How to decline a job offer
Applied for work and not sure how to decline a job offer politely? Maybe you’re not feeling the job description or the salary and benefits package isn’t what you expected. While looking for good and honest work nowadays can be hard, it doesn’t mean you should be devoid of choosing one that both suits you and can provide for your needs.
While doing a job search, people will often send out their resumes and application forms to multiple companies. This is a good strategy if you want to have options and increase your chances of finding a job as soon as possible.
However, you are also most likely to be in a position to get more than one job offer. Having a backup plan is never a bad thing, but ultimately, you’ll have to decline one and accept the other. Want tips on how to decline a job offer? Read on below.
Common reasons for declining a job offer
When the job isn’t a good fit for you, you’re most likely going to decline, especially if you know you have other options. But this isn’t the only reason you might want to decline the job offer. There are plenty of other reasons, such as if you have already accepted another offer. Generally, the reason for picking one over the other is better salary, more convenient location, greater incentives and benefits, and overall just a better work environment for you.
There might also be circumstances wherein the job itself may seem like the perfect fit, but the company is not. You may not agree with the company’s values, culture, or something else may put you off about them. It may also go the other way around, wherein the company seems great, but the position offered isn’t up your alley. Whatever the case, these seemingly common reasons may or may not apply to you when declining a job offer.
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Best ways to gracefully decline a job offer
So a job offer letter — or two, or three, or more — arrives in your mailbox, and you’re unsure of what to do. You’re not interested in the line of work any longer. The question now is, how do you decline a job offer most professionally and formally possible? Sending an email that says, “thank but no thanks,” won’t exactly cut it.
Don’t put it off for too long
As soon as you have received the job offer and decided to decline it, don’t procrastinate. Hiring personnel will be waiting to hear from you, especially if the job hiring is urgent. If you have decided to accept a position, you’d be clamoring to reply.
Do the same if you’ve decided not to accept a job offer. This will keep your professional image with the company and help them find someone else to hire who is interested in the position.
Show your appreciation for the job offer.
Would a rejection phone call be better? That depends on the type of company and job, but most job hirings communicate via email in the age of internet and technology nowadays. There is no perfect way to write a rejection letter for a job offer but being polite and honest is always a good start.
Introduce yourself in the email by starting with salutations. Then follow it up with a heartfelt thank you to the hiring officer for considering you for the job. Make sure to mention other pleasantries, such as thanking them for previous interviews or answering your inquiries.
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Give a reason but make it brief, simple, and to the point.
If you’ve spent a lot of time interviewing, preparing, and perhaps even training for the job just before your start date, you kind of owe it to the hiring staff to at least tell why you can’t accept the job. However, there is no need to delve into specifics. Remember, you are talking to professionals.
Your personal life is out of the question but if you need to cite it, make it as formal and brief as possible. Saying something like, “I regret to inform you that I have changed career paths and would like to pursue something different,” is enough.
Ask to stay in touch.
Believe it or not, your industry is much smaller than you imagine. Many companies are in touch with each other and run in the same circles. Making sure that you don’t burn bridges is important.
Accepting the offer of one company over the other may be confidential. Still, word would get around if you become notorious for neglecting to inform hiring managers that you will not accept the job. Keep your proverbial professional doors open, and who knows, you might end up working in partnership with the company you’re rejecting in the future.
What is the best reason to reject a job offer?
Turning down a job can make you feel all sorts of emotions. It may be the perfect job at the wrong time or the wrong job at the perfect time. When it comes to reasons for declining a job offer, there aren’t perfect ones.
Cases vary depending on the reason for the declined job offer. Your reason may be that the line of work isn’t aligned with your career goals.
Perhaps it is something more like the office is too far from your current residence. Whatever the case, there isn’t a perfect way to decline a job offer. While you’d be better off leaving the personal stuff out of your rejection letter, most companies and employers appreciate honest candidates. They might even try to negotiate your employment terms if you tell them why you can’t accept the offer.
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Is it okay to reject a job offer after accepting?
In most cases, declining a job offer is done before accepting the job. However, during the brief time of accepting the job and starting, you may have changed your mind, or something urgent has come up. It is generally not commendable to reject a job offer after you’ve already accepted it, but if there’s no way around it, you can still do so.
Of course, this is if you haven’t signed a contract yet. Some employment contracts have lock-in periods wherein, once verified by the HR and upper management, it is nonretractable. In other words, if you break a contract, you’ll most likely pay or face legal actions, depending on the situation. Be sure to think things through before accepting or rejecting a job offer, so you don’t have to face these problems in the future.
There is no easy way to decline a job offer. It is always hard, especially if it is a job you were interested in in the first place. Writing the perfect rejection letter is impossible as your would-be employers will likely be disappointed in any case.
They wanted to hire you because you were qualified. If you decline the job offer, they would need to find someone with the same qualifications repeatedly.
However, don’t let that make you feel guilty for too long. Companies and hiring employees are trained for such contingencies. They can’t force candidates to accept, after all, but they can negotiate with you further. It would help if you based your decisions on what you think would be best for you and your professional life.