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How to Negotiate a Job Offer

counter offer for job proposal

Every job offer has the potential for negotiating higher pay, or other specifics such as work schedule or locations. For most people once they are offered a job, they lunge at the chance to work and bypass the potential to get more on the way in. This is because they are afraid they will offend the employer by asking for more money, and the offer will be rescinded. The truth is, employers expect some negotiation, especially for jobs above the minimum pay range. But only a small percentage of applicants actually make a counter offer.

Intrigued? You should be. The first raise you will get in your job might not come for another year or more, wouldn’t it be nice to have that amount on your first day? And if the employer isn’t ready to give you the amount you want, you can ask for it to be given in six months, after you’ve proven your abilities.

There is more than pay at hand in the negotiation. Work hours, conditions such as working remotely or in certain climates can also be discussed.

For any of this to happen, you must present your counter offer in writing. Always! Never try to initial negotiation over the phone or in person, it can quickly go sideways. Once you have provided the counter offer in writing, then you can have that conversation. Think of it as a tactic or skill used by professionals everyday.

So you’ve just gotten a call from the employer, the interview went well and they are offering you the job for a certain amount of pay per hour, or a salary amount. Great! Keep in mind they’ve just invested a lot of time in finding the right person, and now that they want you in that position, you have a certain amount of influence for getting more. Otherwise they would have to start their search over, or go with someone less ideal.

Your response is not, “Let me think about it and get back with you.” –awful.

Instead, try, “How wonderful, can I send you my response later today? I just need to consider everything you’ve presented.” –now you look serious, and not like someone who might not show up for work tomorrow. The delay may also give time for other offers to come, as you are interviewing at multiple places at the same time.

Here is a sample of a counter offer that can be sent by mail or electronically.

Sample Job Offer Counter Proposal

Dear Mr./Mrs ______________

Thank you for the offer to work with COMPANY NAME. I understand I would be employed at your company/business as a JOB TITLE, working FULL/PART time, for $10.00 per hour (or salary amount)

While I’m very excited about working with COMPANY NAME, I felt $12.00* per hour was a better match based on the job description and my skills and experience. I understand economic factors may play a part in your offer, and I would be open to discuss the starting amount, other benefits or incentives options or other benefits that should be considered in the total compensation of the position.

I am ready to make an immediate contribution to the workplace and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Your Name

*Remember, they may not have any room to give more money or benefits (benefits are usually harder to negotiate as all employees get the same in most cases) but you can ask for an agreement for a certain increase in six months or a year.