How to tell a recruiter you are not interested in a position

Published on February 19, 2022 in
How to tell a recruiter you are not interested in a position

When looking for a job, the most logical thing to do is to apply for multiple positions offered by various companies. This increases your chances of being recruited as soon as possible. 

However, as a result of the multiple applications, you will be contacted by numerous recruiters with job offers. This means that you will have to decline all of them but the one you choose to take.

This can put you through some awkward conversations and message exchanges with recruiters. So how do you deny them? Let’s take a look at how to approach this.

The best way to tell a recruiter you are not interested in a particular position is to be honest, polite, and respectful. The person making the offer has spent time looking over your professional experience and reaching out to you, so it's important to be honest with them about why you're not interested. 

You might also want to tell the recruiters why the positions are not a good fit for you. It will help them to know the truth about what you think so they can find someone else who is a better fit for the position.

When responding to a recruiter, make sure to acknowledge their time and efforts. You don't want to come across as insincere or rude.

If you don't want to be considered for a position, you can say that you're already working for another company and that you are happy where you are.

But sometimes recruiters can get pretty persistent by calling you personally multiple times or reaching out to you on social media.

So let’s take a look at what can be done in order to get your point across without seeming too harsh or burning bridges.

How to politely decline a job offer

How to politely decline a job offer
Declining a job offer can be uncomfortable for both you and the recruiter so the most important thing is to do it in a polite manner. You can start off by thanking the recruiter for their time and the opportunity. Then you can explain your reasons for declining, and wish them a good day. 

If you would like to be a little bit more comprehensive with your answer, especially if this is happening during a job interview, here is how to decline a job offer with consideration to a few other aspects.

1. Don’t blame anyone

When saying "no" to a job offer, avoid blaming the company that wanted to hire you or the management. Instead, thank the employer for their time and consideration and suggest that you remain in contact with them in the future.

2. Stay confident

A confident tone is a must. A trembling voice will make you sound uneasy, which is the last thing you want to convey. By being confident, you will convey that you are firm in your decision to decline.

3. Address the issues that you see

Consider the reasons you feel disappointed by the company that wanted to hire you. If you have not been able to connect with the company's mission statement or values, you should consider sharing this among your reasons for declining. Remember that you can be honest without being rude.

4. Show gratitude

When thinking about how to politely decline an offer for a job, consider expressing some gratitude. You should show appreciation for the time and efforts of the recruiter and be careful not to sound insulting or condescending in any way.

5. Say you’re happy to stay in touch

You can also ask for the interviewer's contact details. Maybe connect on LinkedIn? Who knows, one day this connection might turn out to be useful. You declined the position but maybe you left some valuable feedback for them so you are parting ways on good terms and there is no reason to feel bad.

How to decline a job offer over the phone

How to decline a job offer over the phone

The best way to decline a job offer over the phone is to apologize and thank the person for the opportunity.

You should convey your sincere appreciation for the opportunity and thank the person for their time. This way you can maintain a good relationship with the hiring manager.

You can also choose to share why you won’t be taking the opportunity – for instance, if you took another job opportunity or if there is something about the position that bothers you.

Nevertheless, it is important to remain professional when declining a job offer over the telephone and stay respectful at all times.

Also, consider this if you are worried about how to say you're not interested in a job: declining a job offer over the phone is not a particularly delicate process that requires thoughtful consideration.

Interviewers and hiring personnel can go over hundreds of job applicants every day. They are used to job opportunities being turned down. You won’t be hurting their feelings by declining so no worries.

How to decline a job offer over email

How to decline a job offer over email

Declining a job offer over email is a lot easier because it is a bit more impersonal. Also, you have more time to carefully compose a response.

While doing so, remember to stick to a professional tone and remain respectful. Your reply should be polite, short, and to the point.

Here are a few points to consider when you decline a job over email.

1. Reply as soon as you can

It would be best to reply quickly if you have made your final decision. This way you will minimize the wait for the recruiter and they will be able to move on to other prospects for the job. They would be thankful for the swift reply.

2. Thank the recruiter 

If you would like to be nice to the recruiter and make them feel valued, then you can thank them for the opportunity and their time. Being nice can go a long way.

3. State your reasons

If you choose to, you can state your reasons for not accepting the job. This can be valuable feedback for the recruiter that they can use to improve the company that they represent.

4. Say it is okay to stay in touch

To soften the decline of the job, you can tell the recruiter that it is fine for them to contact you in the future. This way you will part ways on good terms and there is always the possibility to come in contact once again.

How to tell a recruiter you are not interested in a position on LinkedIn

How to tell a recruiter you are not interested in a position on LinkedIn

If you're contacted by a recruiter on LinkedIn with an offer for a job, you can turn them down with one or two sentences. Just remember to be nice and respectful.

The recruiter is simply doing their job and trying to be helpful. You can simply apologize, decline politely, and tell them that they can move on to other candidates.

But how to politely decline a job offer from a recruiter on LinkedIn If they are very persistent and refuse to let go?

Well, you can focus on your reasons for declining or tell them that you have already accepted another offer. This should be enough to convey your refusal to take the position.

Key takeaways

  • When declining a job offer, remember to stay professional and respectful.
  • The recruiters are simply doing their job and try to be helpful.
  • Don’t worry about hurting anyone’s feelings by declining, it’s part of the job.
  • Tell the recruiters that it is fine to exchange contacts and stay in contact.
  • It is a lot easier to negotiate salary when you have the power to easy decline the job offer so consider taking a shot at it.
Written by:
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Alex Alexiev
co-founder / office worker
Alex has been an office worker for more than 10 years. He is dedicated to helping other office workers to achieve the perfect life-work balance through well-being, effective communication, and building productive habits.

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