An image of students and employers conversing during the Miami University Career Fair 2015. An image of students and employers conversing during the Miami University Career Fair 2015.

Job Offer Precautions

The likelihood of an employer rescinding a job offer is remote, but it is important to understand that it can happen, especially during times of economic uncertainty. Be especially cautious of verbal job offers or those sent through e-mail. Instead, request that the employer put everything in writing: job offer, starting date, salary, benefits, job title, and all other pertinent details. The employer may be reluctant to honor your request, but it is worth asking. Additionally, send a job offer acceptance letter to the company as further documentation of the job offer. Refer to our Career Development Series booklet, Cover Letters & Other Job-Search Correspondence, for a sample acceptance letter.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has developed a set of guidelines, Principles for Professional Conduct, to be followed during the hiring process. These principles stipulate that if unforeseen conditions require an employer to revoke a job offer that you have accepted, you are entitled to a fair and equitable course of action. An employer may do one or more of the following:

  • Provide financial assistance.
  • Write a reference letter describing the circumstances involved in the rescinded offer.
  • Help the student locate other employment opportunities.
  • Allow students to keep signing bonuses.
  • Reimburse students for relocation expenses.

Unfortunately, these are only guidelines, and an employer may not be legally obligated to do anything to rectify the situation.

It is important, therefore, to research the financial stability of a company prior to interviewing or accepting a job offer. If you have concerns, ask about the company’s policy regarding rescinded offers of employment or delayed start dates. Have they ever rescinded an offer or delayed a start date? Do they anticipate any this year? Is there any type of compensation offered?

What should you do if a job offer is rescinded? The following is a list of suggestions:

  • Immediately consult with the Center for Career Exploration & Success staff for additional advice and guidance.
  • Ask the company if there is a possibility that this job or a similar job may become available in the near future or even a year from now.
  • Contact employers you previously interviewed with, especially if they extended a job offer, and ask if they are hiring.

Rescinding a job offer is a worst case scenario for a company and a job seeker. Receiving a written job offer from the employer and sending a job offer acceptance letter yourself may help reduce the chances of it happening to you.