Negotiating a Job Offer

Before you decide to negotiate, consider how realistic your negotiating is. Some of the things you may be able to negotiate include but are not limited to the following: salary, one-time bonuses, tuition assistance, stock options, relocation assistance, flex-time, telecommuting or working remotely, and even a birthday holiday. Take an assertive approach but do not be rude. Be persuasive in conveying your worth to your potential employer. Do not take it personally if they say no to your negotiation requests. Sometimes the representative you are negotiating with cannot make decisions on the spot.

Strategies for Successful Negotiations

  1. Wait until an offer has been made by an HR representative or a hiring manager before you negotiate. Only negotiate if you are seriously considering accepting the offer.
  2. Be gracious and express your appreciation and enthusiasm for the job. Do not give the impression it is only about the salary.
  3. Take the time to evaluate the job offer before accepting thoroughly; avoid accepting the position on the spot. If the date to accept is not on your offer letter, it is entirely acceptable to inquire about when your decision needs to be made.
  4. Schedule a conversation by phone (rather than email) to discuss the job offer to avoid any room for misinterpretation over email.
  5. Be informed and provide reasons why you are asking for a salary increase.
  6. Make sure that you negotiate before you agree upon a salary with the HR representative or hiring manager. Once you agree, avoid backtracking.

Negotiation is standard in the job search process; it is expected. Make sure you negotiate professionally, respectfully, and are not overly aggressive or demanding.

The Final Decision

Once you have made a final decision, it is time to notify the employer. First, call to accept or decline the offer verbally. Make sure you have a letter in writing from the employer outlining the offer before you accept it. Read the offer letter in its entirety to confirm it is accurate. Return a signed copy of the offer letter you were sent. If you decide to decline the offer, send a letter of declination to your potential employers. You are not required to provide any details about any other offer you accept.

Want to learn more about successful negotiation techniques?

View Big Interview’s Negotiation Curriculum under the “Learn” tab. You can view videos such as:

  • How negotiation works
  • Negotiation stages
  • Researching your worth
  • Persuasion techniques

On FirstHand, view their library of articles for negotiation tips in a variety of industries.