There are many reasons for turning down a job opportunity.
Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to be offered two positions and be in a position to chose the better deal, and need to know how to get the best deal.
Then again, maybe family circumstances have changed and you’re no longer able to accept the position. Whatever the reason, how you let them know is crucial.
You’ve gone through the interview process of multiple companies, all your referees have given you glowing reviews and you’ve received more than one job offer.
This is an ideal situation to be in, but now you have to decide which company is the right fit for you. Here’s how to get a better offer out of the company that you want to work for and gracefully reject the job opportunity that you’re not interested in. In this case, the following applies.
Getting the Best Out of Your New Job
Before you make a decision about who your potential employer will be, consider a number of elements of the job you’re going to accept:
What are the future opportunities like? Which of the different places will lead you to your dream job? If you can see a clear ladder through to a manager position and onwards and upwards, that’s something that you need to prioritise.
Do some research and look for red flags. If you google one company and it has a history of bad deals or business, unethical choices or other problems, maybe you’ll need to make the difficult decision to write a rejection letter or call to avoid future disappointment.
Consider the corporate culture of each company. You may even be leaving your current position because you’re disappointed in the culture or feel that it’s not an empowering environment. If that’s the case, consider whether a generous offer if worth the struggle of a bad workplace environment.
If you’ve considered all those things, you can start considering the main real reason for working – the pay and conditions. Being offered two or more positions puts you in the great position to choose which job suits you better and even consider getting a better offer. Consider getting legal or career advice from a professional who can compare the relative contracts to get you a truly great fit as a result of your job hunt.
On the other hand, you may fall into the second option, where you’ve have had a change of circumstances that means that you’re no longer able to accept the job offer.
Regardless of whether you’re turning down a job because it’s no longer an option for you or you’ve received another offer, it’s important to tell the hiring manager or HR team in a professional way, and here’s how.
Reasons for Candidate Declination
declined due to the
accepted ‘better’ company
declined due to location
accepted a counter-offer at their current company
Getting the Best Out of Your New Job
The actual process of turning down a job offer is something that you need to seriously consider. Remember that while you may be turning down the job now, you may need that company in the future.
Offer rejections do’s:
Ideally, call your contact person at the company
Remember they’ve gone to the effort of going through the hiring process and the time interviewing you, so show them that you appreciate that by picking up the phone or, in a worst case scenario, sending them a personal email to tell them that you’re no longer interested.
Give a brief reason
You don’t need to go into details, but since you’ve gotten to this point in the hiring process you at least tell them that you don’t see how the job will lead to you achieving your career goals or that you’re having to relocate so can no longer accept the position etc.
Sign off with 'best wishes'
This is warmer and friendlier than ‘kindest regards’ and shows that you’re not turning down the job because of any personal feelings.
Offer rejections don’ts:
Never just leave them hanging
Job interviews, referee checks and all the phone calls to organise it all is a lot of work, and you need to show the company that you appreciate it. There is never an appropriate time to decide that you just can’t be bothered. If you can’t be bothered to turn them down it was never going to be the right job and you shouldn’t have applied.
Don’t reject an offer of update social media/LinkedIn until you’ve got a signed contract!
You’d hate for a job to be offered to someone else because you thought you’d got a job that’s a great fit, but then a deal breaker comes along and you can no longer work with them. Until both parties have signed, you’re not officially employed!
No matter why you’re rejecting a job offer, it should always be done with recognition that the company has had to go to a lot of work to get you through the hiring process, and with an awareness that you may have another opportunity with the company in the future.
So always be polite and respectful by contacting the company to tell them, personally, that you’re no longer able to work for them and why.