7 Tips for Negotiating Your Job Offer
Applying & Interviewing

7 Tips for Negotiating Your Job Offer

6 min read


You got the call. After searching for potential jobs with your recruiter, countless application processes, and in-person and phone interviews, you’ve finally received the call. You’ve got an offer! Whether this job offer is your first as a college graduate or after a recent relocation, or is an opportunity to further develop your professional career, don’t miss the step of giving yourself time to not only evaluate the offer – but negotiate it.

Know the Job Responsibilities

When checking out a job posting, give yourself enough time to fully read and digest all listed job responsibilities before filling out an application. A career survey released by The Ladders outlines how long jobseekers spend reading each position before taking the next step:

“44% of job-seekers claim to spend 1-5 minutes reading a job description before pursuing it, and another 19% invest up to 10 minutes reading the post before applying.”

Pairing up with a recruiter eases this process in a few ways. Recruiters not only pair you with job opportunities that complement your skills, but they will also thoroughly discuss job expectations that employers will refer back to during an interview. This gives you a solid idea of job responsibilities, which will later assist in negotiation discussions.


Susan Joyce of Idealist Careers shares a few tips on how to analyze a job description before submitting an application:

  • How many of the position requirements and qualifications do you meet?
  • Beyond the title of the posting, does this position seem like something you’d thoroughly enjoy doing every day?
  • Does the description contain any questions for you to answer? Are there questions you have based off the formatting and information listed in the description?


Be Confident

Receiving a job offer is a fantastic boost in confidence. After all, the employer chose you as their best option over dozens of other candidates! In fact, Inc.com reports the average corporate job opening receives 250 resumes, with only 4-6 people called for an interview.

When you’re given the opportunity to settle contract terms, confidence is key, and recruiters are excellent resources. After all, they have confidence in you! Here are a few tips to up your game as you enter the room:

  • Dress in professional, clean attire
  • Arrive ten to 15 minutes before your scheduled meeting time
  • Know the names of who you’ll be speaking with
  • Do your homework on the company and job responsibilities

Remember that companies spend hours searching for candidates, sorting through applications, and conducting interviews. The way you communicate yourself to employers will help them benchmark your capabilities, your worth, and how you are the perfect fit!

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Know When to Negotiate

It can be tricky to figure out when the best time to negotiate salary is. Some interviewers discuss salary in the first phone interview, or at an in-person meeting. Rather than immediately providing a number, answer this question with a question:

“What salary range is your company offering for this specific position?”

If you find yourself in a place where you need to provide a number right away, always round up. Remember that the first offer you receive is a starting point for discussion. Ask for more than your previous job, especially if this opportunity equates to upward movement in your professional career.

It’s also important to remember that timing is everything. As the candidate, you typically won’t want to discuss salary initially, or you risk coming off as too concerned with money. Instead, hold off on those salary negotiations until the final interview phase.


AfterCollege.com believes that negotiating your salary is important for first-time employees and recent college graduates. Here’s why:

  • Millennials walk into the workforce with nearly $30,000 in student debt.
  • Nearly 60% of millennials fail to discuss salary negotiation when receiving their first job offer.
  • Most importantly, negotiating $5,000 more as a starting salary could exceed over $600,000 over the course of your career.


 Know What to Negotiate

While the offered position may not give you all of the bells and whistles you were hoping for, you do know the employer wants you. But do you know when the best time to ask for more money is? Is vacation time flexible? What is their “work from home” policy? These are all discussion points to bring up when negotiating – and your recruiter can provide helpful insight depending on the industry.

Negotiating salary involves a bit of homework, and your recruiter can provide insight on competitive salaries for a position. Compensation should justify job responsibilities, the company’s values and mission, and your opportunity to successfully thrive.

Monster’s Negotiation Expert, Paul Barada, says to “Never negotiate just for the sake of negotiating. Take the first offer if you are happy with it.” Remember not to sign any offer until you and your employer come to an agreement!


If you’re wondering what points are worth negotiating before you begin a new career, consider discussing the following with your potential employer:

  • Your start date
  • Vacation days and paid time off
  • Health and medical insurance coverage
  • Options to work remotely
  • Performance bonuses
  • Relocation expenses (if applicable)
  • Training/certification reimbursement


Be Enthusiastic About the Offer

From the moment you conduct a phone interview, to your first in-person meeting with an employer, your emotions can be seen and heard. From your body language to the tone of your voice, brush up on your soft skills to fully embrace your excitement and workplace persona. Give thanks and express excitement for the proposal before you begin to address the details. The most simple and easy to remember tip? Smile!

 Don’t feel pressured to accept a proposed offer on the spot. Ask employers how long you have to consider the proposed offer, as well as to schedule a date to finalize it. Check in with your recruiter for other opportunities in the pipeline that may be worth pursuing. Accepting a new job is a big decision, so make sure you don’t feel rushed or pressured in the process.

Get Your Agreement in Writing

While it’s completely understandable that you’d want to celebrate all your hard work right away when a job offer comes along, it’s critical to receive a hand-written offer before you verbally accept the position. Why? You want to have all the details on what the position entails, how you’ll be compensated, what benefits are provided, and what it’s missing.

Here are a few ways to respond to a job offer as you await the written version:

“Thank you for taking the time to discuss the opportunity! I’m very much looking forward to reviewing the details of the written offer. When would you like to have my response by?”

 “It was super helpful to go over the position’s responsibilities, compensation, and benefits. I’m very interested – Would I be able to receive a copy of this information to review?”

You’re Worth More Than One Interview

Your job search may lead you down a few paths that sound fantastic, but if hiring teams won’t budge on the negotiation points you truly value, it’s time to continue the hunt. Keep working with your recruiter to submit applications and schedule interviews for compatible positions until you’ve discovered the employer that works with you!


Have you developed a checklist of career must-haves and deal breakers? Sharon Florentine of CIO shares her top six:

  • You don’t feel trusted or empowered by your team
  • The team is expected to frequently work off hours
  • There’s a lack of opportunity to advance with the company
  • Coworkers do not share equal responsibility
  • Work/life balance being impacted by your workload
  • The workplace culture does not reflect company values, as well as your own


Between the communication, persuasion, and soft skills you’ve developed, you’ll find a new level of confidence to strengthen your negotiation skills. The best form of practice is to put yourself out in the job market – including speaking with recruiters and checking out the latest job postings. Good luck to you as you advance your career!


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