How to Turn Down a Job Offer

If a job isn’t what you had in mind, how do you say no?

The majority of time, a job offer is a reason to celebrate, but occasionally you might have to turn down a job offer. Maybe the salary wasn’t what you thought, you were offered a different position, or you discovered something about the position that made you change your mind. Regardless of the reason, make sure you turn down the offer in a professional and respectful way.


When is refusing a job offer appropriate?

If you’ve done thorough research throughout your job search, there shouldn’t be many surprises. You should have details about the position, the company, the culture, and the salary ahead of time. Don’t apply for a position (or interview for a position) that you don’t think is a good fit. This will save you and the business a lot of time. However, there are instances when you gain new information about the job, or something changes in your life, where it makes sense to go a different direction.


Why do I have to say anything if I’m not accepting the offer?

Letting HR know you’re not accepting the position can feel awkward, but it’s a necessary conversation. While some job seekers might be tempted to simply not respond to a phone call or email with the good employment news, it isn’t good etiquette. While you may think that it doesn’t matter because you won’t see them again, that’s not always the case. Try not to burn any bridges, especially if you’re planning to stay in that industry. You never know when you may see them at an event, or even run into them on your next job search.


How do you let the company know you’re not interested?

Depending on the position and the business, there are several ways you can let the employer know that you’re not accepting the job. If the company is laid back and casual, and the hiring process has been very informal, it may be okay to just talk to the HR Department or send an email. If the business is larger and more traditional in their hiring, it might be appropriate to send a letter. Whatever your method, be prompt in your response so you don’t hold up the process for the company (or for other job seekers in need of employment). Be sure to let them know you appreciate the offer, and give them a good, brief explanation of your decision.


While it may be difficult to turn down an offer, it’s important if the job or the circumstances aren’t right for you. Employment plays a large role in our daily lives, and you want to make sure you have a position that meets your needs. If you need help finding other opportunities, contact your local Penmac Staffing office.