How to Let A Recruiter Down Easy When You've Got Another Job Offer

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If you're interested in learning how to tell a recruiter that you have another job offer, then this article shares with you how to be polite and gracious as you turn down a job.
Jul 10, 2023 8 min read

You’ve got a couple of job offers from multiple companies. You must be really popular!

Before you go about patting yourself on the back, you need to be strategic in sharing that you have another job offer to a potential hiring manager. Here's where you need to keep your cards close to your chest, not revealing too much, but also being open, honest, and transparent.

In this article, we’re going to discuss:

  • What are the pros and cons of sharing that you have other job offers?
  • Tips to politely let a company know that you have an offer from another company.
  • Example emails which you can use to turn down a job offer.

If you're looking to get great advice on future endeavors, speak with a professional career counselor at Enhancv. They can help you navigate the treacherous environment of competing job offers, helping you gain confidence to know that you've chosen the best position.

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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Sharing That You Have Other Job Offers?

It’s always a good idea to assess all of the benefits and drawbacks of sharing with potential employers that you've got a job offer on the table from another company. Sharing that you have a competing offer can either help or hurt your position, so let's look at the pro's and cons:


1. It may result in multiple job offers

If you are open and honest during the recruitment process, you may be able to leverage an existing offer from one company to get a new job at another. Here's the thing though: the recruiter will see through you and will know if you're trying to pressure them into offering you more money or better benefits.

Be professional when sharing the other job offer, as you may lose out on an opportunity with your preferred employer if you drag out your decision.

2. It Could Result in You Getting Hired Faster

If you can show that you are a hot commodity within your job market, you may actually be able to speed the hiring process along. If an employer knows that they could potentially lose you and that they need to act quickly or else you could accept a pending job offer, then it may actually help to turbocharge the hiring process.

3. It may result in better salary offers

Another result of sharing with the recruiter that you have multiple job offers is that you may actually get offered a higher salary. One word of warning, though: unless you have amazing negotiation skills, if you try to play one company against another you may lose a job offer.


1. It could backfire

Although it has already been mentioned that it may speed up your interview process, it could also backfire. If you share with a recruiter that you've already got another job offer, they may think that you won't be interested in the current job offer at their company. As a result, you may actually lose out on the position if you share.

This is where subtlety and professionalism comes in. If you want to share that you've got another job offer, make sure that you do so in a way that doesn't make you seem arrogant or close-minded.

Say, for example, there are two companies that you're looking to be hired for: Company a and Company B. Imagine that you get a job offer from Company A, but you go the next day to your second interview at Company B where you’re given a job offer.

If you're really interested in Company B's offer, then you can tell the potential employer that you are interested in the position at their company, but you've also been offered another position at another company.

This leaves the door open for you to explore the position at Company B, and maybe negotiate for a better salary.

2. Be careful with timing

As with most things in life, timing is everything.

If you go into your first interview with a company and immediately blurt out that you have a new job offer, then that might squash your chances of getting another offer. The recruiter doesn't really know you, doesn't know about your skills and abilities, and you really haven’t built up rapport with them.

Be careful about the timing and when you choose to spring on them that you have another job offer. If you haven't developed chemistry with the recruiter, then they may just shrug it off and choose to move onto the next candidate.

Tips on how to turn down an offer for another offer

Decide which offer you'd like to take

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

It may take you a little bit of time to think through which job offer you'd like to take, but one of the first things you need to do is to choose which one appeals to you more. It may be that one company offers you a higher salary or better benefits, but eventually you're going to have to settle for your preferred company.

Once you know which company you'd like to go with, remember why you chose them. If you get a more appealing offer from another company that might change things. Weigh your choices as you decide between multiple jobs.

Be Professional and transparent

Whatever you do, don't drag out the process for a hiring manager and tell them last minute that you got another job. Think about how frustrating it would be for a potential employer to think you've made your decision, only to figure out that they've wasted their time.

