How to Handle a Rescinded Job Offer
January 19, 2021
rescinded job offer
Given the competitive nature of the job market, it can be discouraging to finally receive a job offer only for it to be taken back. It is completely understandable in this situation to feel upset, angry, discouraged, or cheated. None the less, you need to carry yourself gracefully and professionally should you find yourself with a rescinded job offer.

Why an offer may be rescinded

Companies do not want to rescind job offers, so it isn’t something we commonly see. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t something that does happen from time to time. If you’ve recently had a job offer rescinded, here are a few possible causes that you should reflect on.

The company is experiencing a sudden, unexpected change to its financial situation

After the events of 2020 and its effects on the job market, almost no situation is unbelievable. Companies that have experienced massive success over the past few years may suddenly be going bankrupt. Unfortunately in these situations, the outcome is not in your control.

That being said, we do urge you to conduct extensive research into the companies prior to submitting your application. You should look into the company’s competitive standing and its size. Such research not only prepares you for the interview process, but it can also help you target companies that are in areas of growth to potentially mitigate any risks such as this one.

rescinded job offer

A situation occurred to make the company believe you would no longer be a good fit

Our actions do have consequences, and sometimes that consequence could be losing a job offer. While these situations are unfortunate, they do require honest reflection. Oftentimes, these types of situations are avoidable, so you should be doing everything in your power to avoid them (obviously).

One of the more common causes for jobs to be rescinded is social media. You may be thinking, “Well isn’t it my social media? Shouldn’t I be allowed to post whatever I want?” Well, yes, it is your personal account and you can do with it what you want. If that’s the attitude you would like to have, however, you should also be prepared to accept the consequences that may potentially follow.

In an article published by The Muse, it covers eight different scenarios where job seekers were removed from the list of candidates due to social media. If you don’t believe us that it matters, we recommend you give that article a read.

While social media can be one cause, it isn’t the only thing that may result in a rescinded job offer. Here are some other possible reasons:

  • Unfavorable results from a background check that do not align with what you told them in your interview
  • A disagreement during contract negotiations
  • Unprofessional behavior following the job offer

What you should do if the offer is rescinded

After some reflection, it’s time to plan your next moves. Here’s how you should handle the situation.

First, take some deep breaths

If you’re angry or upset, you won’t be in the best position to do something beneficial for your situation. Let yourself have a few moments to feel everything you’re feeling, and then do what you need to do for yourself to calm down.

Ask why it was rescinded

Regardless of the reason, you’re going to want to know exactly why the offer was rescinded so you know what to be mindful of moving forward. Now, you should also understand that there may not be an answer that the company will provide you with. You have to be okay with that possibility before you ask.

When you’re calm and ready, you may want to reach out to the person who offered you the job initially or the human resources department. Make sure all of your communications continue to be polite and professional.

rescinded job offer

What you can do next:

If you are given an answer, you have a few options based on the company’s response:

If it was rescinded because of your contract negotiations:

  • Consider what you are willing to renegotiate
  • Ask to discuss the situation over the phone or in-person (if possible)
  • Be realistic with what you’re asking for, but don’t settle for less than you’re worth

If it was rescinded because of social media/your actions:

  • Apologize for the situation
  • Ask if they will reconsider (but understand they may not be willing to)
  • Learn from the mistake and avoid it in the future

If they don’t give you an answer, accept the fact that it is time to move on. Sometimes, we have to trust that these outcomes are simply for the best. No matter what happens, always leave on good terms. The last thing you need after having a job offer rescinded is to also be permanently blacklisted from that company or that industry.

Sometimes when we fall down, all there is to do is to get back up. A rescinded job offer isn’t something that anyone wants, but we do need to learn what to do if it happens to us. If you’re looking for help and support during this time, contact our team at BrandResumes so we can help you get back out there. Good luck!


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By Emily Provost

Emily is BrandResumes' Content Specialist and is an Associate Resume Writer. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Publishing Studies with double minors in Marketing and Journalism from Hofstra University. She has had editorial experience working as an editor for various publications from Hofstra and worked as a writing tutor for undergraduate students.

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