Too few employees accept a job at face value without trying to negotiate their way into a better job offer. While some employers might be set in their pay and benefits, most are willing to accommodate to earn a good employee.
As the saying goes, “You don’t know until you ask.” So what are the rules of job offer negotiations? What is negotiable and what is going too far?
This article will break down the seven most important rules for negotiating a job offer.
1. Justify What You Are Asking For
Whenever you are requesting a certain salary or benefit for your position, you should always back it up with a good reason. For example, when you request a higher pay, it holds more weight when you back it up with data.
If you ask for a certain benefit, it would help to explain why that is important to you and offer to give something in return for granting that request. This method will work much better than simply asking for something with no justification to back it up.
2. Always Be Honest
The quickest way to turn negotiations into goodbye is to lie to your potential employer to try to get a better deal.
It doesn’t hurt to let them know if you have another job offer you are considering but don’t make one up or exaggerate the terms of the offer itself in order to sweeten the deal with this employer.
You also don’t want to give a potential employer false hope while the job you really want to land is still in the air. If you aren’t ready to commit, let them know as soon as you can.
Most employers will be patient enough to wait for your answer.
3. Don’t Get Stuck on the Money Issue
We all hope to get a fat paycheck from our jobs. While it is important that you negotiate to get a fair salary, there is much more to a job besides the money it will provide.
When entering into job negotiations, consider your personal life and what values are important to you. If you have a family, no doubt you will want to have the ability to take some vacation time, preferably paid.
Not sure what else to negotiate? Read this article on five things to negotiate besides your salary.
4. Aim for a Win-Win
Yes, your needs are important but you don’t want to ask for so much that you are putting too much stress on the company. If you know that you are in high demand, you may be tempted to use this to your advantage.
There is nothing wrong with expecting a great employment contract that reflects your worth. If you want your employer to truly appreciate you, you’ll need to ensure that you give as much as you take.
The best professional relationships are born when both sides win.
5. But Don’t Accept an Offer You Don’t Really Want
That being said, some employers can get a little pushy during negotiations. Don’t allow yourself to be bullied into accepting an offer that you aren’t happy with.
Make sure you take as much time as you need to consider an offer and don’t fall for the “exploding offer” myth. If a company wants to hire you, they will allow you some time and some counteroffers during the hiring process.
6. Your Personality Counts
An employee may look fantastic on paper but if they can’t get along with anyone, they aren’t worth much to any employer.
It’s important to establish your likeability rating during negotiations. Don’t underestimate how much of a turn-off it is to potential employers when you act like a primadona during negotiations.
If you are respectful, understanding, considerate, and even a little funny and laid back during negotiations, you’ve already earned yourself a little more power.
You are negotiating with a human, after all.
7. Get Everything in Writing
As you are sending and receiving offers and counteroffers, make sure you write down everything that has been discussed and what you came to an agreement on.
Don’t assume that your employment contract reflects everything that you believe you are getting. Take the time to read through the contract carefully before signing.
Many even get a professional contract attorney to review their employment contract just to be certain.
In the end, you can do everything perfectly during your negotiations and still not get the right offer. This simply means that this position is not made for you and it’s time to move on.