This scenario is pretty common and actually just happened to two clients I was working with. You hustle hard in your job search, land an offer you’re excited about, sign on the dotted line, and feel like the process is officially over.
For the most part, it is. However, you never know when other companies will come across the applications you submitted over the past few weeks/months and reach out. Of course, they’ve arrived too late to the party and you’re already off the market, but what’s the best way to respond?
Q&A: A company reached out after I accepted another offer. What is the best way to respond? Is a response necessary?
First of all, you should definitely respond. Forming a connection with a company you were (or still are) interested in working at is never a bad idea, even if you can’t act on that connection right away.
Here’s a sample response
Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I am a big fan of [company] and was very excited about the [job title] opportunity. I’ve been interviewing actively over the past few weeks and recently accepted a role at [company] as a [title]. I would love to keep in touch for the future and will send a request to connect on LinkedIn as well. Thank you again for taking the time to review my application.
Thank you, [you]
The key action items
Writing this type of response is important for two reasons. One is simply because it’s the polite thing to do. The second is reason this is important is because you never know when you will want to have this connection in the future.
Making the LinkedIn connection is especially important because people move companies constantly. If you don’t connect with the person on LinkedIn, you’ll have no way of knowing how to reach them if they leave the company.
I find that people get a note like this and tend to second guess the offer they already received. There is a temptation to try to enter into the other company’s interview process and see what happens.
Although there are certain situations that might warrant doing this, it’s not something I recommend. If you signed an offer or just started at a new job and still ask to go through the interview process it can come across as a big red flag.
The red flag is that you committed to something and people are relying on you… but you’re willing to bail just because someone else sent you an email.
Companies value loyalty and want to hire people who display it. Hiring and training a new employee takes a lot of time and effort so if a candidate seems like a flight risk, companies will generally pass on hiring them.
Reneging on an offer (accepting and then changing your mind) is something that burns a bridge forever so I’d caution you not to go down that road unless there is a really compelling reason to.
Perhaps you’re thinking you’d just like to meet them on an exploratory basis. While that’s a nice thought in theory, recruiters and hiring managers are generally very pressed for time. If they know you’re off the market, they will likely look to spend their time on people who aren’t! It’s nothing personal.
When it’s time to reach back out
Let’s say you start your job, stick around for a year or two, and then decide it’s time to start searching again. If the company that reached out to you is still a place you might want to work, you can re-open the connection. Here is a sample email you can use:
Hope all is well! I am not sure if you remember me but we originally connected [x] years/months ago about the [role]. Since we last spoke I [fill them in on your work experience since then]. I am now looking for a new opportunity focused on [describe what you’d like to do] and [company] is still a place I would love to work.
If you have availability, I’d love to set up a time to meet in the coming weeks.
OR (if there is an open job of interest)
I noticed you are now looking for a [role posted on their careers site] and I would love the opportunity to interview for it.
Thank you for your consideration, [you]
[don’t forget to attach your updated resume too!]
Remember, it always pays to be polite and responsive even if an immediate action can’t be taken. You never know when relationships will be helpful to you in the future!