I recently spoke with someone who turned down one job offer with a company he greatly respects in favor of another job that will help him expand his skill set and ultimately enhance his resume. Now he’s wondering if he has any chance of being hired by the first company at some point in the future if there is a new opening for which he qualifies.
The answer is yes, according to Tiffani Murray, owner of Personality On a Page resume and career consulting services and director of people services/HR for a national furniture retailer.
“I can speak as a former hiring manager, a career consultant and a former applicant on this topic,” Murray says. “Personally, I have declined an offer, only to be called back three months later about the opportunity. They had upgraded the position and it was more aligned with my career goals.”
Her advice is to never assume saying “no” permanently closes doors.
“Turning down a job offer is never something anyone takes lightly, and organizations know that. If you have valid reasons and express those at the time you turn the offer down, a well-functioning HR department and hiring manager won’t use that against you,” she explains.
There are many reasons to turn down a job for an opportunity that seemed a better fit. And whether it had to do with growth potential, salary structure, level within the organization or location, Murray says she always tells her resume clients to keep in touch with the recruiting team and/or hiring manager.
“If a few years later, you see a role that is aligned with where you are at the time, reach out,” she says. “I don’t think there is a crystal ball for this scenario; but keep in mind that while you were at another job, things changed in that company also. There may have been growth, changes in leadership, compensation evaluations, restructures, etc., that just make it a better alignment for both you and the employer. Never be afraid to throw your hat back in the ring!”
Kathleen Furore is a Chicago-based writer and editor who has covered personal finance and other business-related topics for a variety of trade and consumer publications. You can email her your career questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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