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Say Thank You Even When You Turn Them Down

May 14th, 2019

Thank you note

We've written before about the importance of sending a thank you after an interview and even after being rejected for a job. Until recently, we hadn't thought about sending a thank you note when it's you who turns them down. Yet that's just what a candidate did, making such an impression that LinkedIn wrote about it.

The background is this: The candidate was actively being sought by several companies including LinkedIn. Not only was he talented, he was, as his LinkedIn recruiter described him, "gracious, thoughtful, and uncharacteristically open and transparent."

He so impressed the LinkedIn team he was offered a senior sales role. Simultaneously, he also got an offer from a startup, where he would be able to build a sales team from the ground up. Tempted by both offers, he finally chose the startup.

For most candidates, that's where the story typically ends.

Not for this candidate, though. He sent thank you notes -- and gifts of wine and whiskey -- to the recruiter and the hiring manager.

"I think the world of LinkedIn, its culture, and its people, including yourself," he wrote to the recruiter. "I hope our paths cross again in the future and if there’s ever anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to reach out."

The article on LinkedIn's Talent Solutions blog observed, "Candidates who accept jobs are rarely as courteous and thoughtful as this one. Which certainly made this gesture stand out. Both [the recruiter] and the hiring manager agreed they wouldn’t hesitate to consider the candidate again in the future."

There's a lesson here for everyone faced with a choice of offers: Be gracious in your rejection. You have every right to be excited about the offer you accept, but do your best to make a positive, lasting final impression with the employers you turn down. You never know when you might meet again. Saying thank you for their offer and showing appreciation for the opportunity is a classy way to be remembered.

Image by Ka Young Seo from Pixabay .

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