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6 Tips for Turning Down a Job Offer

June 10th, 2019

rejection office worker

After slogging through multiple interviews over the last few months, you’ve now got two job offers.

One really excites you. The other? Well, it’s from a great company, but the offer itself isn’t what you were hoping for, so you’re turning it down.

How do you do that? And what should you say?

Here are six tips we’ve condensed from a recent Flexjobs article about rejecting a job offer. Most important – a seventh piece of advice – is no matter how you do it, say “no thanks” with courtesy. You may be 100% sure you’ll never work for the company, but things change and so do people. One day you may find yourself interviewing with the same hiring manager for a job at another company, so burn no bridges.

  1. Reject the offer the same way the offer was extended. If the offer came by email, it’s perfectly acceptable to respond by email. If by phone, reject the offer by phone. If you do call, follow-up by email to “put it on the record.”
  2. Thank them for the offer right up front. Express your gratitude and appreciation.
  3. Be clear you are turning them down. Say something like, “Regretfully, I must decline your offer.”
  4. Explain why. You want to be honest and clear, but not overly detailed. If you took another job, say so. If the job itself wasn’t right, you can say the company is great, but the job itself wasn’t a good fit for you.
  5. Let them know you want to stay in touch. Let them know you’re open to other opportunities, if, in fact, you are. Smart recruiters build talent pipelines and are always eager to connect with exceptional people. You can reach out to them on LinkedIn.
  6. Make a referral. This is optional and entirely dependent on knowing someone with the right skills who is genuinely interested in this company and this job. The referral may go nowhere, but if does and your referral is hired, the company will be grateful and you’ll have an insider.

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