Getting a job offer is something to celebrate and be excited about. After all the applications, resume work, interviews and chasing down references, you have landed a job that seems to be a perfect match. But before you say yes and let the celebration begin, a smart job seeker knows to negotiate a job offer. Not only does negotiating a job offer give you a chance to earn a higher salary, it makes you look more professional and less desperate, allowing you to start your new job on the right foot. Most companies expect you to negotiate, and if you don’t you risk looking worse to the employer. Therefore, you have nothing to lose in trying to get a higher starting salary. Here are some important tips for negotiating a job offer:
1) If Possible, Let The Employer Make the First Offer
During the interview process, do what you can to avoid giving your salary history. This puts you in a better position to negotiate a job offer, because employers often will use that to evaluate your fitness for the job. If your last salary was too low or too high you risk being ruled out as a candidate. So particularly if you are concerned about securing the job as yours, wait for the employer to give you an offer, and go from there.
2) Take Your Time and Aim High with a Counter Offer
Once you get the offer, it’s time to start negotiating. Ask for some time to consider the offer before accepting, taking a few days if you need to. Before you negotiate a job offer, talk to family, friends and colleagues, and do online research to get an idea of what a reasonable salary is for the position you are being offered. Some good websites to go to for salary research are PayScale.com and Salary.com. Decide on a salary that is higher, even double, what you are expecting to actually be paid, since the company will likely respond with another offer that is lower than what you asked but higher than their original offer. Also, do research on the company to find out what you can about their benefits packages, because after you settle on salary you may want to use this information to negotiate better benefits.
3) Negotiate in the Right Manner
When you reach a number you want to use as a counter offer, call the employer or meet in person, as opposed to sending an e-mail. This makes it more likely that they will respond quickly. Be sure to let the employer know you how badly you want the job, but that you have done research and want to discuss the salary a little more. When you negotiate a job offer it’s important to be confident, and remain enthusiastic and polite through the entire process.
4) Know Your Value, and Use it as Leverage
The point of negotiating a job offer is to make sure you are compensated fairly for the skills and experience you are bringing to your new position. When you give the employer your counter offer, you can remind them of the value you will bring to the position and problems you will solve for the company.
5) Be Reasonable
When you negotiate a job offer there is no need to feel rushed, but once you reach an agreement you are happy with, avoid getting caught up in minute details. You want the other party to walk away feeling happy as well since you will be dealing with these people on a daily basis once you start the job.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.