Turning down a job offer

There may come a point where you are weighing multiple job offers or turning down job offers after careful evaluation. Although this can be a good problem to have, it still can be stressful if you don’t know how to approach it in a professional manner. You also want to avoid burning any bridges in case another position opens up at the company that you want to apply for. Here are four key elements to turning down the offer:

  1. Don’t delay. If you know that you are not going to be accepting the job, don’t sit on the offer until the employer’s deadline to respond. Giving the employer the opportunity to extend the offer to other candidates is both professional and courteous.
  2. Thank the employer. Tell the employer that you appreciate the opportunity to interview at the company and respectfully decline the offer. Do not go into details about how another company offered you more money or a better package.
  3. Lock in your future chances. It is not a bad idea to reiterate your interest in working for the company in the future, but that the position is just not a good fit for you. This can actually help you build your network as hiring managers are usually in communication with other hiring managers in the same industry.
  4. Thank the employer. Yea, I know I already listed that, but this time I’m talking about a thank you letter. Keep it short and polite, and yes- email is fine.
By Eran Peterson
Eran Peterson Assistant Director, Career Coaching and Counseling Eran Peterson