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3 steps to turn down a job offer graciously

April 03, 2014 09:43 IST

Image: How does one turn down a job offer without offending the employer?
Photographs: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Master the art of saying NO without sounding arrogant.

So, you spent a week looking for jobs and going through a hoard of interviews and now after all the hard work you are at this enviable position of having more than one job offer in hand.

Isn't it just awesome like that? But the question now remains that you have to turn down the ones you think aren't worth it.

Although this happens to be a tough task -- as communicating anything difficult always has been -- there are ways to conquer them.

Here are three ways you can do it:

1. Express your graciousness

The hiring manager or the HR, whoever you meet, has the job of recruiting talent for the company.

They spend hours on your resume, going through your social media profiles, getting to know you better, scheduling interviews and then asking you well-researched questions.

It is after all a hard task, which needs some appreciation. And so the need to thank the person concerned who handled your job profile.

An e-mail or a phone call to the concerned person in the kindest of tones would do.

For example, begin your e-mail like this: Hello Aarti, I would like to sincerely thank you for all the effort you put in getting me through interview and providing me with a gracious offer.


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2. State the reason

Image: Be honest about why you are not interested in the job offered to you.
Photographs: Andres Stapff/Reuters

The HR people spend a lot of time on you, thinking about you and then shortlisting you for the role.

Now that you have expressed your appreciation with grace, it's time you state the reason as briefly and mildly as possible.

There is no need to elucidate what better opportunities you are getting at another place and not getting at a certain company. At the same time, there is a need to be honest about the whole thing.

The best bet therefore is to keep it in vague terms and be completely frank about it too.

Some examples would be:

  • After careful consideration, I've decided to accept a position at another company.
  • After much thought, I've decided that now is not the best time to leave my current position.
  • While this position seems like a great opportunity, I have decided to pursue another role that will offer me more opportunities to pursue my interests in marketing and social media.

The purpose is to convey the right thing the right way.

And being in the business of hiring talent, they would surely understand where you are coming from.

In fact, they would appreciate the professionalism.

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3. Keep in touch

Image: Even if you're not considering the job, you may maintain a rapport with your HR.
Photographs: Reuters

A certain industry is very small if you really look at it.

There is a handful of top brands and to keep people who matter in your good books pays a lot in the long run.

Offering small pleasantries before you finally sign off helps you maintain a good rapport with the HR person.

You could refer her to a person who you think might fit the bill. Or maybe mention some event you both are attending and say that you look forward to seeing them there.

If not anything, you could always wish them well for the future.

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