Turning Down a Job Offer

Always show appreciation for having been given an offer.  Not many people get it, so appreciate the fact they chose you over other candidates.  This makes them feel valued so that you can part ways on a more positive note

Tell them as soon as possible–as soon as you know–that you’re going to turn them down.  They are holding the position open for you while they wait for your response, and they are missing opportunities to hire other people because of it.  They will appreciate you doing that.

Say thank you again

Keep it short and to the point–don’t give a long drawn out answer

Be honest about your reasons for taking the other offer; if the salary range is within 10k, then don’t say salary and instead use a secondary reason.  Common reasons are: money, work (topic/project/nature), people (culture)

Don’t badmouth anyone or give negative reasons why you did not choose them.

Remain professional and respectful

DO NOT treat offers as bids from car salesmen where you negotiate using whatever tactics you can to get what you want–these are relationships you want to maintain long after the process, and hiring managers talk, industry is small–word will get around about how you treated them.


This post is part of AttemptedLiving’s Life Education Curriculum, a collection of core knowledge everyone should have.

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