Accepting and Negotiating Job Offers

Negotiation is very common in the hiring process. It is an opportunity for you to have a dialogue with your employer about the components of your offer. You must begin the negotiation process after you have received an offer from an employer but before you have accepted it. If you attempt to negotiate after providing the employer with a verbal acceptance, you may risk losing your offer.
Before you negotiate, you should research your market value and you should know what you want and what you are willing to compromise. Components of an offer package that may be negotiable include base salary, 401(k) or other retirement programs, signing bonuses, relocation costs, education reimbursement, or other extras such as commuting allowance, technical equipment, professional development opportunities.

Five Steps of a Successful Negotiation

  1. Express appreciation.

  2. Explain reasons for your counter-offer, such as experience, education, transferrable skills, and market research.

  3. Be realistic in what you ask for-avoid having an inflated notion of your worth.

  4. Describe your counter-offer and be specific!

  5. WAIT – be patient. It may take the employer some time to respond to your counter-offer.

Read the Career Search Guide for more information about negotiating job offers.