Last winter I received a return offer for a fulltime position at a company I did an internship at. Since the offer was great, I accepted it and signed it. However, due to changes in personal circumstances, I want to look for better opportunities. It is mainly because I would rather work in a different city.

What I am wondering is if I should let the companies I am applying to know about my current offer and the state of it (ie that I accepted it) when recruiters ask. On one hand, it would be useful for negotiations later if I reach that stage, but on the other, it may reflect poorly that I would be going back on my signed offer. If I don't bring it up or bring it up later, it could be seen as dishonest.

Note: this is in NA and for software positions.


2 Answers 2


You aren't under any obligation to let any company know you have accepted an offer. As you outlined yourself, when to spill the beans can have consequences depending on your timing.

I would offer that you really don't have to tell other prospective employers at all about your existing offer.

There isn't a big advantage to be had, except if you get an offer that you feel you need to negotiate the salary, and in which case you could still just say "Hey, I was thinking more of $XXXX, how does that sound?". If that doesn't work you could say, "I have an offer from another company for $xxxx, can you match it?"

If the new offer is solid and stands on its own however, once again no need to bring up the existing offer.


Don't tell anyone, including a recruiter than you've got a job till the paperwork is signed that you work in a place.

I've been in a situation where I got a job for Harvard University and turned down other jobs because I thought I had the job. I got the welcome aboard package, etc.

The day I was meant to start I was told the entire department was let go because of something the director of the department did and it led to questioning of the compliance of all others under him.

So not only was I out of a job with Harvard because of something my "new boss" did... not to mention since then I've been blackballed from Harvard...

So until you are on site, and have an ID in hand, a desk, and at least a week under your belt, I wouldn't say anything to a headhunter.

For you never know what may or may not happen at a job you may or may not have by the end of a day or week.

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