How to Turn Down the Perfect Job When It’s Not Perfect for You


You’ve done it. Your resume was accepted, you nailed the interview, and you landed a job offer. The problem is, something about the job just isn’t right. Maybe it turned out to have different duties or responsibilities than you originally believed, or the pay, schedule, or location doesn’t meet your needs. Maybe you just have a funny feeling that this isn’t the right place for you, so turning down the offer just seems like the best move.

Regardless of the reason, turning down the “perfect” job when it’s not perfect for you requires some care, and it isn’t always easy. To help you navigate these waters, here are some tips for saying “no” the right way.

Respond Promptly

Just as you don’t appreciate being left hanging during the job hunt process, hiring managers don’t enjoy having an offer flailing in the wind. As soon as you know the position isn’t right, it is best to respond promptly. This lets the company continue their search by extending an offer to a new candidate or starting other interviews without an unnecessary delay, and is simply the polite thing to do.

Use the Phone

Declining a job offer should be done over the phone, and not in an email or, worse, via text message. Making the call shows you are a professional and that you respect the hiring manager, and will always be better received than a written alternative.

Be Appreciative

Receiving an offer is a wonderful thing, and should be treated with respect even if you don’t plan to take the job. Always express your thankfulness for the time they took to meet with you and that they want to give you the position. Being appreciative will soften the blow and helps ensure you aren’t burning any bridges when you decline.

Stay Concise

You are not required to share details regarding why you aren’t accepting the job. However, as a sign of respect, it is wise to give some reason as to why you are turning down the offer. So, if you decided to accept a position with another company, remain at your current job for the time being, or want to pursue a role that better matches your vision for your career, say just that. Anything beyond that simple statement is generally unneeded.

Don’t Bargain

If you have no intention of taking the job, there is no need to negotiate a better deal, even if you hope to leverage the offer to score a higher salary in a competing offer. By beginning this process, you can actually put this and any other offers in jeopardy, as there is no guarantee how the hiring managers will respond. Unless the only thing about the opportunity that doesn’t add up for you is compensation, it is better to decline and move on.

By handling this difficult task professionally, you can keep the door open should a new position open with the company that is actually a good fit. If you are interested in learning about available jobs in your area, the professionals at Bayside Solutions are available to discuss your goals. Contact us to see how our services can help you find the right opportunity for you.