How to Tell a Recruiter You’re Not Interested in the Job

How to Tell a Recruiter You're Not Interested in the Job
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Employment placement services, or “recruitment agencies,” are firms that make it their business to help people look for work. Emails requesting applications for available positions are a common tactic used by recruiters. Occasionally, they’ll even make cold calls to potential candidates.

Whenever a recruiter reaches out to you, they do so with two goals: finding a candidate who is a strong cultural fit for the organization and finding a candidate whose skill set closely matches the job requirements. Consequently, you should always respond favorably to any communication from a recruiter.

It might be difficult to inform a recruiter that you are not interested in working for their company. You shouldn’t be insulting them or leading them on. Here are some suggestions for how to break the news gently.

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Tell them as quickly as you can.

Recruiters receive dozens of emails each week. They spend hours reading resumes and interviewing people. Many recruiters take pride in helping others find work, and they do it well. But they also have jobs to do. And sometimes, those jobs include finding someone else to hire. So when you email them about a job opportunity, they’re likely already swamped.

The fastest way to close the door on a potential employer is to send a generic rejection letter. However, this is unfair to the recruiter and the hiring manager, and it needs to make sense from a career standpoint.

That’s why it is recommended to send a polite note thanking the recruiter for contacting you, letting them know how much you appreciated their consideration, and explaining that you aren’t interested in the position. Then move on.

You never know where the conversation might lead.

This approach lets the recruiter know that you’ve thought about the position but didn’t feel you fit the requirements and would rather keep looking.

Show your appreciation.

Thanking someone for a job opportunity is one thing; thanking them for their efforts during the interview process is another. While you don’t want to come across as too needy, you do want to show appreciation for their time and energy in helping you land the gig. Here are some ways to thank your interviewer for their help.

1. Send a handwritten note. While email is great, there’s something about writing a letter that makes it feel personal. Plus, it gives you a chance to express yourself. If you’re feeling extra creative, send multiple copies of the same letter to different people within the organization. This lets everyone know how much you appreciate their input and effort.

2. Write a personalized thank you note. Send a quick follow-up email expressing gratitude if you didn’t receive a handwritten note. You could even include a link to a recent blog post or article related to the role. Doing so demonstrates that you’ve been paying attention to what they’ve shared with you throughout the process.

3. Follow up with a phone call. A phone call is a good option if you can’t meet face-to-face. Make sure you let the hiring manager know you’d like to schedule a brief conversation to discuss the next steps.

Give a good, brief reason.

When declining a job offer, the most important thing to remember is to give a brief reason. You don’t want to come off as rude or disrespectful, but you want to ensure the person you’re speaking with knows what happened.

If declining because you found a better opportunity, you must let the hiring manager know. If you’re declining due to personal reasons, such as family obligations, it’s okay to explain those too.

You don’t want to sound unprofessional or dismissive, but you don’t want to waste anyone’s time. An email is fine; keep it short, sweet, and professional.

Be specific when responding.

If you want to avoid working somewhere, say so. Don’t make vague statements like “I’m looking for something different.” You might think you’re being polite, but it could be dismissive. Instead, try one of these responses:

• I’d love to hear about what opportunities you see.

• I’m excited to learn more about what you offer.

• I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in working there.

• I’d love the opportunity to apply my skills to your organization.

• I’m happy to explore other options.

• Thanks for reaching out.

• Let me know if I can provide anything else.

Pick the platform you want to answer on.

In today’s hyper-connected world, people reach out to you differently. Some prefer email, while others use social media. Here are some tips for responding to each type of contact.

  • Email. The best response to an email is one that doesn’t require a lot of thought. Just reply quickly, clearly, and concisely. If there is something specific you want to say, do it in the body of the email. Don’t include attachments unless necessary.
  • Social Media. If someone contacts you via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, just like with emails, make sure your replies are quick and clear. Avoid lengthy explanations; keep them short and sweet.
  • Phone Calls. You might think you’re rude if you decline a call, but remember that everyone does this sometimes. You can politely explain why you aren’t taking calls during certain times of the day or week. Or you could ask them to send you an email instead.
  • Face to Face. This is the worst way to decline a job offer. It shows a lack of respect and professionalism. But if you feel uncomfortable meeting with the recruiter, you should decrease.

Don’t burn bridges.

Recruiters present opportunities to job seekers every day. And while it is important always to thank those recruiters who help you find work, there are some things you should do differently. If you want to work for something other than a particular organization, don’t let a recruiter talk you into working there. Don’t burn bridges.

If someone offers you a job, take the time to consider whether you want to work for that employer. If you need more clarification, say, “I appreciate the offer, but I am looking for something else now. Thank you for thinking of me, though.”

Be polite and respectful no matter how you feel about the situation. Recruiters are trying to make connections, and you won’t stand out among the other candidates if they see you as unprofessional.

Another choice is to say nothing at all.

Not responding to a recruiter means you don’t want to waste anyone else’s time. Recruiters often send out mass email blasts to thousands of people. They know that not everyone responds, and they’ll move on to someone else who does. But they need to realize that sometimes you aren’t interested.

Recruiters often think that you must be interested in the job because you responded to one of their emails. And while it is important to ensure they send you relevant information, they shouldn’t assume that you are interested simply because you opened the email.

You could be working somewhere else already, or you could be too busy to take on a new position. If you don’t feel like answering, let them know. Don’t worry; they probably won’t bother contacting you again.

Stay in touch.

It’s not uncommon for whole professional communities to consist of little more than a handful of people, especially within niche sectors.

Even if you spend every day of the week with the same coworker, you may never get to know them better than what you saw on LinkedIn. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in the effort to develop your connection. Here are three steps you can take today to begin constructing one.

  • Offer to meet for coffee or lunch.
  • Make sure you’re staying current on each other’s professional lives.
  • Keep track of events and conferences that you’ll both be attending.

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If you’ve ever been in the position of having to turn down a job offer, you know it’s not an easy task. You don’t want to burn bridges, and you also don’t want to waste anyone’s time – including your own.

To graciously decline a job offer, there are a few things you can keep in mind. You can be direct and honest with the recruiter. You can express gratitude for their interest in you as a candidate. And also, you can assure them that you will keep them in mind for future opportunities.

If, after following these tips, you’re still struggling with how to word your response, contact our team of expert resume writers. They know exactly what recruiters are looking for and can help craft the perfect message conveying your thanks while ensuring that you remain a top contender for future positions that may open up down the road.

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