Knowing the proper way of how to turn down a job offer may seem like a useless skill; after all, is it not always a great thing to have received a job offer? Whether economic times are difficult or robust, jobs are at a premium, and having an avenue toward gainful employment would seem to be an almost universally beneficial component.
Yet, for some, mastering how to turn down a job offer can come in handy when faced with a sincere but poor offer, or a sketchy proposition, or other particular situations. In these cases, it may be important to handle the matter effectively, tactfully, and in a manner that avoids much follow-up.
“Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” This piece of Biblical wisdom still applies today, as being wishy-washy or ambivalent will only hinder any efforts you put forth into turning down the job offer. Be sure that you are explicitly clear in your position: That you are not interested, never will be interested, and do not wish to be contacted further about the matter. This will be the only way to avoid being rightly pestered in the future; having been firm up front, you can then afford to be downright nasty if they somehow think it is appropriate to get in touch again.
Communication Method Match
Whatever method is used to contact you, use the same method in return, rather than opening another avenue of communication altogether. If it was through an e-mail; well, actually, in that case you can usually just ignore it, unless it was from someone you know who would appreciate a yes or no answer. But if it is over the phone, communicate right back over the airwaves; if it was by a face-to-face conversation, do not use a “let me get back to you” phrasing if you intend to turn it down, as that may quickly become a more convoluted situation than you ever wanted.
Yet no matter how important it is that you know how to turn down a job offer in a particular example, you should still adhere to the standards of professionalism and not do so in a manner that would besmirch your sterling reputation. There is no need to be blatantly cruel, insulting, or otherwise underhanded about it, unless you have been repeatedly contacted after having stated your lack of interest.
For many people, figuring out how to turn down a job offer will actually be an encountered position, and in this spot you must be sure you act in accordance with conviction and common sense. Although it would be difficult to fully rope you into a job you do not like, even the damage caused by giving an unclear or prematurely rude response can be adversely consequential as well.