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When a company offers you a job but later must rescind the offer, it's tempting to feel disheartened or frustrated. But if you write a letter offering your thanks for being considered at all for the position, your graceful handling of the situation will leave the company with a good impression. This could pay off in the future should the company decide to give you another look.
As you sit down to write your letter, try to be understanding of the recruiter’s awkward position. Perhaps there was an internal miscommunication that caused too many offers to be sent out. Or maybe someone mistakenly sent a job offer to you when it was meant for someone else. Whatever reason the organization had for rescinding the offer, you gain nothing from an angry response or from cutting off communications entirely.
Starting the Letter
Use standard business letter format for your thank-you note. If your contact in the organization has been communicating with you via email, sending a professional-looking email is sufficient. In the first paragraph, thank the person who originally offered you the job. That person probably also interviewed you, so thank her for spending time with you and introducing you to her organization.
In the second paragraph, mention that while you're disappointed the offer was rescinded, you understand the difficult position the organization was in. Even if you're actually angry the job offer was rescinded, don't use the letter to vent your frustration. The goal is to keep your options open. You never know when you'll run into that same person again, and your thank-you note might impress her enough to keep you in mind for future job opportunities.
The closing paragraph should contain a parting message that lets the contact know you enjoyed your time with her and the people you met, and hope to encounter everyone again in the future. But there's no need to offer overblown praise. Instead, be cordial, businesslike and brief.
Despite your frustration at the situation, the fact that you received any offer at all indicates the organization found your resume and interview somewhat more compelling than others they received. That might not provide much solace, but it's certainly better than outright rejection. Also, keep in mind it's always possible that the person who did receive the final offer could turn it down. While your chances of receiving another job offer might be slim, maintaining a professional and friendly attitude can only increase the likelihood of that happening.
Stan Mack is a business writer specializing in finance, business ethics and human resources. His work has appeared in the online editions of the "Houston Chronicle" and "USA Today," among other outlets. Mack studied philosophy and economics at the University of Memphis.