For many, it may still seem like a pipedream to be able to turn down a job. If you are lucky enough to be in this position, be sure to do treat the privilege with respect.
Here are three steps to saying no graciously and avoiding any burned bridges:
Say thank you.
Start with a heartfelt thank you to the person who extended the offer. Convey that you are appreciative.
Provide a rationale.
Give a clear explanation for why you won’t be taking the job. This is the most important part of the decline. Be as honest as you can be without offending the person or disparaging the company.
Stay in touch.
Finish the conversation by saying thank you again and offering to keep in contact. You never know if the employer you are turning down today may be appealing in the future.
Adapted from “Turning Down a Job Offer” by Jodi Glickman.