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Why turning down that job offer is the best thing for you

Whether you’ve been searching for a while, or a friend just sent an opportunity your way, it feels good when a job offer comes through the door. A different company is recognizing the talent you have and a welcomed change to your routine lies ahead. But how do you know if this opportunity is the right fit for you? Is the job all that it’s cracked up to be? Taking a job that you won’t be happy in and aren’t suited for will only lead to daily frustration and ultimately will leave you facing a tough decision: to tough it out or risk damaging your resume with a short-term stint.

So how do you know when you should turn a job offer down?

When companies don’t use a professional recruiter, they often turn to marketing tactics known as ‘employment branding’ to lure talent into checking out their job postings. It can be difficult for job seekers to determine which opportunities out on the market are genuine to what they are offering and which are hyped up to be something that they aren’t. The top job opportunities that require true talent to fill the role more often than not will be managed by a recruiter to ensure that a close-to-perfect fit will be made between the talent being recruited and the hiring company. If you haven’t worked with a recruiter there are some areas you can look out for to help decide if you should take the leap.

Current employees on LinkedIn have only been working for the company for less than a year.

When you go to do your LinkedIn research (and you should always do LinkedIn research) you notice that all current employees of the company haven’t been there for very long. This is a huge red flag. A high turnover rate signals that the company is fraught with internal issues.

A small part of you knows that you are under qualified or over qualified for the position.

You’ve read the job description and you know that your skills don’t align with what they are looking for, but they asked you for an interview and now they’re offering you the job. You need to really ask yourself why they are open to taking a candidate that isn’t what they said they were looking for.

During the interview you are told it takes a “unique” person to be successful in the role.

While you might think you have what it takes, and are that “unique” candidate they are looking for, what this really means is: you will be entering a poor work culture filled with drama, stress and unrealistic expectations. Learn to interpret the code that companies use during the interview process.

There are many good reasons to turn down a job offer. When there’s an offer on the table, if there are any red flags or unanswered questions in your mind, it’s important that you take the time to really consider if you should be signing on the dotted line. Reaching out to a current employee of the company sending you an offer or working with a professional recruiter are two ways that you can determine if this opportunity is legitimate and if it is right for you.

How to say “no” the right way

When you decide to turn down a job offer there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. Regardless of how you feel about the company, or if you have any personal connections to the organization, it’s important not to slam shut doors you may wish you kept open later in your career.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Decline the offer over the phone – it’s more personal
  • Show your appreciation
  • Give a professional and specific reason for saying “no”
  • End the call gracefully – wish the company luck in their search and keep the door open

After you’ve turned down the offer it’s important that you prepare yourself for a successful job search – learn the art of hiring elite sales talent by downloading our free eBook.