Just as you start to celebrate your new job, the offer is suddenly retracted. Did you do something that unknowingly put your job at risk?

There are many things that jobseekers can do that will result in the company pulling the job offer.

So in order to know why yours was retracted, it helps to understand why companies may do so.

Common reasons companies rescind offers

It’s not a small thing for a hiring manager to decide to withdraw an offer of employment, but some common issues include:

A candidate’s references give bad feedback

It’s better to be honest about references. While companies usually check on references before a job offer, it’s not unusual for it to be delayed until later in the hiring process.

The hiring manager has lost faith in the new hire

This can be due to all sorts of reasons. Maybe the new hire didn’t follow through on promises made during the interview; maybe a lack of professionalism or timeliness caused the hiring manager to have some doubts. Either way, if the hiring manager has lost faith in the candidate so early on, it’s a good sign they are not the right person for the job.

The new hire takes too long to act on a job offer

While it’s not uncommon for a candidate to need time to work through the decision-making process, requesting an unreasonable amount of time can give the impression that the potential new hire doesn’t really want to work for the company.

The position is no longer viable for the company

There are many reasons this could be the case: perhaps the budget was cut; maybe there was a recent restructure and the position was made redundant.

How you can avoid your offer being retracted

Sometimes, a rescinded offer is totally out of your control. This is why it’s a good idea to only hand in your resignation to your current company and/or role once you’ve signed a written, legally binding contract, and not upon acceptance of an informal offer.

However, there are things you as a candidate can to do reduce the risk of having your new job offer retracted.

Maintain professionalism

Remember that you were hired based on your experience and your comportment. The way you acted throughout the interview process is how you should continue to behave.

Be honest

Falsifying anything on your resume - even if you think it’s a minor detail - can be discovered during the usual background checks. Fake jobs, fake references, fake education details, these details can all be verified, and HR teams are familiar with all the usual tricks.

Don’t share until it’s official

Though it can be tempting to share the news with friends, family, and colleagues, it’s best to keep it to yourself until you’ve signed the contract. Not only does this avoid any potential embarrassment in case the offer is rescinded, it’s also a good way to ensure your news doesn’t spread before you’ve had the chance to share it properly, and to the appropriate people as appropriate.

Keep in regular contact

In order to avoid your new team thinking you’ve lost enthusiasm, stay in touch with the people you’ve met. This doesn’t mean you need to chat every day, but an email every now and then keeping them up to date with what’s happening in the lead up to your first day is a good way to create rapport with your new colleagues.

The lead up to your first day can be just as stressful as during your job hunt - that’s normal. Keep in mind that it’s unusual for companies to retract a job offer for no reason, and if they do, it’s usually a sign that there’s something wrong with the company, not you. As long as you behave professionally throughout the hiring process, they’ll have no reason not to hire you.

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