How Do You Withdraw a Signed Employment Offer?

Even though you signed a contract and informed everyone that you would begin work tomorrow, you’ve now changed your mind. Learn how to make a graceful get away from the situation.

Whether you’ve just signed your offer letter or you’ve been at your new job for a few weeks, things might arise that cause you to change your mind and wish to quit. Maybe you recently received a better offer from an organization you like more, and you didn’t negotiate compensation, or perhaps the new position isn’t a good match – whatever the case, how you handle this scenario is critical. Don’t destroy any relationships that could come in handy later.

Is This the Appropriate Action?

Here are the things you need to consider first:

Your Contract’s Legal Consequences

Pull up your contract and read it well to ensure that you understand everything you’ve committed to. If your new company has given you a bonus, perks, or other monetary or material gifts, you can be required to return them. If you decline an offer from an employer assisting you with immigration, your case will most likely be dismissed.

If you signed an employment contract, you probably agreed to non-compete restrictions as well. They are difficult or impossible to enforce in most jurisdictions. However, suppose you are a high-value recruit attempting to get over a recently signed contract. In that case, an employer can pursue legal action to intimidate you or the competition and prevent future poaching.

Other Things to Think About

Consider these possibilities: If you have accepted an offer but not a contract, you can give yourself some time by delaying contract signing.

Cashing checks is not a good idea: If you’re even somewhat dubious about the opportunity or suspect you’ll refuse, don’t cash any statements or accept any perks until you’re 100% committed.

Hedging should be done with caution: If you accepted an offer from your backup list but are still hoping Google (your ideal job) would contact you at the last minute, be aware that you may irritate your new boss and destroy bridges.

What’s the Trick?

In a nutshell, it’s quick. Once you’ve decided, contact your recruiter or HR department as soon as possible and provide the information they need. It’s essential not to let on that you’re leaving for a competition.

If you know someone who would be an excellent fit for the position, suggesting them will earn you many brownie points.

Phone Call or Send an Email

It would be best to chat in person or over the phone and then follow up with an email. Only doing it in writing and cutting the connection is disrespectful; it will leave the other with unresolved unpleasant sentiments.

Clarify the Following Throughout the Call

  • You are rescinding the offer immediately and will follow up with a written response.
  • Thank the company for the chance to get to know them and express your appreciation.
  • Let the recruiter know they did a fantastic job, but this isn’t the appropriate match.
  • Be forthright if there were any red flags.

If you are questioned directly, do not disclose that you have received another offer or desire to work for another organization. Said, “I’ll keep searching for a better match. Once I go someplace, I’d love to have a cup of coffee.”

Also, be ready for a counter-offer to rethink, and make sure you understand your bottom line. If money is your primary objective, you should explore bargaining rather than dismissing the offer.

Following the conversation, we suggest sending the recruiter or hiring manager a simple email stating your plans (mainly for your records) as well as a thank you card.

Sample of a Rough Email Template

Hi (Name of Recruiter/HR Representative),

Following up on our phone conversation, I’ve decided to decline your offer for a (position name).

I appreciate you and your team devoting time and effort to my application and assisting me in learning more about (company name). My time here has been fantastic, and I’m looking forward to keeping in contact with all of you.

Please let me know if you need further information to complete my application.

Best wishes,

Your Name


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