How Rejecting a Job Offer Can Ruin your Reputation.

June 11th, 2012 | Articles, Interviewing, Job Search | 2 Comments »

Tips for Avoiding the “Wrong Way” to Turn Down a Job Offer

As the job market continues to heat up, you may be fortunate enough to experience several job offers falling into your hands. However, having limited hours in the day and just one brain and body to work on your behalf, you obviously can only say yes once. In rejecting the rest of those offers, it’s important to avoid turning them down in the “wrong” way.

Wondering why such etiquette exists? If you turn down a job offer in the “wrong” way, you run the risk of appearing unprofessional and immature, a reputation you may have a hard time shaking. If you’re working with a recruiter, they’ll be wary about working with you in the future. And even if you’re not, any future opportunities with a company you reject may be out of the picture. Finally, depending on your industry and your geographic location, the network of hiring managers may be small enough that your name and reputation spreads, potentially ruining your future chances with any number of companies.

Wrong ways to turn down a job offer:

• Accepting the offer and then failing to show up and giving no notice
• Accepting the offer at first and then rejecting it just hours before you start
• Accepting the offer and then negotiating a counteroffer from your current employer
• Telling them you’ll think about it and then never get back to them
• Rejecting the offer in an immature manner, such as laughing scornfully

Any of these options are sure to ruin your reputation, which in turn may ruin your chances for future employment. Just remember to make calculated choices and be cautious if you truly decide to turn down an offer.

by Clare Saumell

2 Responses to “How Rejecting a Job Offer Can Ruin your Reputation.”

  1. William says:

    Any specific advice on what is the right way? Thanks!

  2. Clare says:

    Hi William, your best bet is to be honest with the recruiter/hiring manager right off the bat, as well as prompt in your answer. While there’s no rule that you have to provide a specific reason why you’re turning down the offer, something is better than nothing – that way, a recruiter will know exactly how to cater to your needs with future opportunities, and you don’t risk your reputation.