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Ask the Genie: How to Turn Down a Job Offer with Class

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Here's how you can turn down a job offer with class.

Dear Genie,

I have recently received a few job offers and have made a decision, after many careful considerations. What is the most appropriate way of turning down the other offers? E-mail, phone, snail mail?

If possible, I would like to leave it such that if I leave my new job in the future, I would be welcome to reapply to a company that I have received an offer from previously.



Dear AB,

Your desire not to burn any bridges is a smart one. Indeed, it sounds as if you’ve made good contacts that could be useful to know if you plan a career switch down the road.

When turning down offers, then, do it professionally and thoughtfully. You want to continue the personal connection; the telephone is the most effective way to do this. Think about relationships you’ve been in: Would you settle for a letter telling you it’s over?

When you talk to your contact, explain what factored into your decision; flatter the company and process whenever possible; and let him or her know how carefully you considered the company. That’ll make your contact feel good—and allow you to keep the door open to future opportunities.

Good luck!


Ask the Genie: How to Turn Down a Job Offer with Class by
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