How to Politely Turn Down a Job Offer


Job seekers often spend more time plotting how they can get a job offer than they do in trying to figure out what they will do if they receive more than one offer. With hiring on the rise, the chances that a well-qualified applicant will draw interest from more than one company are increasing. Having to turn down a job offer may not be a terrible problem to have during your search, but that doesn’t make the act itself any easier. Follow these tips in order to preserve your relationships with employers and keep a good name in your industry:

– Be appreciative. The company making the offer has taken the time to interview you and look into your background. Be completely clear that you’re grateful for the opportunity and flattered that they have chosen you over other candidates. Only after you express your appreciation should you gently explain why you’re turning a company down.

– Tell them quickly. Since you’re passing on their offer, the employer is going to need to make another one to someone else on their list. The longer you take to respond, the less likely that their second choice will be available. Responding quickly shows you know that and respect the people you communicated with, even though you won’t be working for them.

– Be judicious with details. It’s important to let the hiring manager you speak with know why you didn’t want to accept their offer, but you don’t need to go overboard. Avoid criticizing the company, even if you saw red flags when you interviewed. And don’t talk about how much better the job you did take is.

– Express interest in staying in touch. Depending on your industry, you may frequently see the people you interviewed with, and it’s worth cultivating them as professional contacts. They liked you enough to want to work with you. If you liked them, too, let them know that you hope that perhaps you can work together at a later date.


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