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Offer rescinded - impact on background check? (US)

background check consulting Offer Letter Offer_rescinding.
New answer on Mar 27, 2024
8 Answers
261 Views
Anonymous A asked on Mar 25, 2024

I'd left my previous consulting firm in Fall 2023 to accept an offer at a boutique firm. However, my start date with the new firm got pushed back to Q1 ‘24 a couple months after accepting it, and a few weeks ago the offer was actually rescinded due to a lack of anticipated project demand at the boutique firm. 

I'm now actively applying for other firms, but since I've now technically had a 6 month+ gap on my resume, I had a couple of questions:

1) Since the offer letter was technically confidential, will I still need to verify this offer/gap in a background check with any future consulting firm/employer? Eg. would the background check vendor ask for a copy of the offer/rescission letter, and would I need to provide it? Will they call the firm I interviewed with to verify the rescinded offer?

2) Should I have another reason prepared for this gap in employment in case there are any possible issues? Eg. should I say I was impacted by a layoff/affected by macroeconomic overhiring/etc?

3) If anyone here had an offer rescinded, how did you explain any employment gaps, or deal with the situation in general?

Kinda starting to freak out a bit as the market has already been tough for consultant hiring over the past year, and this employment gap likely won't help.

______________

For added context on the rescinded offer from the boutique, their rationale was a lack of projects in their pipeline (they were a smaller boutique), and so new consultants would have likely been benched for an unknown amount of time had they brought us onboard. I know it was crappy on their part, and they did allow me to keep my signing bonus so that was at least something, but with the job climate as it is, I really don't want to burn any bridges

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Hagen
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Content Creator
updated an answer on Mar 26, 2024
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

First of all, I am sorry to hear about the rescinded offer from the boutique consulting firm!

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your situation:

  • First of all, honesty is key in such situations. It's important to be transparent about the gap in your resume. You can mention the offer was rescinded due to unforeseen circumstances at the firm's end without getting into too much detail. This is not an uncommon situation, especially in volatile market conditions.
  • Moreover, prepare a narrative that puts a positive spin on this experience. I would advise you to highlight what you've done during the gap period, such as skills improvement, volunteering, or any personal projects that you might have undertaken. This shows proactiveness and resilience.
  • Lastly, regarding background checks, it's unlikely that firms will ask for the offer or rescission letter, but they might inquire about the gap.

You can find more on this topic here: How to deal with a rejection from a consulting company.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

(edited)

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Cristian
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replied on Mar 25, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

This must be so infuriating. I'm honestly really sorry to hear this happened to you. That's pure bad luck. 

The short answer is that you shouldn't worry about the gap. If you tell this story, people will believe you. And if they need proof, then they can reach out to the firm that rescinded the offer (and in case they refuse to confirm it, then you can show the offer letter). 

My recommendation would be to go broader this time with your application strategy and end up with several options to diversify your risk. 

Below is a guide I often share with candidates that gives you an indication of how to build this sort of recruitment timeline. I hope you will find it helpful.

Wishing you good luck!
Cristian

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Udayan
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replied on Mar 25, 2024
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

Sorry to hear about that - it should have 0 impact on background check

1. No

2. You can be honest - also be clear to explain what you have been doing for the 6 months to ensure you get a new job that is a good fit

3. You can be honest and explain it was out of your control. Given the current market no one will question what you have said regarding why the offer was rescinded

Your situation is very straightforward - you quit a job to start a new one. The offer was rescinded and now you are looking for a new role, this is totally acceptable.

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Francesco
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replied on Mar 26, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the situation, this was really unfortunate. In terms of your first and second questions:

1) Would the background check vendor ask for a copy of the offer/rescission letter, and would I need to provide it?

During background checks, they should just check if what you reported as education/work experience is true. Given you are not going to report the experience with the boutique consulting firm, there should not be anything related to them during the background check.

2) Should I have another reason prepared for this gap in employment in case there are any possible issues?

I would just say the truth.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Ian
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replied on Mar 26, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Ah shoot, I'm so sorry to hear.

Us coaches can sometimes practice tough love here but there's not of that here - truly nothing you did wrong and you really just had bad luck. I'm sorry - you'll bounce back and all will work out.

Now, the good news is that you got 1 offer…so you can do it again!

My advice:

  1. Get some pro bono/experiential consulting experience ASAP (tons of programs)
  2. Get some sort of part-time or temporary role - even if not in consulting
  3. Networking is going to be your friend here as you'll have the chance to tell your story instead of having someone interpret it from a resume

An absolutely recoverable situation…you can do this!

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Pedro
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replied on Mar 25, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

I am quite confident no background check will ask for that kind of evidence. 

You should be able to show that you had an offer, even if not showing any of its content, if that is necessary. I hardly doubt it will.

Your story is reasonable and believable and a good reason to have a gap in your resume.

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David
Expert
replied on Mar 27, 2024
Case Coach | Bain & Company | PwC M&A Deals Advisory | INSEAD MBA | SG & SEA

Hi there,

So sorry to hear your story and it must be very frustrating to you. If you are upfront about your actual experience and explaining the gap with your potential employers in your interviews, it would be fine and they would understand it. Hope it all works out for you in the end and please keep up the good work.

 

Cheers, 

David

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Florian
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Content Creator
replied on Mar 26, 2024
Highest-rated McKinsey coach (ratings, offers, sessions) | 500+ offers | Author of The 1% & Consulting Career Secrets

Hi there,

Sorry to hear that. It always sucks to have an opportunity taken away due to circumstances beyond your control. However, in the long run, you might not know what it was good for - cliché but it could be a positive…

As for now, don't overthink the background check impact.

To answer all questions I would play it openly and transparently and if someone wants prove, I would reach out again to said firm and ask them to confirm.

All the best on your new job hunt.

Cheers,

Florian

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Hagen gave the best answer

Hagen

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