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3 Ways To Gracefully Turn Down A Job Offer

If you’ve gone through the process of searching for a new job, you may have noticed that your skills are in high demand.  With the national unemployment rate at only 4.9%, highly qualified candidates are few and far between, and employers will go to great lengths to attract top talent.  Additionally, The Execu|Search Group’s 2016 Hiring Outlook found that 56% of respondents were interviewing for two or more other positions while they were interviewing for their current role.  In other words, job seekers may find themselves at a strong advantage.

In today’s market, you may end up receiving multiple job offers.  While it will be easy to accept the position you want, you must also turn down the offers you don’t think are the best fit for you.  Because you’re so relieved that the process is over, it can be tempting to simply stop responding to that employer or decline bluntly.  However, it is critical that you remain professional and hold yourself to higher standards.  After all, you may wind up pursuing a position with this organization later on.  Here are three steps to take to gracefully turn down a job offer:

Don’t delay

Keep in mind that this organization is running on its own timetable as well.  Just as you need to accept an offer, they need to fill this open position.  While you may need more time to make a decision, be sure that they are kept informed of your status.  If they have requested an answer by a certain date, it is crucial that you abide by that, and only ask for more time if absolutely necessary.  Be sure that you grant enough respect for their hiring process, and allow them the opportunity to extend an offer to another candidate before it is too late.

Say thank you

Even if you’ve already thanked your interviewers, be sure to thank everyone again for their time and consideration.  This good faith effort and positive attitude is the best way to leave a positive impression on the organization, and it may help you maintain a professional relationship that you can leverage at a later point in your career.  When they know that you are gracious for the opportunity and grateful that they believed in you, they may be willing to consider you for other openings in the future.

Explain your reasoning

If you have a concrete reason for accepting another position, you can use your own discretion in being up front when turning down other offers.  By politely explaining why you went in another direction, you may help them to improve their own hiring process, and they may have better luck recruiting top talent in the future.  Additionally, they may surprise you and decide to change your offer based on your feedback.  As a result, you could end up with a title bump or a salary increase, which may change your entire career path.

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