Sounds like the kind of “problem”  we all wish we have in this economy – feeling that we should decline a job offer.

Yet declining a job offer the wrong way can have an adverse impact on your career. Here’s how to decline an offer the right way.

  1. Thank the hiring manager for the offer. After all, you were selected from dozens, if not hundreds, of applicants for the position. The company obviously thought very highly of you and you should be grateful and respectful Be apologetic as you decline the offer.
  2. Tell the hiring manager about your decision as soon as you possibly can. Calling at 8:55 on the morning you were supposed to begin at the new company is just…well, there really are no words for how rude, immature and disrespectful calling at the last minute is. In fact, the only worse way to decline an offer would be to never tell your new boss that you’re not coming onboard (see number 3, below).
  3. Actually decline the offer. Just don’t disappear. Contact the hiring manager via phone (e-mail is too impersonal) and tell him or her you’re not accepting the job. Trying to “hide” from giving this bad news by not responding to calls or e-mails shows a huge lack of professionalism. And don’t think the hiring manager won’t remember – and mention to others —  how immature, unprofessional and thoughtless you were.
  4. Explain honestly your reasons for declining. If you feel you’re not really up to the position, say so. If something critical has come up (a family emergency, financial constraints, a counter offer by your current employer), let the hiring manager know.
  5. Say no to the waffle. That is, be firm in your decision. Don’t be wishy-washy. Don’t decline an offer in the hopes that you’ll get a better salary and/or benefits package. Be honest and forthright. Show that you have backbone in your decisions.
  6. Depending on how your conversation goes, it may be wise to write a letter explaining further about your decision. Be very complimentary to the hiring manager in this letter yet professional in your tone. You want to be seen as a competent individual with a good but considerate head on your shoulders. After all, you could very well find a position that’s perfect for you at this company at a future date and if you’ve declined the current offer well you still could take the company up on a future opportunity.

Speaking of opportunity, Winston Resources has dozens of terrific professional positions with some of New York City’s top companies. Contact us today to learn more!

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