What to Do If Ghosted after Verbal Offer?

ghosted after verbal offer

Imagine you’ve received a verbal offer for a job, eagerly waiting for a written confirmation or follow-up. Days turn into weeks, and your once-responsive employer has suddenly vanished. You’ve been ghosted after a verbal job offer—an unfortunate outcome in the modern hiring process. This article addresses what to do when facing this disappointing situation and discusses how to move forward.

First, it’s essential to understand what ghosting is in the context of job offers: when an employer expresses intention to hire but never follows up with official confirmation or communication, leaving the job seeker in limbo. While it’s an unprofessional practice, it’s critical to know how to handle being ghosted to not let it derail your job search.

Key Takeaways

  • Recognize and handle ghosting after a verbal job offer with effective strategies
  • Remain proactive through utilizing professional networks and evaluating the situation
  • Learn from the ghosting experience to better navigate future job search endeavors

Recognizing Ghosting

Ghosting occurs when a recruiter or employer stops communicating with a candidate after extending a verbal offer. This sudden lack of response can leave the applicant confused and unsure about their status in the hiring process. Recognizing ghosting is crucial to deal with the situation and plan the next steps.

A young woman sitting at a desk with a puzzled expression. She's surrounded by a calm, home office environment. The woman's eyes are slightly narrowed, and her head is tilted, depicting confusion and anticipation.

A common sign of ghosting is when the communication that was primarily initiated by the recruiter or employer suddenly halts. They may stop answering calls, emails, or messages, leaving the applicant with no information about the offer. The recruiter might have provided a timeline for the next steps, but if there is no response within that time frame, ghosting might have occurred.

Another indicator could be when the recruiter is being vague or non-committal in their communication during the interview process. For instance, they might have used phrases such as “We’re still considering other candidates” or “We’ll be in touch soon,” without giving a clear indication of their decision. This can be a sign that they might be distancing themselves from the process.

Checking the job posting on the company’s website or job boards can also help identify ghosting. If the position is still posted and active after receiving the verbal offer, it might be a sign that the recruiter or employer is still looking for other candidates.

To better understand the recruiter’s perspective and spot other interview signs, one can refer to this insightful guide on Spotting Interview Signs. Recognizing ghosting allows the candidate to assess the situation, regroup, and move forward in their job search effectively.

Steps When Ghosted

If you find yourself ghosted after receiving a verbal job offer, it’s important to remain calm and take appropriate actions to address the situation.

First, give the company some time to follow up on their own. Hiring processes can face delays due to internal decisions or other unexpected occurrences. Waiting a few days before taking any action can prevent pushy behavior that may have a negative impact.

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After a reasonable waiting period, the next step is to follow up with the human resources (HR) department. Ideally, reach out to the person who extended the verbal offer. Draft a concise and polite follow-up message inquiring about the status of the written offer. Be sure to mention the specific conversation in which the offer was made and the timeline that was discussed.

While waiting for a response, continue exploring other job opportunities. Do not put all your hope in this single offer, as circumstances can change, and it’s best to have other options available. In case you receive and accept another offer while still waiting, learn how to decline a job offer you already accepted.

If the HR department fails to respond to your initial follow-up message, consider sending another one after a week. This is a second chance to express your interest in the position and politely remind them of the pending written offer. Remember to remain patient and professional in your communication.

Finally, if there is still no response after multiple follow-up attempts, it’s time to accept that the offer may no longer be valid. Focus on other job prospects and avoid dwelling on the situation. Ghosting can be a frustrating experience, but it’s crucial to maintain a confident and positive attitude while moving forward in your job search.

Wait PeriodGive the company some time before taking any action.
Follow UpReach out to HR or the person who made the verbal offer, inquiring about the status.
Continue Job SearchKeep looking for other opportunities while waiting.
Persistent Follow-UpSend another follow-up message if there’s no response.
AcceptanceMove on if there’s no response after multiple attempts.
Table 1: Steps to Take When Ghosted

Understanding the Hiring Process

The hiring process generally starts with recruiters and hiring managers screening candidates and evaluating their profiles. During this step, an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) may be used to filter applications based on specific keywords and requirements.

After the initial screening, selected candidates are usually invited for interviews. This process might involve multiple rounds with different members of the company to assess various aspects of the candidate‘s skillset.

A HR professional (female) in a modern office setting, reviewing resumes on her computer. She has a focused and serious expression, symbolizing the thoroughness of the hiring process. The background shows a neat, organized workspace with a small plant, adding a touch of warmth to the scene.

