How to Decline a Job Offer without Disappearing, and Why it Matters

You’ve applied, gotten the interview, and the job offer… but you don’t want it. Maybe after the interview you determined the job just wasn’t a good fit, or maybe you were offered a position elsewhere… whatever the reason, you’d like to decline the job. While you may be tempted to just disappear, or “ghost” the employer, it’s more professional to send a decline. Here’s why:

To avoid burning a bridge

Just because the company or position isn’t the right fit now, it could potentially be perfect in the future. Keep your options open, even if you don’t think you’d ever work for them. You never know who you will run into and where it will happen, so have integrity by sending a quick, easy decline, such as:

“Thank you so much for taking the time to interview and offer me the position. At this time, it doesn’t feel like a good fit, so I’d like to remove myself from consideration.”

To show respect

Job seekers don’t want to wait for days for a response after an interview, and employers don’t either. Employers are busy and want to fill the position as soon as possible in order to limit downtime. Giving them a quick decline when you know you aren’t interested in the position helps save them time as well. Show the respect you’d like to receive because it’s the right thing to do. Try:

“I understand your time is valuable and I appreciate you spending your effort in considering me for the position. I have decided to take a position with another company and wish you the best in finding the perfect candidate for the job.”

To build relationships

When a recruiter is involved in setting up the interview between you and the employing organization, if you disappear when an offer is made, the recruiter takes note and this can impact your chances of being offered as a candidate to other organizations.

Keep your relationship with recruiters, and HR managers/directors, by immediately declining when the job offer isn’t of interest to you. Keep your good reputation intact with a quick phone call stating:

“Hello, this is [NAME]. I was calling to politely decline the offer of [POSITION] and thank you so much for your time spent in considering me as a candidate. At this time, the position isn’t a fit for me.” (If you’d like, you can give a tactful reason, but it isn’t required.)

To offer insight

If you are declining the position and have a reason, consider whether or not it is helpful to share that – it could benefit the company, and maybe you as well. For example, if you mention you are declining due to the salary or hours, it may be possible that they are open to negotiating with you in order to have you come on board. If you aren’t open to compromise or negotiation, you will want to state that, however.

If the reason for your decline is that the company was problematic in some way, consider offering some tactful feedback. It could sound something like:

“Thank you for considering me for a position in your company. After hearing more about the role, I decided it wasn’t a good fit for me. To me, the job ad read that the position would be salaried, not commissioned as stated in the interview, and at this time, that’s not what I’m looking for.”

The bottom line is that mutual respect and tack demonstrate your ability to be professional, and a good candidate for future employment. You never know who you will come across again in your professional life, so keeping doors open is always a best practice.

If you are in search of employment opportunities in Colorado, let Colorado Network Staffing (CNS) help you find your next position. CNS is a leader in staffing, staff augmentation, and contract management by acting as a sole human resource provider for our clients. Our employing companies are looking for the best and brightest talent, and trust us to provide exactly that. Contact us at 303-430-1441, and discover why our clients come to us to fill their staffing needs and get started in your new career faster.

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