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The Art of Turning Down a Medical Sales Job (You’ve Already Accepted)

Thanks to the thriving job market, medical sales job seekers have the upper hand when it comes to offers. So much so that a recent CareerBuilder survey found that 51 percent of people continue looking for jobs after they’ve received an offer. What’s even more surprising is that one out of seven will turn down the job for a better opportunity even after they’ve accepted a new role.

With competition for top medical sales talent at an all-time high, job seekers are often given the choice when it comes to the position they feel will best suit their goals. You may have multiple interviews stacked up in a week, with hiring managers making decisions in close succession. Or you might approach your current boss with the news of your departure only to be given a more appealing offer to stay. In other cases, you could start into your first few weeks of a new role and realize that it isn’t a good fit for you after all.

So how do you back out after committing without being blacklisted? There are four actions you need to take to gracefully decline an offer you’ve already accepted.

Be as transparent as soon as possible.

Hiring managers consider their job done once they’ve received your signed acceptance of their offer. If you make the decision to pursue another opportunity, be sure that you let them know as soon as possible.

Instead of starting from scratch, they’ll be able to reach out to their second or third choice candidates to extend an offer and fill the vacancy without having to reopen the candidate pool.

Don’t overshare.

While it’s important to be transparent, you aren’t required to spill all the details of why you’ve made the decision to pursue another opportunity or why you chose to continue your job search after accepting an offer.

Providing the reason for why you’re leaving, however, is good practice. Showing solid, fact-based reasoning will illustrate that you haven’t made the decision on a whim, but rather have carefully considered the career move that is best for you.

Be honest but polite about your candidate experience.

Sometimes your decision to turn down an offer or leave shortly after hire will be the result of an experience that didn’t feel quite right.

Recent research by CareerBuilder found an overwhelming majority of employers agree that the onboarding experience is a critical influencer when it comes to new hires. But employees say they’re missing the mark. That same CareerBuilder survey found only 29 percent of employees had an onboarding experience they felt adequately welcomed them and prepared them for their role.

Your honesty will help the employer improve their processes. If their hiring timeline was too long and you received another offer in the meantime, let them know. If you feel that specific onboarding activities showed a poor cultural fit for you personally, lay out the details, objectively. By focusing, again, on factual information and by delivering your message in a respectful and humble way, the employer you’re leaving will be able to use the information to improve.

Recommend someone who will be an even better fit than you were.

The ultimate parting favor you can bestow an employer you’re turning down is your personal recommendation for a candidate who is the perfect fit for the role – someone who knows of the opportunity and is ready to accept an offer.

Jobs that don’t fit you are still great opportunities, and you should let the employer know you think so. Layout the referral’s qualifications, illustrating how they align with both the duties of the job and the company culture, and send their contact information, minimizing the amount of work the hiring manager will have to do to make the hire.

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