Once the interviews are complete and a suitable candidate is identified, the hiring manager often extends a verbal job offer. It’s important to remember that verbal offers can sometimes be informal and may not always be legally binding, depending on the jurisdiction. When receiving a verbal offer, it’s recommended to ask for a written offer as well to ensure certainty and documentation of the agreement.

If you find yourself ghosted after a verbal offer, try to understand that the hiring process can be complex, with many factors affecting the decision-making process. Delays in receiving an official offer may be due to internal approvals or further evaluations of the applicant pool.

It might be helpful to follow up with the hiring manager or recruiter to check the status of the offer. In some cases, they may provide updates or give additional information about the next steps. If you need more time to consider the job offer, you can take guidance on how to ask for an extension.

Using Professional Networks

One effective strategy when ghosted after a verbal offer is to utilize professional networks. LinkedIn, as the premier platform for professionals, can be a valuable resource in this situation. It allows individuals to connect with others in their chosen field, as well as find and share job-related content.

When faced with a lack of response after receiving a verbal job offer, it is crucial to reach out to connections on LinkedIn. Start by contacting those who may have insight or advice regarding the specific company or job opportunity. This may include employees of the company, individuals who work in the same industry, or simply friends and colleagues that can offer their own experiences and perspectives.

An individual (male) in a home office, engaged in a video call on his laptop. He's smiling and seems to be in a lively conversation, depicting the act of networking. The background shows a bookshelf and a world map, suggesting a well-rounded and international perspective.

Additionally, LinkedIn offers a multitude of discussion groups and communities where professionals gather to discuss industry news, trends, and job opportunities. Joining relevant groups or participating in conversations can lead to valuable insights and potentially new connections that may assist in moving forward after a ghosting experience.

Remember that building and maintaining a professional network goes beyond simply connecting with others on a platform like LinkedIn. Engaging with content, leaving comments, and sharing articles all contribute to an active presence on the platform. This, in turn, can foster trust and rapport among peers, and enhance one’s credibility within the field.

Furthermore, an active online presence can also attract the attention of potential employers or headhunters. This could lead to new job prospects, or even an explanation regarding the initial ghosting experience. By leveraging professional networks and utilizing platforms like LinkedIn, individuals can take control of their career trajectory and ensure they remain resilient in the face of setbacks.

Evaluating the Situation

When facing a situation where a job applicant has been ghosted after a verbal offer, take a step back and evaluate the situation. This involves gathering information, reflecting on one’s experience, and maintaining a clear perspective.

A photo showing a woman sitting at a park bench with a notepad and pen, deep in thought. She's gazing into the distance with a contemplative expression. The setting is serene and natural, symbolizing the process of reflection and evaluation.

The first step in evaluating the situation is to gather all relevant information. This may include reviewing job postings, emails, or any other correspondence with the potential employer. Taking note of specific details, such as the date of the verbal offer, names of people involved, and any deadlines discussed, will help in gaining clarity on the situation.

Next, consider any previous experience in similar situations. Has ghosting occurred in the past with other job offers, or is this an isolated incident? By reflecting on past experiences, one can better identify patterns in behavior that may indicate a broader issue in their career journey.

In addition to utilizing past experiences, assess the situation by looking at it from multiple angles. This includes understanding the potential employer’s perspective and any reasons for their lack of communication. For example, maybe the company is in the process of restructuring, or the hiring manager may be on vacation. While it’s essential to be aware of the possibilities, it’s also important not to jump to conclusions.

Finally, maintaining a confident and knowledgeable approach throughout the evaluation process is critical. This involves staying neutral and refraining from making assumptions or exaggerating the situation. Clear communication is key, and by reaching out to the potential employer for more information or an update on the status of the offer, one can show professionalism and determination in their career pursuits.

Information GatheringReview all relevant correspondence and details.
ReflectionConsider past experiences and patterns.
Understanding Employer’s PerspectiveConsider possible reasons for the employer’s silence.
CommunicationReach out for more information or updates.
Table 2: Evaluating the Situation

Ensuring Best Practices

Job seekers often face the challenge of navigating the job search process, which can sometimes involve a verbal job offer followed by silence from recruiters. To minimize the impact and frequency of such situations, it’s essential to employ the best practices from both sides, ensuring clear communication and transparency throughout the process.

A candid shot of a job applicant (male) in a suit, practicing his interview responses. He has a determined and focused expression, showcasing preparation and dedication.

