Congratulations, you have an offer – or maybe multiple offers! Now it’s time to learn how to negotiate a job offer. Here are some quick “Do’s and Don’ts” to consider when you find yourself in offer evaluation mode and learning how to negotiate a job offer:

DO

  • Before or early in the offer process
    • Do research the average salary and average salary ranges for the type of job you’re interviewing – and – within the appropriate region/cost of living.
    • Do research the company to determine opportunities for career growth, company reputation, etc.
    • Do withhold salary information for as long as possible until you’ve learned more details about the job, company, and other relevant information.
    • Do be aware of your strengths and accomplishments so you can demonstrate the value you’ll bring to the employer.
    • Do be realistic in your expectations.
  • Evaluating the offer
    • Do thank the employer for the offer when it is made.
    • Do concern yourself with the type of work you’ll be doing and the opportunity for growth as much as with initial starting compensation.
    • Do consider every aspect of the compensation and benefits package, not just the base salary or any single component of the offer package.
    • Do remember that getting promoted is often how you grow compensation the fastest, not necessarily by changing jobs the most often.
    • Do think about the long-term opportunity versus the short-term opportunity.
  • When Negotiating the Offer
    • Do keep an open mind when evaluating and negotiating an offer.
    • Do let the employer make the first move into the salary negotiation phase as knowing the salary range will give you an idea of the interviewer’s negotiating parameters.
    • Do ensure that the compensation that’s being offered is fair and within your desired salary range.
    • Do be honest about your current compensation as falsifying or inflating numbers is dishonest and can get you into trouble down the road; especially if and when the employer verifies employment and especially past compensation.
    • Do consider aiming high when stating your desired salary range as you can always come down, but cannot talk your way back up if you aim low.
    • Do try to negotiate other components of your offer (e.g. shorter review period, sign-on bonus, more vacation, etc.) if the employer can’t match your desired salary.

DON’T

  • Before or early in the offer process
    • Don’t inflate your current earnings just to get a higher salary offer as it will come back to haunt you.
    • Don’t hesitate to discuss the skills, experience, and value you will bring to your employer and how they will help the organization meet its goals.
    • Don’t feel pressured to divulge a specific compensation figure on an employment application and instead, feel free to write in “negotiable” or “competitive”.
  • Evaluating the Offer
    • Don’t accept an offer until you’ve seen all of the terms in writing.
    • Don’t accept an offer strictly for the money.
    • Don’t accept the first acceptable salary offer you receive, unless you’re confident in and excited about the job, company, and opportunity for growth.
  • When Negotiating the Offer
    • Don’t try to negotiate right after the offer is made; you need appropriate time to analyze the offer package and come up with negotiation strategies.
    • Don’t get into a bidding war if you have other offers as it can and often does backfire.
    • Don’t submit your resignation until you receive an offer in writing AND have been approved by the employer to start (typically involves clearing a background check and/or drug test).
    • Don’t give in too easily and don’t overplay your hand while negotiating.
    • Don’t get overly aggressive in negotiating the salary you want and don’t negotiate using ultimatums.
    • Don’t act too eager to accept, even if the offer was more than you expected, as most employers leave room to negotiate.
    • Don’t allow the employer to rush you into accepting a job offer that you know you won’t be happy with.

Being in offer evaluation and negotiation mode can be challenging, but it’s important to keep in mind that you have to make the best decision for your situation and career growth.

For further information on management and how to negotiate a job offer, our contact information is below.

To your success!