It's the polite thing to do to tell somebody that you're turning down the job for another job offer. Be sure to tell a potential employer early on when you've made up your mind and you know you are going to go with another company.

Promptly contact the hiring manager

Timing is important during the hiring process because the more time that a hiring manager pours into a potential job applicant is time that takes that person away from other jobseekers. Respond promptly when contacting a hiring manager, reaching out to them at the earliest available date to rescind your application.

Show gratitude

A little gratitude goes a long way, so express gratitude to a recruiter for being selected for the role.

If you feel comfortable, share with them that you'd be open to looking into positions at that company in the future. Share with them that you hope that they find the right candidate for the position.

Request a bit of time to weigh options

If you're undecided, then it might be a good idea to ask for a little bit more time to weigh the options. You don't want to jump into something, and finding a new job is a tough decision.

Most hiring managers will give you the benefit of the doubt, and allow you to consider the two different jobs. Make an informed decision and stick with it, and have confidence moving forward with your final decision.

Communicate and provide an explanation in writing

If you made it through the hiring process and you were given a written offer, it might be a good idea to write a formal business letter to rescind the official offer. You can stick to email for this, but try to put into writing the decision you made. If you feel comfortable, you can even give a brief reason why you're turning down the position.

Don't burn any bridges

Try to be polite and respectful when turning down the position because you never know when you could be interested in another position from that company.

Whatever you do, don't "ghost" the recruiter. By not responding to them and choosing to break down all communication with them, you're effectively burning a bridge. Think about how frustrated you'd feel if the lines of communication broke down with a hiring manager.

Example Emails

Example email 1

Subject: Re: The Sales Position at Valley Forge Metallurgy

Hello Mrs. Vanderbilt,

I'm writing in regards to the sales position at Valley Forge. Thank you so much for the opportunity and for extending me a job offer. Unfortunately, I received a job offer from another company in the telecommunications sector, and I will be accepting that role.

The primary reason why I will be accepting a position is because it is in my home state of Pennsylvania, whereas I would be forced to relocate for the position at Valley Forge.

I wish you the best in your search for the perfect candidate.


Dan Smith

This email is short and to the point, but also shares the major details on why the applicant will be turning down the position. In fact, the applicant even chooses to give a reason, which is that the job that he applied for would require him to move, but he found another job around his area. Although it's rather brief, it's respectful and shows gratitude.

Example email 2

Subject: RE: The HR Specialist position

Dear Mr. Holcomb,

I want to thank you for extending to me the offer for the HR Specialist position ZXY Tech. I had just one question for you about the position. While reading through the job offer I saw that the position paid $XXX, but only offers health benefits.

During my job search, I applied for other positions and I received an offer from another company offering a similar salary, but with more benefits , including more paid time off.

If you're available, I'd love to sit down and chat about how ZXY Tech could offer a competitive counter-offer. I’m still really interested in the position, and would love to discuss it in more detail.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Hannah Coleman

In this email, the author is trying to set up a negotiation. Here's where you need to tread lightly, as you don't want to seem too pushy in starting a negotiation on salary and benefits.

Depending on where you've applied, a recruiter may be given enough leeway from their boss to up your salary to be competitive with another company. It is always important to ask.


Right now, there is a tremendous need for skilled employees to fill positions within the workforce. As a result, there may be instances where you are offered multiple job offers. You may be scratching your head trying to figure out how to tell a recruiter that you have another job offer. It's easy though, as you all need to do is be upfront, honest, and considerate.

Try to avoid burning any bridges, and if possible use it as an opportunity to start a conversation about salary and benefits. You never know what could happen if you shared that the limiting factor for accepting this position is there's another job that pays more.

If at any point you would love to talk to somebody who is a skilled professional, reach out to a career counselor at Enhancv. The team of counselors is available to help you walk through the process of negotiating salaries to find exactly what you deserve.

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Dave Van Kooten
Is a human resource expert that helps passionate jobseekers to put their best foot forward to prepare for an interview. He believes that success can be achieved through going out of your comfort zone.
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