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Sarah Mariski
Noodle Expert Member

May 26, 2020

If you have made the decision that you will not accept a job offer, use these techniques to communicate such information without ruining your credibility.

Receiving your first job offer out of college is a notable accomplishment. It’s the stepping stone towards your ultimate dream career. However, most students understand that they need backup plans and apply to more than one job. This tactic keeps options wide but may also result in multiple job offers. Since accepting every job is impossible, knowing how to decline offers respectfully is an important skill. There’s no difference whether you’d never accept the job or if you greatly considered it over your final decision. Certain etiquette always applies. You’ve already strived to make good impressions through the interview process. Why throw it away with a poorly communicated decline.

Be Absolutely Sure

Take a day or two to reflect on why you don’t want the job. There are plenty of valid reasons. Perhaps the company culture does not fit your needs or the interview gave off a different impression than the job description. The point is to be absolutely sure you are not interested in the job. Once you send an email declining the offer, you cannot go back. Hiring managers usually have connections to other professionals in your field. Retracting your disinterest will make you look flaky and unprofessional.

Promptly Notify Employer

Once you’ve decided that you will be rejecting the job offer, do not put it off. Letting the hiring manager immediately know that you are not interested will allow them to continue their search or offer the position to someone else. Nobody likes their time unnecessarily wasted.

Always Express Appreciation

Even if you reject an initial job offer, you may end up desiring another position from the same company. Expressing gratitude for the original opportunity is key. It may seem counterproductive to thank a hiring manager whose job you declined. However, the company may have utilized a great deal of resources and may have interviewed multiple hiring candidates before settling on you. Acknowledging that hard work will put you in a positive light. Start your email off with an expression such as “thank you for offering me this position.

Be Clear and Concise

Though it is important to be diplomatic when passing on a job, make sure you aren’t caught up in too many niceties. You still need to clearly state your rejection to avoid confusion. The best way to do this is “unfortunately, I will not be able to accept this role.

Provide A Reason

Your reason does not have to be specific. In fact, it is best not to go into too much detail. Otherwise, the hiring manager could become offended. It is respectful to at least give the company an understanding of why you are turning down the offer, especially if you seemed excited before. The best way to approach this is to be truthful, so employers do not make assumptions. If you are not sure how to put your reason into words, a sentence like “after careful consideration, I feel this position is not a good fit for my career goals at the moment" will work.

Declining a job offer can be a difficult task. However, you should never let it dissuade you from pursuing positions which better suit your needs. Never feel obligated to take the first job offered. Looking out for your needs and happiness is paramount. When done well, declining will allow you to move forward in the job market with your professional identity intact.

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