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I received job offers from two different companies. When I got the offer from the 2nd place (a startup), I got emails from most of my interviewers (potential coworkers/colleagues) and from the Tech VP wishing me congrats and expressing their hope that I join the company.

I've decided to go with the 1st place, but I haven't told the startup yet. I'm not sure how to reply to these emails. Do I reply to each one (before I decline the offer) thanking them and letting them know that "I'm deciding between two offers, and I hope our paths cross again in the future if I go the other route"?

Or do I wait till I decline the offer, and then reply to the emails thanking them but letting them know that I've decided to go a different direction?

Or do I reply with a simple ‘Thank you’ and not say anything further?

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    "Or do I wait till I decline the offer, and then reply to the emails thanking them but letting them know that I've decided to go a different direction?" That's the correct way
    – Hilmar
    Sep 8, 2023 at 14:40

4 Answers 4

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You don't need to reply at all.

But if you feel compelled, a simple "Thank you." would suffice.

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    An email that just says "Thank you." might come off a bit cold, or even psychotic, and I don't think there's really a good way to word things. I would stick to just not replying unless you accept. Sep 8, 2023 at 14:08
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I would reply to the personal emails before making the final decision. You can either be completely noncommittal ("Thanks, I really enjoyed meeting you too and am weighing my options this week") or, if you feel it might be helpful, use these as a way to improve the offer and change your mind. ("Thanks, I really enjoyed meeting you too, and am still considering your firm, but it is the lowest salary I've been offered by quite a significant amount. I don't know if I will be able to proceed or not.") Only do this if there is a change to the offer that would in fact get you on board.

Once you decline the offer, if you genuinely want to stay connected to the people who wrote to you, tell them that, separately from thanking them for the first emails.

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I would make certain that the 1st offer is solid first. Make sure you have signed a contract and then actually start work.

After a few days at your new work, if you feel like it, inform the other company, that you wont be taking up their offer. You don't need to elaborate on it. If they ask why, then it is up to you whether you want to tell them. Note I am different in that I like to give feedback (because I like to receive feedback). If I felt that they could improve something, I would tell them about it.

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I received job offers from 2 different companies. When I got the offer from the 2nd place (a startup), I got emails from most of my interviewers (potential coworkers/colleagues) and from the Tech VP wishing me congrats and expressing their hope that I join the company.

I've decided to go with the 1st place, but I haven't told the startup yet. I'm not sure how to reply to these emails.

When it is the appropriate time to decline their offer, contact the company in the way their system specifies. It could be an email, or it could be via their job candidate system.

Do I reply to each one (before I decline the offer) thanking them and letting them know that "I'm deciding between 2 offers, and I hope our paths cross again the future if I go the other route"?

There is no need to do this before you decline the offer. If you are undecided about which offer to take and you need more time, it may be possible to extend their offer timeline by contacting a specific person involved in the hiring process. This shouldn't be done by responding to all the other emails.

Or do I wait till I decline the offer, and then reply to the emails thanking them but letting them know that I've decided to go a different direction?

Once you have declined the offer, there is no need to respond to most of the emails. I would only contact somebody if I already knew them, or reasonably expected to see them again.

Or do I reply with a simple Thank you and not say anything further?

I would ignore most of the emails. Those who need to know about your decision will be informed by the company. Those same people may now be deciding if they want to notify the next candidate or start the process again.

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