Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.
You’ve made it through the interview process and have just received an offer.
This is the moment you have been working toward throughout your entire job search. But the offer may not be what you thought, or maybe you are having second thoughts.
Even if you want to accept the offer, there are several ways you can lose a job offer quickly and without even thinking about it.
How to Lose a Job Offer
The following actions could cost you the job offer you just received. If you are interested in keeping that job offer, we have some tips to help you avoid losing it.
1. Lack of Professionalism
During all communications with the employer, it is best to remain professional and consistent.
If, however, you conduct yourself in an unprofessional way once you get a job offer, you may quickly find yourself with the offer being retracted.
2. Unrealistic Salary Expectations
Obviously, you want to be paid a fair salary for the work you do. And you should always negotiate your salary.
3. Ghosting the Hiring Manager
Nothing says “I don’t want a job” more than not answering an employer when they are ready to extend an offer. If you truly don’t want the role, politely decline the job offer.
You want to make sure you don’t burn any bridges in the process if they happen to come up again in future job efforts.
4. Your Social Media Presence
Ethical or not, 54% of employers have rescinded a job offer after checking a candidate’s social media.
Social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn can be powerful tools in a job search, so you need to use them wisely.
Look through your social media accounts and delete any photos that you wouldn’t want your employer to see. Also, adjust your privacy settings accordingly.
5. Poor References
Usually, references are checked during the interview process. However, some employers wait until after the interview, and even after the job offer, to make contact.
If you have provided them with outdated contact information or a bad reference, your job offer could be rescinded. Make sure you choose strong references who can speak to your qualifications for the job.
6. Bad-Mouthing Your Previous Employer
No matter how horrible your last employer was, ranting about them during an interview will reflect poorly on you.
Not only can this cause you to lose the job offer, it could cost you future job offers.
How to Avoid Losing a Job Offer
Now that you know the most common mistakes that lead to lost or rescinded job offers, here are a few tips to help you keep the job offer.
1. Maintain Professionalism
Just as you conducted yourself professionally during the interview process, you should maintain the same level of professionalism afterward.
Be courteous in your communications, listen and respond thoughtfully to your interviewer, and use appropriate and professional language.
And don’t suddenly change your requirements. Once you get the job offer, don’t start demanding additional benefits or a higher salary range.
Becoming demanding and changing the playing field isn’t very becoming. However, this isn’t to say you can’t negotiate, but do so at the right time (like when an initial offer is made).
2. Communicate in a Timely Manner
If an employer extends a job offer, don’t wait a week to respond. They may interpret that delay as a lack of interest. Aim to respond to an offer within 24-48 hours.
If you need time to think over the offer, you can say, “Thank you for the offer! I’m going to think through the offer and will get back to you soon.” Make sure to give them a date by when you will be in touch.
3. Be Honest
Any lie is going to land you in the hot seat. Whether it is regarding dishonest background information or bad references, the easiest way to lose a job offer is to lie.
Keep all of your information accurate, and the employer won’t have a reason to rescind the offer.
4. Use Social Media Strategically
Obviously, you don’t want to post anything that could be seen as unprofessional or controversial on social media. But you can also leverage social media strategically to position yourself as the best candidate for the job.
Use social networking sites like LinkedIn to connect with recruiters, to network, and to demonstrate your expertise.
Get a New Job Today
Getting a job offer can be exciting — especially after a difficult job search.
However, if you’re not careful, a few simple mistakes could cost you that dream job. But by maintaining professionalism, using social media strategically, and providing strong references, you can land the job you want in no time.