How To Renege On A Job Offer

You receive a job offer from Company A and indicate your acceptance. Company B comes along, makes you an offer you can’t resist and after weighing all the pros and cons, you decide to renege on the job offer from Company A. How do you go about it?

Reneging on a job offer is never an easy thing to do. The entire process of arriving at the decision to renege can be stressful, somewhat like looking into the future to see which option will be better for you. Unfortunately, all you have to work with is what you know about each company and what you know about yourself. Once you have decided to renege, here are some tips to be aware of:

  1. Do it as quickly as you can: As soon as you have made the decision to renege on a job offer, do it. This will free up the company to call up their next prospective candidate and make an offer. The longer you leave it, the higher the possibility that other candidates would have moved on, thereby increasing the resources that will be needed to find a suitable candidate.
  2. Be bold enough to place a phone call: It’s all too easy to hide behind the glare of your computer screen and send an email. There are far more gracious ways to renege. It won’t be pretty but you have to get it done. Ask to speak directly to the recruiting officer and explain your reasons. They will be far more likely to understand your position than if they just received an email out of the blue.
  3. Apologise: Resources have been invested to get to the point of offering you a job. Apologise sincerely and make sure this comes through. In the end, there’s nothing they can do about it and they will end up respecting your decision.

Having to renege on a job offer is never a good position to be in. Your reputation just might be at stake, especially if it’s a small industry. The lesson to learn here is to always ask for more time before you accept a job offer, especially if you’re not a 100% sure how things will pan out. Recruiters also don’t make things easy when they put pressure on candidates to accept job offers.

Always consider the possibility of counter offers or new offers that you may receive along the line when you receive a job offer. If you don’t close all other doors, there’s a possibility that those doors will open and you’ll be faced with the difficult but avoidable problem of having to renege on a job offer.

More importantly, once you’ve reneged, move on with your life. There’s no point looking back and wondering what could have been or you will stand the risk of losing out on those benefits that made you choose one company over another in the first place.