Be Picky! If the Job's Not Right, It's Not Right

There is definitely a right way about how to decline a job after it is offered.
There is definitely a right way about how to decline a job after it is offered. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP Photo)

Getting the right job that will put your military skills to the best use is imperative. So if you have received a job offer that isn't the right fit for you, don't be afraid to be picky. However, you must turn down the job gracefully so that you don't burn any "professional" bridges; you never know who you'll bump into along your career path.

Here are's tips for turning down a job offer you don't want:

Be Prompt

As soon as you've decided, call the hiring manager or the interviewer and write your letter declining the offer. The company needs to offer the position to someone else, and you don't want to hold up the process.

Be Courteous

Your letter should be professional and courteous. You may turn down this position, but you might want to be considered for future opportunities. Savvy job seekers use every possible chance to network, so thank each person you interviewed with and wish them and their company continued success.

Be Diplomatic

If you received another, more generous offer, avoid mentioning the details of the position you're accepting. Let the interviewer know that you were impressed by the company and carefully considered the offer, but you are accepting another position that better suits your skill sets and career objectives.

Be Concise

This is not the place to tout your credentials and career accomplishments. The company already realizes your value, so keep your letter short and sweet.

Here's an example of how your letter should read:

Nov. 30, 2006

Catherine Harper

Operations Manager

A Company

50 Corporate Plaza

Boston, MA 01234

Dear Ms. Harper: Thank you very much for offering me the assistant manager position. After careful consideration, I regret that I must decline your offer. Although you were most encouraging in outlining future advancement possibilities within A Company, I have accepted another opportunity that is more in line with my skills and career goals. I enjoyed meeting you and the rest of your team. You have been most kind and gracious throughout the interview process, and I only wish that circumstances allowed me to accept your offer.

With best wishes for your continued success,

Tom Greenwood

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