Thinking twice about job offer? Why backing out could be bad for your career

Companies spend a lot of time and money on the hiring process, so it is no surprise that candidates who back out of job offers at the last minute are a major annoyance. Every situation is different and it may be the case that it is no longer possible to accept the role you previously agreed to. However, it is important to take time to consider the job offer carefully, prior to signing the contract.  It is not against the law to go back on a job offer, however, it could be damaging for your career. These are some reasons why backing out of a job offer may have negative implications for your career.


Bad for Reputation

It is important to remember that you are not only affecting your own reputation by backing out of a job offer, but also that of the recruiter (if not a direct applicant). The recruiter is representing you after all, so if you fail to join a company after agreeing to the terms/ signing a contract, the reputation of the recruiter also hangs in the balance. If you have adversely impacted the reputation of yourself and your recruiter, they are highly unlikely to want to help you in the future. You never know when you might need assistance in the future, so it is important to build and retain good relationships with recruiters and perspective employers.


Looks Unprofessional

In order to progress within your career, it is important that you maintain a professional image of yourself and this includes exhibiting qualities such as reliability and being industrious. As a candidate, backing out of a job offer shows a lack of professionalism, which can be detrimental for future job prospects. Any employer or recruiter would expect careful consideration to be taken before a candidate accepts the job. In failing to do this, you would not be representing yourself in a professional manner. This applies even more so, if the client has incurred travel expenses on your behalf (travel, hotels etc). In short, if you are not serious don’t go to the interviews.


Shows Indecisiveness

If you portray yourself as unable to make a decision or not being clear on your decision, it is not attractive for employers. Clients only want to hire candidates who show drive and enthusiasm, so if you show signs of being indecisive, you will not be looked on favourably in general. This is why it is important to take time and think carefully before making a decision on whether to accept a job or not.



In many ways, backing out of a job offer after accepting it is disrespectful to both the employer and recruiter. It is very rarely a simple process to find the right candidate and by pulling out at the last minute, a lot of time and money will have been wasted. Many candidates only look at how it will impact them if they don’t accept the role, but spare a thought for those who have taken the time to recruit you. If there are doubts, it is better to express these concerns at the start, than continue to the end of the process.