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Interview between two men where a resume is burned

Has your job offer been subsequently rescinded? Here’s what you can do

Artwork by: Irina Troitskaya

  • Why would an employer revoke a job offer?
  • How to prevent your job offer from being rescinded
  • What to do if a job offer has been revoked by the employer
  • Key takeaways

Even though you’ve aced an interview and are ready to start your dream career, there’s a possibility your employer might rescind your job offer. Read on to learn more about what to do in these unfortunate circumstances.

There are few things in life more disappointing than receiving a job offer, only for the employer to revoke the offer before you’ve had the chance to accept it. As the global economy is heading toward another recession, more and more organizations are rescinding job offers to cut costs. 

If it happens that a potential employer is rescinding your offer and you’re not sure what to do, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll discuss:

  • The reasons why a job offer might be rescinded

  • How to prevent your job offer from being revoked

  • What to do if your potential employer has withdrawn your job offer

Why would an employer revoke a job offer?

Contrary to popular belief, an organization is well within its rights to revoke a valid job offer after it has been communicated to a potential employee, either verbally or in writing. Here are a few reasons your job offer might be revoked by the employer. 

Failing a background check

If your employer performs a background check after making you a job offer and becomes aware of a past felony you committed, the company might revoke the offer. Some organizations have strict hiring requirements and expect all employees to clear a background check before they are hired.

Organizational restructuring

There are times where an organization undergoes a major restructuring. Maybe a new board of directors takes over or a key division is closed. When that happens, the organization typically reconsiders all hiring decisions and evaluates its resources. If a job role no longer suits its needs, the organization can revoke the job offer even if it’s already been made. 

Recession or budgetary constraints

As evident by the COVID-induced recession, many corporations are scrambling to cut costs and deal with the aftereffects of overhiring. This has led to massive layoffs, furloughs, and rescinded job offers. 

Not fulfilling the hiring requirements

In most cases, employers expect potential employees to respond to the job offer within a specified timeframe. If a potential employee does not accept the job offer by the expected deadline, the employer can revoke the offer. 

How to prevent your job offer from being rescinded

It’s important to note that there’s no way to guarantee that your potential employer will not revoke your job offer. If it’s revoked due to reasons beyond your control, such as organizational restructuring or unfavorable economic conditions, there’s not much you can do. 

However, you can certainly attempt to keep this unpleasant situation at bay by being proactive and focusing on the controllable factors, especially before the job offer is made. 

For example, if you have had trouble with the law in the past, make sure to be honest about it during your interview. Talk to the employer about any contingencies or conditions you need to meet in order to accept the job offer. Don’t feel pressured to accept the job as soon as it is offered. 

What to do if a job offer has been revoked by the employer

If your job offer has been rescinded, don’t take it personally. Oftentimes, an offer is revoked due to factors beyond your control. Here are a few things you can do if your potential employer no longer wants you onboard.

Take some time to process the situation

It’s natural to feel defeated and lost at first. After all, you’ve spent a lot of time preparing for the interview and convincing the organization why you’re the best choice for that job role. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take some time to process the news. Engage in some healthy activities to deal with the stress and let go of all the negativity. Remember, don’t take it personally! 

Understand the reason behind the revocation

Losing a job offer can feel like an end-of-the-world scenario, but it’s important to stay calm and think about the situation rationally after you’ve processed the news. Talk to the employer or hiring manager and find out why they don’t want you to work with them anymore. If the employer is vague with their response, ask for some clarity and any resources they’re offering to help you deal with this situation.

Discuss other options with the employer

If your job offer is being rescinded due to factors beyond your control, talk to the employer and find out if there’s another opening at the company for which your skills would be a good fit. 

You can also discuss any temporary, part-time, or contractual opportunities available at the company and whether you’d be an ideal candidate for them. Perhaps there’s another department that could really use someone with your skills and experience. 

Talk to other people

Share your story with your friends, family members, and professional network. You’ll be surprised at the number of people sharing words of encouragement and offering support. You’re also likely to get some more leads on organizations that are actively recruiting. 

Consider asking for your old job back, if possible

In case you notice your previous (or current) employer actively recruiting for the job role you’ve just vacated, it’s not a bad idea to reach out and ask them to keep you on board or rehire you. If you’ve given your two-week notice, you can take it back. It might seem like an awkward situation to be in, but if you need the money and you haven’t burned bridges at work, it’s an option worth considering. 

Key takeaways

  1. There are several reasons an employer might rescind a job offer before the applicant accepts it. These factors may or may not be within the employee’s control.

  2. Proactive planning can help you better prepare for situations where an employer revokes your job offer before you’ve had the chance to accept it. 

  3. Openly present any past situations that could make a company rescind your offer when discovered during a background check or other hiring process. Discuss any conditions that you could meet to keep the job offer in hand.

  4. If your job offer has been rescinded, don’t take it personally or feel disheartened. It’s not necessarily your fault. Take time to assess the situation and see what other options are available, such as taking a different job at the new company or going back to your old job.

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