Firstly, job seekers should be proactive in their approach. Upon receiving a verbal offer, it’s crucial to politely request written confirmation of the offer, outlining the job responsibilities, salary, and start date. This documentation provides a reference point for both parties, promoting accountability and clarity. Additionally, following up with the recruiter after a reasonable period has passed demonstrates a candidate’s continued interest in the position.

On the other hand, recruiters have the responsibility to maintain open communication in a clear and timely manner. Providing a written offer within a few days of the verbal agreement helps establish trust with the candidate. Additionally, updating the job seeker on any progress or delays prevents frustration and demonstrates respect for their time.

Both job seekers and recruiters should maintain professional etiquette in their interactions, treating each other with respect and honesty. Misleading or exaggerating information is counterproductive and can lead to future misunderstandings. By conducting themselves in a confident and ethical manner, both parties can develop a mutually beneficial relationship and avoid any potential conflicts.

Action after a Conditional Offer

Receiving a conditional job offer can be an exciting prospect. However, when the formal offer does not materialize, individuals may find themselves in a challenging situation. In this section, a series of steps to follow after being ghosted following a conditional job offer will be outlined, as well as a few considerations on legal recourse.

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First, it is important to remain patient and give the employer some time. There could be valid reasons for the delay, such as internal processes or unexpected events within the company. If a reasonable amount of time has passed, the candidate may reach out to the hiring manager or human resources department for information. It is important to communicate courteously and professionally, inquiring about the status of the job offer.

Secondly, keep a record of all communication. This includes the initial conditional offer, any emails or messages exchanged with the company, and any evidence that indicates the employer’s intention to extend a formal offer. These records may become important in the event of a disagreement or legal action.

Next, prepare to continue the job search. Although it is discouraging to experience being ghosted after a conditional offer, it is essential to maintain a proactive mindset. Prospective employees should ensure their resumes and cover letters are updated and continue applying to other opportunities.

Regarding legal recourse, the laws surrounding rescinding job offers vary depending on the jurisdiction. In some regions, an employer may rescind an offer at any time, while in others, certain legal requirements must be met. If the individual has a written contract or other evidence suggesting the company intended to provide a formal offer, consulting with an employment attorney can provide insight on the available legal options.

PatienceWait for a reasonable period before following up.
DocumentationKeep a record of all communications.
Continue Job SearchKeep looking for other job opportunities.
Legal ConsultationConsider consulting an employment attorney if necessary.
Table 3: Action after a Conditional Offer

Post-Ghosting Recovery

The first step in post-ghosting recovery is to assess the situation and determine if any action can be taken to restore communication with the potential employer.

One effective approach is to follow up with the company, especially if the communication gap happened after the applicant provided references. Sending a polite email or making a phone call to inquire about the status of their application and reiterating interest in the position may prompt a response. If the employer continues to be unresponsive or evasive, it’s essential to move on to other opportunities.

Indeed, moving on is a critical aspect of post-ghosting recovery. Job seekers should not dwell on the experience, but rather, learn from it to develop a better understanding of their expectations and needs in future job searches. They should understand that ghosting is, unfortunately, an increasingly common occurrence, so it’s essential to stay resilient and keep an eye on other potential opportunities.

While dealing with ghosting, the individual may also benefit from seeking support from a network of reliable resources. This may include friends who have shared similar experiences, career support groups, or professional networking sites.

Finally, it’s important for the person to review their job search strategy and make any necessary adjustments. This may involve revisiting their resume, LinkedIn profile, and interview preparation tactics to ensure they continue to present themselves in the best light. It may also include broadening their job search to encompass other industries or companies that may be a better fit for their career goals.


When faced with being ghosted after receiving a verbal job offer, it is essential to maintain professionalism. Ghosting can be a sign of poor communication or disorganization within the hiring company. However, it is crucial not to take it personally, as it can be influenced by various factors unrelated to your personality.

While you may be eager to secure your new role, remember the importance of a written offer. Not only does a written offer provide legitimacy, but it also protects you in terms of salary and other job-related conditions. In some cases, job seekers might be hesitant to negotiate their salary, fearing it may negatively impact their chances. Nonetheless, approaching the topic with tact and confidence is recommended, as it showcases your worth. A helpful resource to understand this better is this one, which discusses the potential consequences of negotiating your salary.

Additionally, it’s important to use this experience to strengthen your future job search and interactions with potential employers. Learn from your encounters and apply the newfound knowledge to achieve the best possible results.

By remaining calm, professional, and persistent, you can navigate this challenging situation and eventually secure an excellent opportunity that matches both your skills and requirements.

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