5 Ways to Negotiate a Higher Salary After Getting an Offer

Congratulations, you got a job offer!

You want the job, but you also need to take advantage of this opportunity. Getting a job offer is a perfect time to ask for more money. After all, they gave you an offer because they see value in your skills and experience. They want you there.

Now it’s time to make sure you’re compensated appropriately.

Your counteroffer should include a few key elements: gratitude for their offer and a clear and direct expectation of a higher starting salary. Be polite but firm. The employer should know that you want to work for them, assuming a higher compensation package.

In your counteroffer, remind the employer of your qualifications for the position. If you can, recall the questions you answered well during the interview and restate those answers (but remember, your interviewer may not be reading your counteroffer, so don’t assume they were there during the interview).

Here are five ways to get a higher salary before officially accepting your next job offer.

How to Negotiate a Higher Salary After Getting an Offer

1. Do your research

Understand what other people are getting paid in similar job roles. This knowledge will give you the confidence to know that you are asking for a reasonable salary. And, chances are, the employer has a pretty good idea of the salary range, too. The key is to ask for as much money as possible without asking for too much.

Many salary resources are available to help you determine a good starting salary in your new position. Also, take a look at other job opportunities in your area. See what other employers are offering for similar positions.

2. Show gratitude for the offer

Before asking for a higher salary, show the company that you appreciate the job offer and are excited to work there. Employers will appreciate your gratitude, and it may help encourage them to more favorably consider your request for a higher starting salary. That’s right, a little bit of politeness can go a long way.

3. Prove your worth

Armed with a legitimate target salary, your next challenge is to explain your value to the employer. Use specific achievements from your past in your argument. It is crucial to position your argument well. For example, you don’t just want more money. You deserve more money.

For instance, do you have a unique skill that most other people don’t have? Or, maybe you hold a job-related certification that boosts your value. Consider using great recommendation letters from previous employers or coworkers to help persuade your new employer that you are worth more money.

It is essential to be confident and specific. Most employers will quickly see through your argument if you don’t believe that you indeed are worth more money.

4. Ask for more than you want

As in most negotiations, ask for a little more money than you want. But don’t go overboard, either. For instance, if you want $80,000, consider asking for $84,000 or $85,000. This provides a buffer for a lower counteroffer from the employer.

My recommendation: Identify three different salary numbers:

  • Walk-away number: This is the minimum salary that you’re willing to accept. Anything below this number, and you’ll decline the offer.
  • Expected salary: This is the salary that you genuinely want.
  • Reach salary: You’ll initially ask for this salary, which is a little bit higher than your expected salary.

Start with your reach salary. If you get it, great! But if not, they may offer a lower salary that still matches your expected compensation.

For example, suppose that you want $80,000 from your new employer. That is your expected salary. But, you’d be willing to work for no less than $75,000, which is your walk-away salary. In this scenario, $84,000 might be your reach salary.

5. Can job benefits bridge the salary gap?

Don’t forget about negotiating company benefits. For instance, if the employer cannot offer a higher salary, but you still want to work there, consider asking for more benefits. For example, paid time off, sick hours, remote work options, flexible savings accounts, and premium health coverage contribute to your overall compensation package.

Be prepared to say no throughout your negotiations if the compensation does not match your expectations, or if the employer is unwilling to budge on the salary. Saying no to a job opportunity can be challenging, but it might be in your best interest.

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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash.


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Steve Adcock is an early retiree who writes about mental toughness, financial independence and how to get the most out of your life and career. As a regular contributor to The Ladders, CBS MarketWatch and CNBC, Adcock maintains a rare and exclusive voice as a career expert, consistently offering actionable counseling to thousands of readers who want to level-up their lives, careers, and freedom. Adcock's main areas of coverage include money, personal finance, lifestyle, and digital nomad advice. Steve lives in a 100% off-grid solar home in the middle of the Arizona desert and writes on his own website at SteveAdcock.us.