down a Job Offer that Isn’t a Good Fit

During the job search process, you’ll likely apply and interview for multiple positions before finding the right one.  Along the way, you might receive a few job offers that you aren’t sure if you should accept.   Determining whether to turn down a job offer is a difficult decision, especially if you’re unemployed in a bad economy or eager to get out of your current job. Accepting any offer can be tempting, but it’s important to evaluate the decision carefully.

There are many reasons for turning down a job offer whether it be in lieu of a better opportunity or the outrageous traffic you’d have to sit in everyday.  Whatever the reason, it’s important that you decline the offer gracefully in order to uphold your professional reputation.  Here are a few tips for properly saying no to a job offer.

Don’t procrastinate.

As soon as you decide that you cannot or do not want to accept the offer, let the employer know immediately.  This gives the company time to offer the position to their second choice candidate or move on and find another candidate to fill the opening.  It also lets the company know that you are not “playing the field” by leveraging their offer with another, which could be considered unprofessional.

Pick up the phone.

Even though the conversation will feel a little awkward, it’s most professional to decline the opportunity by phone as soon as you’ve made your decision.  Start off by thanking the individual who extended the offer. Make sure to let them know how grateful you are for the opportunity and state how much you respect them and the organization.  Then, politely let them know that you won’t be accepting the offer.  Don’t feel obligated to provide a reason other than saying “I don’t feel like this role is a good fit for me at this time.”  An advantage of being vague is that you won’t say something that could hinder any future conversations with the employer.  However, you should make sure that the organization knows that their time interviewing you was well spent and you were invested in the process the whole way through.

Follow up with an email.

After you’ve verbally declined the offer, follow up with a formal email thanking the hiring manager and interview panel again for their time.  Offer to stay in touch and wish them well in the hiring process.  If you know someone who may be a better fit for the position, this would be the appropriate time to recommend him or her.  If the position really just wasn’t the right fit due to timing or other external factors, ask that they keep you informed about any future opportunities.  Doing this will verify that they made the right choice in offering you the position in the first place and end the conversation on positive terms.

Move forward.

It’s important that you don’t spend time feeling guilty, professionally or personally, for declining the job. You have to make the best decisions for YOU when it comes to your career.

Looking for an exciting new position you won’t want to turn down?

Let the experienced recruiters at BOS Staffing help.  At BOS, we go out of our way to match our candidates with jobs that really suit them.  We know that not every job is the right fit for every person, and we won’t rush you into a job that’s not quite right.  We’ll work together until we find just the right match.  Give us a call today to take the next step in your career.

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