Losing a Job Offer in Ten Easy Steps

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You got the job offer!  Congratulations! Brilliant!  Awesome! Between the job offer and the start date there are still ten ways you could lose that offer.  Be careful, prepared and professional and here is what NOT to do.


No Thank You Note 

This is not for the job offer but for the last round of interviews before the offer is extended.  86% of talent acquisition specialists and hiring managers say not receiving a thank you note shows a lack of follow-through.  Don’t lose the job offer due to a simple three line thank you.  Here are some tips for interview thank you note no-nos.


Questionable Manners

Sometimes the job offer is made over dinner.  Make sure your table manners and polite conversation gambits are up to speed.  Practice with someone who cares and who knows the right fork to use and the right conversation to have with the hiring manager’s partner.  


Lie on Your Resume

Its amazing this is still a topic for discussion after all the publicity of coaches and CEOs losing their job when their fabrications/little white lies/stretching the truth/outright lies are discovered.  There is no excuse for lying on your resume. It’s not worth it. Don’t do it. You will definitely lose the job offer.


Fail the Background Check

If you are going to work for a highly regulated industry like banking, your background will need to be squeaky clean.  Other industries you might be able to surmount that unpaid college tuition or DUI from ten years ago. The key to success with iffy background revelations is to address them before the background check is conducted.  You may still lose the job offer but most often the respect you earn through your upfront honesty will keep you in the running.


Fail the Drug Test

With the legalization of marijuana in select states this issue has become a cloudy one.  Firms can still chose to follow federal guidelines and withdraw your job offer if you test positive.  A good plan? Don’t do drugs 90 days before you are tested. The best plan? Don’t do drugs.


Bad References

Your management of your references is critical to avoiding this issue.  Ask EVERY reference if they are willing to give you a POSITIVE reference.  If they don’t immediately agree, preferably effusively, then don’t give them as a reference. Don’t assume if they say they will give a reference that it will be a good one.  You have to confirm that. The best candidates will call each of their references, again, to give them the information on who will be calling them and when.


Not Responding

If the job offer is extended to you through email or over the phone, be ready with an immediate response.  This doesn’t have to be a final acceptance or rejection, but you need to let the client know you are excited about the job offer and want to sleep on it tonight and get back to them tomorrow with some questions.  Even if you aren’t excited about the financial offer, there is something about this company or this job that made you pursue it this far and expressing that interest is always a good idea. Going dark for a day or a few days, gets job offers withdrawn.


Overly Greedy Negotiations

Trying to use their job offer in a bidding war with another company or your current company can get your offer pulled.  If the job offer is in the range you expressed you wanted to the client initially, negotiating for more because you want to, isn’t a good reason. Every company hopes you want their position for more reasons than just financial.  If you don’t, it probably isn’t the job for you.


Going Social in Your Decision Making

HR and hiring managers often google candidates.  If you have been lighting up social media with your friends looking for input about their company and your job offer, they could see it and question your professionalism, and they would be right.


Taking Too Long to Decide

Some clients make the mistake of demanding an answer within 24 hours.  Definitely too fast. But  you also shouldn’t make the mistake of taking too long to give your decision.  One week is the outside range for giving your answer. If you can do it right after a weekend, giving yourself time to talk with your partner and to really think about it, companies will appreciate the prompt response.


Interested in conducting a job search?  Contact the Recruiters at Smith Hanley Associates.


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