Negotiating Offers

Use this community to review tips and tricks proven to provide the best tools when negotiating an offer!

Get in the Negotiating Mindset

Negotiating & evaluating job offers starts even before you apply and continues through the interview process through your ability to communicate your value to the organization.

Salary isn’t the only asset to consider. There are several aspects that factor into being happy at work. When evaluating job offers or negotiating, consider the whole picture of where you’ll live, your cost of living, and additional benefits you’ll receive, in relation to your professional and lifestyle needs and values. 84% of employers expect candidates to negotiate, according to Salary.com, however only 30% of women and 46% of men reported doing so. More importantly, 87% of employers said they’ve never rescinded a job offer following negotiations during the interview. Bottom line- employers expect it and they won’t be offended if you’ve done your research and approach the conversation with respect. Your future self will thank you because negotiating has a compounding effect. Even small negotiations can pay off in the long run.


1. What to Research

As you’re applying for jobs or internships…

It is important to research the following. This research will help you to make informed decisions when evaluating employment offers and when negotiating.

  • Fair Market Value: Research what people are making in jobs similar to the one you are looking at and the salaries of people within the same company. See buttons below.
  • What Do You Need? Determine the cost of living in your locations of interest. In addition to your basic needs, consider student loan payments and transportation costs. Don’t bring up your cost of living during negotiation as an argument. Instead, keep these factors in mind as you do your research to help determine whether an offer or compensation package is viable for you.
  • Benefits and Perks: Find out what benefits packages are offered by your potential employer and decide what would best meet your needs. Identify other perks such as company cars, cell phone, and vacation time.​
  • Company Culture and Values: Consider whether the office environment suits your work style and determine the company’s corporate values and whether or not they align with yours. Also, clarify the amount of travel time the job would require, as well as opportunities for professional development and advancement.

Negotiating Goes Beyond Your Salary…

Ultimately, you should be asking for the things that are most important to you and that you have built a case for. Here are a few possible topics to consider negotiating. Keep in mind, it is unlikely that you will negotiate on all of these points.

  • Salary
  • Number of months until a review with the possibility of a raise
  • Start date
  • Moving expenses
  • Flextime/Telecommuting/Remote Work
  • Amount of vacation time and/or ability to take vacation time earlier
  • Professional development
  • Stock options
  • Cell phone
  • Transportation/Parking
  • Job duties or title

2. What to Negotiate


3. How to Negotiate

Always Be Gracious and Appreciative:

  • After the offer is made, request time to consider and be sure to get the offer in writing. By taking time to consider the offer you can effectively determine what and how you would like to negotiate. You can say:
    • “I am very excited to have received this offer. Could I please have some time to review it?”
  • Review the offer and ask questions
    • If there is anything about the offer that is unclear to you, ask the employer additional clarifying questions.
    • If you’re unsure whether or not you’d like to accept, request an additional site visit.
    • Ask for advice! Talk with your mentors, other industry contacts about the company, or contact alumni working at the organization for their input. LinkedIn is a great resource for this!
  • Wondering how to start the negotiation conversation? Try this:
    • ​​​​​​​”I am very excited about the opportunity to advance your business goals in this role. There are a few things, however, that would make it much easier to be able to do this.”
    • Start with the most important negotiation point to you and discuss back and forth.
  • Ask them to send a revised written offer after negotiating.

Weigh Your Options and Communicate Your Decision:

  • Make your final decision based on all collected information and on the final offer you receive.
  • Accept the job offer you have decided on and confirm the acceptance.
  • Afterwards, politely decline the other offers to maintain those relationship.
    • Check out this article on Forbes for more insight.
  • Let everyone who has been helpful in your search know what your decision is and show appreciation for their time and help.
  • NOTE: If you decide you want to back out of an offer that you have accepted, meet with Mohr Career Services to talk about how to do this in a way that preserves your reputation and that of the college.

4. Make a Decision


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