You’ve just been given a job offer for a position that excites you and you’re eager to begin this new chapter in your career. Nothing can go wrong from here, right? Suddenly, you hear back from the hiring manager, and they have bad news: that job offer you were so excited about has now been rescinded.
What gives? Rescinded job offers used to be a rare occurrence, but it has recently become a more common strategy for employers for a variety of reasons. Whether their reasoning is within your control or not, the result is the same—you need to be ready to move forward as soon as possible. Here are five things you need to do when you’ve had a job offer rescinded:
Ask for feedback
If you’ve had a job offer rescinded, the first thing you should do is ask why it was rescinded, and if they have any additional feedback for you. Some common reasons for a rescinded offer are:
- You failed a background check
- You didn’t give them a response by their deadline
- You posted something on social media that the company deemed unprofessional
- The company is facing an unforeseen issue like a hiring freeze or financial setback
It’s important to remain calm and polite as you ask for answers. You want to fully understand if this is a situation where there was really nothing you could do to affect the outcome, or if there are changes you can make going forward. Staying level-headed is the best way to ensure you get the feedback and answers you need.
Use their feedback to move forward
Once the conversation has ended, apply their feedback as you move forward. If your offer was rescinded because of an issue on your end, you can take the steps necessary to ensure this won’t happen again. For example, if the reason was because of your social media content, clean up your accounts to remove any posts or photos that can be deemed inappropriate or unprofessional. If it was because of a failed background check, you might want to consider giving your next prospective employer advanced notice about the reason why to prevent any future surprises.
Revisit other job offers
Having a job offer rescinded doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go back to square one. Were there other companies you turned down an interview or job offer from? If so, reach out and ask if the position is still available and if they’d consider you for it. Be prepared for them to ask why you’re reaching back out and what made you change your mind. Instead of going into detail about the situation, focus on what made you initially interested in the position they offered you. This is a great way to reignite the conversation and make your case as to why you’re the best choice for that role.
Consider asking your former employer about current opportunities
If you are still on good terms with a former employer, reach out and ask if there’s an opportunity for you to return. While this may have been a taboo request in the past, rehiring former employees (also known as “boomerang employees”) is a hiring strategy that many employers have become open to in recent years. At the same time, it’s also become increasingly common for professionals to reapply to companies they left during the Great Resignation. This may be something to consider if you left for reasons that this employer would be able to meet in a new position, such as a higher salary, new growth opportunities, etc. If you left due to bad management or a toxic work culture, this is not a path you’d want to pursue.
Reach out to your network
If you still find yourself without a new job opportunity, start reaching out to your network. Not only should you update your LinkedIn page to say you’re actively job searching, but you should personally reach out to your network and ask them if they have any job leads you can pursue. If you have two or three close contacts who can vouch for your skills, it might also be worth asking if they would be willing to write you a professional recommendation or serve as a reference. While there might be plenty of jobs to choose from online, leveraging your network is a great way to bypass applicant tracking systems and get your resume in the hands of the right hiring managers—sooner! You may also be able to interview for positions before they are published online, giving you a leg up on your competition.