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I have applied for several jobs through different recruiters. I have been offered multiple jobs. During the interview process I have been honest with the recruiters and the companies letting them know I am talking to other parties.

What is the best way to turn the jobs down? I know I will need to tell the recruiter but should I follow up with the company by email or letter. I am not sure how the recruiter will put across my decision to the company.

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    On a related tangent, know that recruiters will ask you all sorts of "friendly" questions about your new job. Don't tell them which company it is, they're usually looking for a lead on companies hiring.
    – pdr
    Sep 27, 2012 at 9:14
  • The recruiter is not going to trash talk you to the company. They put you forward so if they trash talk you then it looks bad on them. Sep 27, 2012 at 14:28

2 Answers 2

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I know I will need to tell the recruiter

Of course.

but should I follow up with the companies by email or letter.

No need for this. That's the job of the recruiter - they will tell the company that you have declined. Of course, they may not be putting forward your version, as they still need to work with the company.

If you feel strongly about it and you want to ensure that no bridges are burned you might as well write the company yourself, though you would need to consider who to address this to (HR? Hiring manager? People that interviewed you?).

Writing a letter is likely to give you little benefit - the only circumstances I can see this helping is if:

  1. The recruiter misrepresented you to the extent that the company wouldn't consider you to be a good hire anymore.
  2. You intend to interview with them again some time in the future.
  3. The people that get your letter are still around at that time.
  4. The records about this particular interview cycle are kept (and routinely used).

I am not sure how the recruiter will put across my decision to the companies.

This boils down to two questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. Do you trust the recruiter to represent you correctly?
  2. Does it matter if they don't?
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Recruiter here with 15 years of experience. You absolutely want to tell the recruiters you have worked with as soon as possible that you have accepted a position. Chances are the recruiter will ask questions and perhaps try to sway your decision, and since recruiters only get paid for making a placement, there is even a chance that the recruiter will go back to the companies that presented offers to see if they will sweeten the pot a bit and up the offer. If you are 100% decided on accepting one offer, be firm with the recruiters and let them know that you have passed on your commitment to your new employer.

Be sure to thank them for their time, and if they treated you well you may want to let them know that you would pass their name along to anyone that you knew was looking for work. Recruiters love referrals, and you don't want to burn any bridges with the recruiter or the hiring companies themselves.

You could ask the recruiters if they object to you reaching out directly to the hiring companies with a call/email to thank them for their time and for their consideration. I would have no problem with allowing my candidates to follow-up after declining an offer, but some might have an issue with it (the recruiters that have an issue are the ones you should worry about, and you may be more inclined to contact those particular companies directly). The appropriate person to address the letter to would be the interview team, and HR as well if you had a fair amount of contact with them during the offer process.

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