When you begin applying to and interviewing for jobs, you may come to realize that the position or company you applied to is not going to be the right fit for you. This is a great realization to make but can cause difficulties if you receive a job offer. Why? Because you can be faced with this dilemma: to take the job offer since you need a job, or decline it in hopes of finding and being offered something better.
This leads to the question of how do you politely and professionally decline a job offer? You may not want to reply at all with the hope that the recruiter or employer will just assume that you do not want the position, but the most professional way to handle this situation is to send a response declining the offer. Continue reading to learn tips on how to politely decline a job offer.
1. Respond in a reasonable amount of time
When you receive a job offer, the recruiter is expecting to receive an answer within a few days if done via email. When a job offer is communicated verbally, there is a chance that they will be looking for an answer on the spot, but you can politely request to get back to them in a few days. When you make this request, you can inform them that you need a few days to consider the details of the position prior to making a final decision. Regardless of the method of communication, it is pertinent that you respond within a few days to maintain professionalism.
2. Express your gratitude
Among all the candidates who applied for a position, you impressed the company enough to receive the job offer. Thus it is very important to concisely express your gratitude for the offer and for the time they spent engaging with you during the hiring process. You should avoid writing a whole paragraph filled with compliments and gratitude. Your appreciation should be expressed in no more than 2 sentences.
3. Provide a reason
If you merely decline a job offer without providing any reasoning, you will likely be contacted to share why you are not taking the offer. It’s a good practice to offer an explanation, but you do not need to go into specifics. For example, if you are declining because you received another job offer, you can tell the recruiter that you simply accepted an offer with another company. You do not need to tell them which company or any further details. If the reason you rejected the offer is that the company is not the right fit for you, you can tell them that! Once again, you do not need to go into detail as to why the company is not the right fit.
If you’re struggling to choose between job offers, check out this article to help decide which to accept and which to decline.
4. Express that you’re open to future communication
A company may have genuinely impressed you, but the job position you want is not available, or it is not the right time for you to accept the job offer. If that’s the case, you should be honest and share this with the recruiter or hiring manager. You can also let them know you would like to be considered for future or alternative positions that open up. Being open like this can lead to potential future communication, which can be beneficial.
Although you are applying to jobs to receive a job offer, you don’t have to be afraid to decline one if it’s not the right fit for you! The tips discussed in this article are key for how to politely decline a job offer. If you’re feeling discouraged in your job search process, check out this article on how to stay motivated during your job search.
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