Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why is it Important to Decline a Job Offer with Grace?

We all hope to be in the situation of having so many job offers in our hands that we find ourselves required to decline jobs, right? You may think that this situation does not require any finesse or extra effort on your part. However, I caution you to handle the decline of a job offer with the same level of professionalism you used to land the job offer in the first place.

There are many reasons, aside from having multiple offers, that you may have to turn down an offer. The money may not be right. You may feel that the company's culture or the boss' leadership style are not a fit for you. Perhaps you decided you are not willing to work the hours, travel the distance, or make the commute that the job will require. No matter the reason you decide to turn down the job, the process of declining a job can be quite uncomfortable and awkward.

For this reason many people tend to shy away from the conflict of saying "no thank you" to the offer. Here are some of the key reasons I caution you to be diplomatic and attentively professional when responding to the offer.

  • You never know what may happen or change in your future. The location or money may not work for you today, but your situation may change. If you don't turn down the job in a professional manner, you will never get another chance with this company.
  • NEVER burn a bridge or sacrifice a networking contact. The human resources person you are working with at company A may someday move to company B where you really want to work. HR people see thousands of candidates every year, but I am sure the negative experiences stand out in their memories. Don't be a bad HR memory!
  • You don't want to get a bad reputation, especially in today's world where networking and social media are the rule. Human resources professionals travel in the same circles and often talk to their counterparts within the same industry. Make a positive impression, even in a negative situation, and you may just get a networking referral in the future.
  • You must never lead a company on and should always be timely in turning down an offer. Think twice about negotiating with the company for increased salary and benefits if you know in advance that you have no intention of taking the job. The extra work they put into meeting your demands will leave a very bad, lasting impression with HR and will hurt your future chances.

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