Job Search

How to Convince a Gun-Shy Employer to Make the Offer

job offer

Let’s get this out of the way first: If an employer genuinely doesn’t see the unique value of what you’re bringing to the table, there’s no “trick” in the book that’ll convince them otherwise. Sometimes two parties just don’t see eye to eye, and moving on is the best option.

However, there are situations where an employer is genuinely interested—but for whatever reason, an offer isn’t forthcoming. Maybe HR is dragging their heels on the paperwork, or a decision-maker on the executive team is out of the office. Regardless of the reason, there are steps you can take to push up the timeline and receive a job offer this week.

3 Ways to Accelerate the Hiring Process and Land a Job Offer

1. Seed urgency.

Email your main point of contact at the company and give a quick update on your status. Make it clear that even though you’re looking at several opportunities, you don’t want to decide on your next move without first having a follow-up conversation about this role. Highlight one or two reasons to explain why you’re interested in this opportunity more than any of the other options you’re considering. Then, suggest a few times when you’d be available to talk later that week.

The key to this approach work is to take a friendly tone, not to force them into a corner. You’re not giving them an ultimatum; you really care about this opportunity, and, in the interest of full disclosure, you want to give them every opportunity to reciprocate before you move on.

This tactic creates a sense of urgency and can move up the timeframe to persuade an employer to make a decision quickly. Many of my coaching clients have pushed employers to the offer stage within days of sending an email like this.


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2. Add value (without being asked).

What have you already learned about the primary responsibilities for the position? Use this information to put together a proposal for a major assignment, such as outlining strategic marketing objectives for the upcoming year.

Your work should be fairly high level but reflect keen insight and research. Don’t go overboard—allocate a specific amount of time (such as 2–3 hours) and stick to those parameters. Then, forward the proposal to your main point of contact and use the document to create a new dialogue about working together.

If you can show your value to an employer, they’ll feel compelled to return the favor.

Bonus: Save the proposal and see if it can be re-purposed as an “evergreen” asset that you can use for future collaborations.

3. Provide a preemptive reference.

job offerIs there someone you know, like, and trust who has the professional background to vouch for you? Ask this person to take the initiative and provide a reference on your behalf.

By taking the initiative here instead of waiting for an employer to ask for your references, you’ll send a clear message: You’re invested and take this opportunity seriously.

A professional reference is one of the most important aspects of your candidacy. By painting a picture of what it’s like to work with you, your reference will boost your credibility and make you seem more human. It’s a way to personalize your connection to the employer and make it more memorable.


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Keep Up the Momentum

You’ve accomplished a lot in your career by buckling down and putting in the work. Your job search is no different.

Assume that every employer will be “gun-shy” or slow to make an offer. Don’t let yourself get complacent. Even if an employer says you’re their favorite candidate and you’re positive you’ll get the job offer, keep driving the conversation toward this goal. Wait until you’ve signed a contract before you start laying off the pressure.

About the Author

Anish Majumdar is a nationally recognized Career Coach, Personal Branding Expert, and a fierce advocate for transitioning leaders. His posts and videos on disrupting the "normal rules" of job searching and getting ahead reach a combined audience of 30M professionals every month. Go down the rabbit hole of Anish’s career videos at HelloAnish.com, and connect with him on LinkedIn to receive daily career tips and advice.