How to Properly ‘Ghost’ an Employer


Over the weekend, I picked up a copy of USA Today and chuckled when I read the money section’s headline, “‘Ghosting’ Creeps into Workplace.” You see, recruiters and hiring managers are guilty of ghosting practices too. So, I found it a bit amusing now that the employment market is in the job seeker’s favor, employers are noticing an uptick in interview and new hire no-shows. As a career coach, many job seekers have confided in me about their frustration with their job search after going through an arduous application and interview process only to be left in the dark about their status.

However, I do not advocate the practice of ghosting employers because as we see, what goes around comes around. I believe some job seekers are just not sure what to do if they change their minds or find a more suitable employment opportunity.

If you have a strong presence on LinkedIn or a resume posted on a job board, you may get a call about a job opportunity that you didn’t apply for and therefore do not have a chance to properly vet it. However, if you’re eager like many active job seekers before you know it, you would have committed to an interview after a phone screening. I remember this happening to me several years ago when a very convincing recruiter called me for an IT recruiter position. However, after some thought, I felt that the compensation structure along with the commute would put me in a precarious situation. So, I made a phone call to cancel the interview, and of course, recruiters are busy and seldom answer their phones, and I left a voicemail. It may have sounded something like this:

Hello, this is Cathy Francois. I am calling to cancel my interview scheduled for this Monday at 9 a.m. After further consideration, the position does not appear to be a good fit at this time. Thank you for your consideration. Please give me a call at xxx-xxx-xxxx if you have any questions.

There was another instance, however, where there was more at stake regarding my professional reputation. My hiring manager at the time knew that I was in the process of relocating and referred me to the office’s regional manager whose territory just got expanded to the area where I was moving. This led to a conversation with a recruiter and an invitation to an open house hiring event. By this time, I had already interviewed with other companies but, was grateful for the chance to relocate and transfer as an internal candidate. However, before I could attend the event, I accepted an offer with better compensation and benefits that my current employer could not come close to. So I sent an email to the regional manager advising her of my decision and thanking her for the opportunity. I never got a reply but, I can live with the fact that I gracefully bowed out.

But, what if you accepted a job offer and even signed the offer letter and changed your mind after you have carefully considered the consequences. Whatever the reason, I recommend informing the recruiter immediately. You may feel awful or even embarrassed, however, bowing out promptly provides an opportunity for another suitable candidate who may be next in line. So before you think about ‘ghosting,’ an employer check out LiveCareer’s sample offer reversal letter and create an email to rescind your acceptance of the job offer. 

Hopefully, you never have to send one of these, and you certainly do not want to make this a common practice. Happy hunting!

Moving Your Career Forward,

Cathy Francois, MBA, GCDF

Certified Career Coach | Career Exploration Officer of Rezume Forward


P.S. I provide professional and personalized career coaching. Available services include strategic career planning, resume writing, interview preparation, LinkedIn profile optimization, personal brand development, and more. Request a complimentary consultation today.


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