How to Win
in Job Offer Negotiations

Successful job offer negotiations always begin with good planning. Follow the 3 simple steps to make sure you are ready for your job offer meeting and to negotiate in a proper and professional manner.

1. Determine your actual market value

2. Work out exactly the amount of money you need to earn per month using this expenses calculator

3. Compute the direct full dollar value of the offer including benefits and the indirect value of aspects including training and promotional opportunities.

Once you have this data you are ready to move on to the actual job offer negotiation meeting and discussion where information is exchanged and agreement reached.

These tried and tested negotiation techniques will help you come away with the job offer you want.

7 Techniques to successfully negotiate a job offer

1. Timing

The timing of the job offer negotiations is key.

  • The best time to conduct your negotiations is once a job offer has been formally made. Your value to the employer needs to be firmly established first.
  • You can set up a meeting to discuss the compensation package and be well prepared with all the necessary information.

2. The right attitude

  • Negotiations are not about threats and aggression but a two-way process of communication where each party benefits from the final agreement.
  • Each party should understand and respect the others position and feel that they have been heard properly.
  • Start the meeting by expressing your thanks for the job offer and highlighting your interest in the company.

3. State your position

  • Begin negotiations by restating the original offer you were made. Open your counter proposal by stating your position:

"I am very interested in this position and working for this company, however I am not able to accept this offer for the following reasons.......... If you are able to increase the salary to $...  I would accept this position immediately. Can we discuss this?"

  • Always base your job offer negotiations on your qualifications, your experience, your abilities and skills in relation to their worth in the job market and not on the basis of your wants or needs with regard to income and expenses.

4. Use your research data

  • Support your salary request with the research you have conducted on your competitive market value.
  • Use this data to get agreement from your prospective employer on what the market pays for the job.
  • Remember however this data is subject to interpretation and the salary negotiations will take place in relation to it.
  • Reinforce the value you will bring to the company, the impact you will make and the potential revenue you will generate.
  • Use your company-value you determined during the negotiation planning stage to support this.

5. Start at the top

  • Start at the top of your salary range. This gives you room for negotiation.
  • Avoid making demands but raise questions and make requests during job offer negotiations.
  • The tone should be conversational and not confrontational.

For example: "I have based this figure on my research into the current market value of my skills and the responsibility level of this position. Would you agree that this is a fair calculation of my competitive market value?"

6. Have alternatives ready

  • If the employer is reluctant to meet your salary request and you are still within your minimum range you can discuss other aspects of the compensation package.
  • If you have selected certain benefits as part of your job offer negotiation strategy then state that you will consider the salary as part of the overall compensation package.
  • Suggest that in order to balance the salary there are certain benefits you would like to discuss.
  • Always negotiate the base salary first then move on to the other elements of the compensation package.
  • Negotiate one point at a time.
  • Be sure to include a few benefits in your proposal that are less important to you and that can be dropped as a concession to the employer as salary negotiations continue.
  • If the employer cannot initially agree to your compensation requests you can discuss and agree on a guaranteed review within a specific time period, usually 3 or 6 months. This salary review should be stated in writing as part of the job offer.

Sometimes the negotiator does not have the authority to make a final offer, but needs to go to a superior. Ask them to do so and make a follow-up time.

7. End on a positive note

  • Express again your enthusiasm for the job and how much you will contribute to the company.
  • The key is to negotiate a job offer in a way that both gets you the offer you want and earns the employer's trust and respect.

Job offer salary negotiation letter and email

If you prefer to negotiate in writing by letter or email use this job offer negotiation letter

Key job offer negotiations pages

How to accept a job offer

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