How to decline a job offer?

So, you’ve decided you want to change your job. From scouring for that perfect vacancy to navigating through phone interviews to the face-to-face interview, you’ve invested considerable effort to secure the ideal position.

Getting an offer does not imply that you have to take it. If it doesn’t match your salary expectations or other crucial aspects it might be time to consider gracefully declining.

Despite feeling you’ve wasted time, lost out on an opportunity, and have general anxiety about letting someone down, there is a way to approach this without burning any bridges.

Here are three things to consider when declining a job offer:
  • Consider declining the offer over the phone. It adds the human touch and you can ensure that the relationship will stay there even after turning down the offer.
  • Prepare two reasons why you’re not taking the offer. Make sure the reasons are more about you than about them. (The “It’s not you, it’s me” approach works well here).
  • After having the phone conversation, confirm your decision in writing. This step not only adds a layer of formality to the process but also serves as a clear and documented record of your decision, ensuring transparency throughout the interaction.

The most essential part is to keep in touch. Connect with your interviewers online or send them a follow-up email. Keeping these lines of communication open demonstrates your professionalism

You never know, your paths may cross in the future and your future self might just thank you for it! By keeping those virtual doors open, because you never know when a new opportunity might come knocking. Whether it’s a chance collaboration, a shared project, or just a friendly exchange of ideas. Remember, it’s not just about this particular job; it’s about cultivating a network.

Callum McKenna is an Associate Director in the Finance Division at Harvey John.

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