Is it Okay to Turn Down a Job Offer?
Interview Tips, Job Seekers
You’ve been hard at work looking for a new position. You’ve sent out countless resumes, submitted who knows how many applications and even gone on a couple of interviews. And all of that hard work has finally paid off! Multiple job offers!
After the excitement, the reality sets in – you need to turn down one (or maybe more) of the offers. And sometimes, that can be quite difficult. So how do you decline an offer without burning bridges and ruining your professional reputation?
It’s important to say “thank you” to the hiring manager for the offer made, as well as for the hours or days they’ve spent considering your likelihood as a successful candidate. Here is one example of an ideal response:
Thank you for taking the time to interview me last week. I enjoyed learning more about the company and the position. And I appreciate your generous job offer.
Explain Your Reason, Briefly
Inform the hiring manager of the reason(s) you’re declining the position. It’s the polite thing to do. Avoid getting into the specifics about potential personality clashes with your new boss or the remarkably significant salary increase at the job you may ultimately accept. The best approach is the honest approach. Be specific, and straight to the point, such as:
After much thought and careful consideration, I have decided to accept a position at another company.
If you feel the need to elaborate, do only as much as is essential. Helping the hiring manager understand that the position you accepted has a shorter commute is fine; conveying that you expect the hiring manager’s company to go out of business before the end of the year, is not.
It’s a Small World, After All
The tech industry is a small world, and for top performers, it’s even smaller. It’s a good idea to wrap up your decision notification with an extension of an olive branch. Consider referencing something you both touched on during the interview, such as an upcoming conference or industry meeting. Or simply convey your best wishes for their success, by saying something along these lines:
Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope we have the chance to cross paths again in the future.
Turning down a job offer is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be a bridge burner. Being honest and upfront can help ease your way through an inevitable part of pursuing the job of your dreams.