Employment Negotiation: How to Get the Best Job Offer

After all of the hard work you have put into updating your resume, searching for jobs, and going on interviews, you have finally landed an offer. While you may feel very excited on the inside, it’s important to remember that there’s still one step left: negotiating the job offer. When an employer extends a job offer, they may present you with a compensation and benefits package that does not necessarily line up with your needs or expectations. You may be interested in asking for more pay, vacation days, insurance benefits, stock options, or some other form of compensation. Here we will discuss some helpful tips for negotiating the best offer. 

1. Start by Evaluating What You Have to Offer

In order to decide whether or not a job offer is right for you, you must first consider what you have to offer an employer. There are several factors to consider:

  • Geographic Location: Consider the cost of living where you will be expected to live and make sure the offer is reasonable for the area’s current cost of living. 
  • Years of Experience: If an employer is looking to hire someone with 3-5 years of industry experience and you have more, you may consider asking for a higher salary. 
  • Specialized Skills: To that same point, if you have additional skills in specific areas or specialized training that exceeds expectations, this might be justification for higher pay. 
  • Educational Level: Your educational background and degree could impact your compensation. 
  • Licenses and Certifications: If you already have the required or preferred licensing and certifications that an employer is looking for, this could put you in a better position to negotiate. 

2. Research the Current Market Average

You need to be familiar with the current market trend for jobs in your industry. You can find out what similar jobs in your area are paying by doing a quick online search using a tool like Indeed Salaries. Having this information will help you gain a better understanding of what a reasonable salary would be for someone with your experience. 

3. Understand the Needs of the Employer

In order to better influence the person you are negotiating with, you first need to understand what they need. What are their interests and concerns? Why do they need this position filled? How soon do they need this position filled? When you understand the needs of the employer, you will be able to leverage your skills and experience to negotiate a better deal. 

4. Be Prepared to Explain Your Value

This is the time when you need to convince the employer of your value and why hiring you is the best decision. You need to share specific examples of how you have been successful in your current role and how you plan to utilize those skills in your new position. You also need to talk about specific numbers and benefits that you are looking for and why your experience, knowledge, and skills make you worth that price. 

5. Lead with Gratitude

As the expression goes, “you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.” You are more likely to get a better job offer if you approach the negotiation with gratitude. Keep in mind that the employer has invested a great deal of time interviewing candidates and writing up an offer letter so it is important to recognize their effort and thank them for considering you for the job. You want to be friendly and professional during any and all interactions with potential employers. 

6. Ask for the Top of Your Range

You always want to ask for a number that is slightly higher than what you hope to get. This leaves some room to negotiate down and still end up with an acceptable offer. 

7. Be Flexible

The employer may not be able to provide you with the exact salary amount that you want, but they may be able to offer you other forms of compensation. For example, you might be able to negotiate stock options, flexible work hours, a work vehicle, or additional paid time off. Be willing to consider alternative options if they cannot increase your salary.