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4 Tips to Avoid Burning Bridges When Declining a Job Offer

The job search can provide many ups and downs, especially as you interview and decline job offers that may not be the best fit for your expertise, interests, or goals. However, the way in which you decline a job offer can affect future job prospects and opportunities. While it may sound cliché, burning bridges can have devastating effects on your career over time. Your ability to decline a job offer with grace and professionalism can contribute to greater career success for many reasons, including future job options and a valuable referral network. Here are three essential tips for how to avoid burning bridges when declining a job offer:

Respond in a timely and courteous manner.

If you’ve decided to decline a job offer, giving the employer the courtesy of getting back to them as quickly as possible will demonstrate respect for the interviewer’s time. The company has a job to fill, and the sooner you inform them of your decision, the quicker they can find another candidate to accept the job. Being professional and transparent in explaining that you’ve chosen to decline the job – while expressing gratitude for the opportunity – will make you a memorable candidate in the eyes of the employer. And, while it may be tempting to send a quick email or text, making a phone call is generally the best approach when declining a job offer and sharing your reasons for rejecting the opportunity. Ending your interactions on a professional note will allow you to forge a strong connection with the employer that may even open doors to future job openings at the company. When in doubt, always be respectful and gracious!

Stay in touch.

Just because a job opportunity doesn’t work out doesn’t mean the contacts you make during the hiring and interviewing process aren’t valuable. From human resource managers to departmental supervisors, there are many individuals whom you’ll encounter during your communications with an organization. Once you’ve declined a job offer, it’s in your best interest to follow up with the people whom you spoke to during the hiring process to thank them personally for their time and let them know you’re looking forward to staying in touch. This will set the stage for long-term relationships in which you can grow your network with meaningful connections in your industry. There are many ways to maintain contact with individuals you meet at different employers, including connecting on LinkedIn or reaching out for occasional coffee meetings. Proactively staying in contact with others whom you meet throughout interviews can be instrumental to your career growth – potentially serving as referrals for future jobs or other opportunities, such as volunteer or board member initiatives. Growing your network with connections from your job search can help you significantly to achieve future goals for your career as your interests and goals evolve over time.

Keep up with employer news and developments.

Once you’ve had a chance to interview with a company, it never hurts to keep up with the employer’s news. There are many ways to stay updated about employers, such as following their company pages on social media and reading the latest business news headlines. Staying informed about employers that you’ve engaged with in the past can be important for a couple of reasons. First, you may discover news about an employer’s growth or expansion that could indicate more exciting job prospects for you in the future (for instance, a company that is building an apartment complex in a new city). Second, staying knowledgeable about employers’ recent developments will provide insight into employment options that may be a better fit for you to pursue in the months or years to come. As a practice, being mindful of employer news will allow you to stay updated about the trends in your industry, which is integral to your professional growth and success in your career path.


Following the practices above throughout your career can reap many benefits for you professionally and personally. Taking advantage of each job interview to learn about new employers and make new contacts can be instrumental to your growth and reputation. Through regular communication, networking, and a commitment to professionalism, you can strategically build relationships with individuals who have the power to positively impact your career moving forward.


Are you finding it difficult to land the right interview opportunities? By working with the expert recruiters at HH Staffing, a top Florida-based staffing firm, you can discover many new jobs in various in-demand industries, including property management; accounting, finance, and human resources; administration; and light industrial. Check out our career portal today and get your career on track with HH Staffing!



Until Next Time,


Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO, and Chief Servant

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Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings a fresh perspective from decades of experience creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high-performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.