EDIT: Thanks for the advice everyone! I told them as a precaution I wanted to wait for the backcheck to clear. I got a reply the next day from the HR manager that it had cleared so everything’s good now! Looks like I was making a fuss over nothing.

Original post: I sent in a signed offer letter and they returned the confirmation to me (signed on their end). The recruiter in the email asked “How did the resignation go?” (while CC-ing the HR manager).

However I haven’t resigned yet. The new job [EDIT: had me give permission for] a background check and I wanted to wait for it to clear before resigning. I pushed my start date to three weeks from now but when I asked how long the background check would take they didn’t answer (it was part of a larger email so they may have missed the question).

What do I say to the recruiter? Do I tell her I haven’t resigned yet? And do I ask again about how long the background check will take? I only have to give two weeks at my current job so I have one week of wiggle room but I don’t know how long the background check will actually take (the check mostly consisted of asking about school history and past addresses so I don’t think it’s that extensive).

  • 5
    Welcome aboard. Telling the truth is generally a good approach in all aspects of life.
    – Mawg
    Sep 8, 2018 at 8:31

2 Answers 2


Be upfront, you don't want misunderstandings. Reply to the recruiter that you have not resigned and will not be doing so until the background check is completed AND you have an unconditional job offer.

Then explain is short terms what timeframes you have to work with.

  • Thanks. So maybe I’ve confused myself. I already got the offer and signed a contract (pay and start date were all on it). In another forum someone said that I probably won’t even hear back from the background check at all so I’m safe to resign since I signed the contract. So I’m not really sure what’s going on now. Sep 8, 2018 at 11:46
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    @andraiamatrix If the offer is really unconditional and they are going to hire you regardless of the background check outcome, the background check is a complete waste of their time and money. That seems unlikely. Sep 9, 2018 at 11:03
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    @PatriciaShanahan ya that makes sense. So I’ll just tell them I’m going to wait for it be complete. Thanks! Sep 9, 2018 at 12:03

Echoing Kilisi and Mawg - be honest and give the recruiter the information.

Remind the recruiter that the new job is conditional on the background check. If they're good, they'll understand that the delay is at the employer's end - you shouldn't need to point out that resigning without a firm offer would be unwise.

The recruiter might also be able to apply some influence to the people doing the background check to get things moving.

It's not you that's causing the delay - make sure the recruiter knows this.

  • So I think I misspoke. I already got the firm offer with pay and start date and I signed the contract. They had me fill out a background check as part of the offer. In another forum someone said I don’t have to wait on the background check in this situation. So I’m not sure if I’m safe to resign. Sep 8, 2018 at 11:52
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    If there's any chance that the background check might stop the appointment (even a mistake), your offer isn't firm. You could check the status of this with the recruiter, or ask them to confirm with the employer. Worst case, this might speed things along. The only people who have the information that would tell you that the job offer is absolutely safe are the recruiter, and through them the employer. A good recruiter and a good employer will not expect someone to resign from a previous position before they've completed their checks. Sep 8, 2018 at 16:05
  • I think my concern is that if I tell them I’m waiting for the backcheck to finish that it would be suspicious? I’m also confused because the original offer they gave me had me start in 2 weeks and they knew I had to give 2-weeks notice so it seems like they didn’t consider the time for the backcheck when they made the offer. Sep 9, 2018 at 0:45
  • @andraiamatrix - If you phrase it as checking the status (rather than waiting for it to finish), this should remind them that the delay is at their end. Any suspicions would be shown to be unwarranted when your clear background check comes through. Sep 10, 2018 at 10:04
  • Ya I think I just needed to figure out the phrasing. And I was just blowing it up in my head lol. I told them I wanted to wait for the check to clear before resigning, in case of any holdups, and they replied the next day that they checked it and it cleared. So everything’s good now. Sep 10, 2018 at 13:29

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