How to Politely Turn Down a Job Offer

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5 Minute Read
Posted by Karyn Moyer
Turn Down a Job Offer

The hunt for a new ag career can be a full-time job. You can be consumed by trying to make yourself the ideal candidate and boasting about all your qualifications. However, once the job offer has been extended and you start considering if the offer is right for you, you might realize the job or the company isn’t a good fit. That means it’s time to break up with the person you may have built a connection with and need to turn down the job offer.

Turning down a job offer should be done professionally and tactfully. You never know what the future holds. You may run into that contact again at a different organization, they may know someone at your next new job, or they may have another opening down the road that would be a better fit. If you decline a job offer in a negative manner you chance breaking a connection.

Follow these guidelines to turn down a job offer in a professional and courteous manner.

Let the organization know as soon as possible. If you’ve decided to turn down the job, you should let the recruiter or hiring manager know as soon as you can. You don’t want to cause the farm or agribusiness to miss out on other candidates. If you tell them your decision right away, they will be able to keep moving along in their process.

Keep it simple. Give a straightforward, honest reason. Maybe you decided to take a job at another agribusiness, or you decided not to leave your current position. If you don’t think it is the right opportunity, inform the hiring manager or recruiter with a brief explanation. Just be clear that you’re declining the offer. Don’t feel obligated to over-explain. Just keep it simple.

Be professional. Do not ghost the hiring manager or recruiter. That is disrespectful, as they have quite a bit of time invested in this process. Don’t let emotions play a part while you’re declining. You want to keep the networking door open. Just because the current role isn’t a fit today, doesn’t mean there won’t be a better fit down the road.

Don’t burn the bridge. While you’re calling with bad news, it’s a good idea to keep the conversation friendly. Showcase gratitude and appreciation towards the hiring manager. Remember to keep it brief. And whether it’s over email or on the phone, end the conversation on a good note. If possible, leave the door open for future openings that may be a better fit. The agriculture industry is a tight-knit community, you never know when your paths will cross again.

Call them. Making a phone call rather than an email speaks to your professionalism. It’s best not to leave a break-up voicemail either, if possible. Even though you are not taking the job, showing your courage and professionalism will allow you to keep your contacts at the organization. You don’t know what the future could bring. You may end up applying to another position at the company. If you’re unable to reach your contact by phone, then sending an email should be the next step.

Offer Referrals. If you know someone that might be a great candidate for the organization, be sure to let them know. If your referral works out, then any disappointment may be forgotten. Whether or not they accept your referral, it shows the hiring manager it wasn’t personal, and that you liked the company culture.

How to turn down a job offer infographic

Turning down a job offer might seem like a strange idea, but if you’re looking for the job of your dreams it might be worth it to turn down a few to avoid any regrets and to keep on your ideal career path.

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When an offer isn't a good fit, follow these tips!
Karyn Moyer

Karyn Moyer

Karyn Moyer is the Senior Marketing Manager at AgHires, with over 13 years of marketing experience, over 9 of which she has spent in the agriculture marketing industry. Growing up in a small farming town, Karyn has a deep appreciation for the importance of agriculture and its role in our communities. Since joining AgHires in 2017, Karyn has used her wealth of experience and knowledge to help job seekers and clients achieve their goals. She has a passion for learning and discovering new ways to support the industry.