Negotiate Your Job Offer

Evaluating Job Offers 

You’ve been offered the job! Or maybe even multiple jobs. Now what?​

​There are many factors to think about, but after all the effort you have put into your job search, it only makes sense to choose the job that best meets your needs and goals. ​

​Go through the steps below to determine if the position you’ve been offered meets your needs and to help you make an informed decision!​

yellow cross roads sign in the middle of no where.

There’s more to job satisfaction than just salary. There are benefits, paid time off, time and funding for professional development, advancement opportunities, company culture. Check out Indeed’s Key Criteria for Evaluating a Job Offer.​

Benefits, stock options and bonuses can be confusing! Once you get the offer, make sure you are aware of and understand all the components that are included, ideally in writing. ​

Check out Indeed's Employee Benefits Package: Definitions, Types and Tips article to see some of the components that employers may offer.

You’ll be spending more time with your colleagues and supervisor than most other people in your life! Ask others about the reputation of the company, connect with alumni that work there, or reach out to past employees on LinkedIn (use the “Past Company” filter).​

Make a chart that has includes the things you value in a job and workplace (and weight them by importance) and then rank where the job(s) you’re evaluating stack up against that criteria.  Click here for a template you can use today! (coming soon)​

Take your allotted time to make an informed decision. It’s best to avoid committing to a job that isn’t a good fit—for both you and the employer!​

Negotiating Your Salary

Always remember, this is the start of the relationship with your employer. Negotiations will set the tone of that relationship. Ask for too little and you will be disadvantaged throughout your time with that employer; ask for too much or be too pushy, and you can set a negative tone to the relationship before it truly develops. ​

Everyone involved wants to walk away from the negotiations feeling good about the deal. Keep patience, tone of voice, and your bottom line in check. Most companies aim to treat you fairly with their offer and want you to be happy and accept the position. Make sure to not come across as greedy or unreasonable, as you may cause the deal to fall through.​

Person sitting at a chess board making a move with a chess piece
Two people sitting across from an employer at a large white conference table

Before the Negotiation

Begin the negotiation process by expressing your gratitude for the job offer. Show enthusiasm for the position and the company.

If you're not ready to respond immediately, ask for some time (usually a couple of days) to carefully evaluate the offer. This shows that you're thoughtful and serious about your decision.​

Make sure to do your research in advance. Know as much as possible about your market value and the employer before starting the discussion. Use the Online Tools below to:​

  • Research the industry standards and average salaries for the position you're being offered in your location.​
  • Understand the job market, company culture, and the value you can bring to the organization.​
  • Determine your financial needs and priorities, such as living expenses, student loans, and savings goals.​

What do you really want? Salary? Equity? Other benefits? Besides allowing you to clearly define your terms in the negotiation process, examining your priorities will help you determine the type of company for which you want to work.​

Be able to clearly demonstrate the skills you will bring to the job. Be able to demonstrate the value you will add for the employer. Assess the situation and know if your skills are in high demand – is it better to stress those abilities or should you focus elsewhere?​

After conducting the research and considering the factors above, determine a reasonable salary range.​

Prepare a concise and confident script outlining your reasons for negotiation. Highlight your qualifications, any relevant experience, and the value you'll bring to the company.

Contact the hiring manager or HR representative who extended the offer. Express your appreciation and mention that you'd like to discuss some aspects of the offer.​

During & After the Negotiation

Clearly and confidently present your request, making sure to explain why you believe your proposed changes are justified. Focus on your skills, qualifications, and industry standards.​

There is no advantage to lying in employment negotiations. You risk more by lying than you are likely to gain. At the same time, though, there is no need to reveal too much information. This applies to information about yourself as well as your salary history and requirements. Read the situation and determine what you need/want to say and when it should be said.​

Fairness is a basic principle of negotiations. Employers make offers and keep negotiations within a certain range based on budget and organizational structure, and they aim to be reasonable. Every request you make needs to be made with this fairness in mind. The employer wants you to accept the offer and for you to feel as though you’ve been treated fairly.​

Remember to consider other ways to achieve your negotiation objectives. Be open to making trade-offs to increase the overall value of the deal. Find creative options that allow you to get what you are looking for and allow the company to remain flexible and fair in their offerings. Don’t let the act of “winning” become more important than achieving your goals.​

Negotiation is a two-way street. Be open to compromise and willing to consider alternative options if the company can't meet all your requests.​

Pay attention to the company's response. They might have their reasons for structuring the offer the way they did. Listen carefully and try to understand their perspective.​

Once you reach an agreement, request a written confirmation of the revised offer details to ensure clarity.​

  • If the company meets your requests, accept the offer with gratitude and professionalism. Show that you're excited about joining the team.​
  • If the negotiation doesn't lead to an agreement that aligns with your needs, decline the offer gracefully. Express appreciation for the opportunity and leave the door open for potential future collaboration.

Online Tools for Salary Data & Budgeting

Negotiating your salary can seem like a scary interaction. One of the best things you can do before you talk about salary and benefits to a potential employer, is to know your worth and the value you can bring to a company or organization. Whether you're asking for higher pay, additional resources or better benefits use the salary tools below to assess the organization’s needs and your unique contributions to the position you’re pursuing.​

Red, white and blue star with the words U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics surrounding it.

Salary Research 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides median annual salaries and hourly wages for thousands of jobs, searchable by field.​

person holding a handful of paper money

Salary Calculator

Educate to Career provides data and information on salaries by occupation, based on major, degree and level of experience. ​

person writing on a worksheet while sitting at a table.

Monthly Budget Worksheet

Free monthly budget worksheet from Northwestern Mutual​​


Cost of Living Calculator​

Compare the cost of living in 2 cities with Nerdwallet​


​Receive free salary report based on experience and location. ​

Must provide information about your current role to obtain salary report. ​


Research similar companies and positions to see how your offer compares. ​

Free account required to access data.​​

​Use the Salary Wizard to help set salary expectations and compare salaries. 

Free trial available.​

Ready for some individual guidance?  Schedule an appointment to meet with a Career Counselor!​