Negotiating Offers

There is more to consider than salary alone. Be sure to look at the entire compensation package and job content. This will help you make an informed decision on how “good” the offer is.

Most likely, you will be asked about your salary history and salary requirements/expectations. Be honest when sharing information about your salary history and make certain you do your research before articulating salary expectations.

Recognize that there might be offers that you are entirely satisfied with, but there also could be offers which you might want to negotiate before signing on the dotted line.

The Offer  

  • Always thank the employer for the offer enthusiastically.
  • Never accept the offer on the spot. You will need time to consider your options.
  • Maintain professionalism throughout the entire process.
Salary
  • Do not bring up salary before the employer does.
  • If you are asked about your salary requirements/expectations, try to avoid an exact dollar amount, rather answer with a salary range.
  • Do your research! Before going into any salary conversation, you must research the salary range for a person with your skills and experience in the location you will be working.
  • Utilize resources such as salary.com and salaryexpert.com to research the salary range. If you are relocating, consider looking at an online domestic or international moving calculator.
  • Review the Salary Negotiation and Job Offer Tutorial by Quintessential Careers
Compensation package

Your compensation package will include many of the following:

  • Medical insurance programs,
  • Dental or Optical/eye care insurance,
  • Insurance, including life insurance and short- and long-term disability,
  • Retirement Plans (ex. 401K, 403b, pension), and/or 
  • Stock Options or Vesting.

Perks

Other perks that might be offered include the following:

  • Bonuses (ex. signing or seasonal),
  • Tuition reimbursement (ex. time or money for advanced degree or training),
  • Flextime, and/or 
  • Paid time off (holidays, vacations days, sick/personal days).

Some perks that might be negotiable include the following:

  • Salary,
  • Location of the position,
  • Department or division you will work in within the company,
  • Reporting date (ex. start date),
  • Signing bonus,
  • Travel bonus,
  • Relocation expenses, and/or 
  • Appraisal Reviews (ex. Inquire about whether you can get an early-performance review, which might impact when you get a raise/promotion/bonus).

Negotiating the Offer

  • Maintain professionalism.
  • Start early, filter out your conditions ahead of time; compare what you are looking for in an offer to what you have found from the research to ensure you are being realistic. Talk to professionals who work in the industry.
  • Place a value on each item in the compensation package.
  • You will need to articulate your unique strengths and abilities and convince the employer that your qualifications exceed that of other candidates and that you deserve what you are asking for in the offer.

Keep in Mind 

As you go through this process, you should pause to reflect on whether you are making the right decision. In evaluating the offer, including position and compensation package, consider the following:

  • Individual Needs: Does the position match your interests, skills, and values?
  • Family and Social Lifestyle: Does the position compliment with regards to your social life (location, family, friends, etc.)?
  • Career Goals: Is this position what you are looking for in a job? Is there room for growth and development?
  • The Overall Offer: How does the package offered compare to other opportunities that might be available to you?