Is it Okay to Back Out of a Job Offer for Another?

Is it Okay to Back Out of a Job Offer for Another?

The Great Resignation is in full force and appears to be the theme throughout the year as the economy continues to recover. The Labor Department reported last week that the economy added nearly 1 million new jobs in July. Additionally, the latest JOLTS Report revealed that a record-setting 10.1 million jobs are currently available. As a result, people are quitting their jobs in waves as they gain more confidence and optimism in their prospects. As these job seekers start to go through the interviewing process with multiple employers, it’s not uncommon to receive more than one job offer. So, is it okay to back out of an offer to pursue another after accepting the offer?

It’s more common than you might think

A recent LinkedIn post from resume coach Robynn Storey went viral with a story about one of her candidates. Storey’s candidate received a job offer that she happily accepted. However, shortly afterward, she received another offer. This offer was more lucrative and offered more opportunities. This candidate was conflicted about backing out of the first offer but ultimately turned it down for the second one.

Almost every employer has had candidates back out of a job offer to pursue another opportunity. And with so many jobs available, this is happening more than you might think. So, this raises the question if it’s acceptable to back out of an offer for another. The short answer is yes, but you must do it professionally and timely.

How to back out of a job offer for another

If you decided to back out of a job offer, there are a few tips to ensure you do it professionally so it doesn’t burn any bridges and leave the employer hanging out to dry.

First of all, if you are backing out of an offer, you want to let the company know immediately. The longer you wait to rescind your offer, the harder it will be for both you and the employer. As soon as you accept your new offer and have a start day ironed out, write a formal letter to the hiring manager with your withdrawal. Keep the letter short and sweet. There is no need to go into great detail about why you are pulling out. Just simply explain that you, unfortunately, are pulling your candidacy because you accepted another position. In your letter, make sure you thank the hiring manager for their time and show your appreciation for the opportunity.

Before you fire of that letter, call the hiring manager and do it over the phone, if possible. It may be more challenging to do it in a one-on-one conversation, but it’s the professional and courteous thing to do. Once you break the news, you can send the letter to the hiring manager to officially pull yourself from the position.

What if they present a counteroffer?

If you contact the employer and try to back out of the offer, they may counter your other offer. In today’s competitive market, employers are resorting to clever tactics to attract new candidates, so a counteroffer is very well possible. Before you contact the hiring manager to withdraw from your offer, understand why you are backing out. Is it simply money? Or did the second offer that came in have more opportunities, better benefits, or other perks that pique your interest? If it’s merely just compensation, then have a bottom line in your mind that you would be willing to accept to move forward with the first offer. However, if it’s more than just the money, there may be no point in entertaining a counteroffer.

Keep in mind that this prospective employer may not be thrilled to negotiate with you after you accepted the offer, but it is possible in this unprecedented market.

Check out our other career advice

If you turn down a job offer professionally and timely, you can hopefully salvage your relationship with that employer. If you are interested in reviewing more job hunting or interviewing resources, take a look at our blog!