How to effectively negotiate a job offer

Negotiating a job offer is a common and important step in the hiring process. Here are some steps to effectively negotiate an offer:

  1. Research: Before entering negotiations, research typical salary ranges using Labor Market Information and benefits for similar positions in your industry, location, and level of experience. Websites like Glassdoor, PayScale, and LinkedIn Salary can provide valuable insights.
  2. Prioritize Your Needs: Determine your priorities and must-haves for the offer, whether it’s salary, benefits, flexibility, career growth opportunities, or other factors. Rank them in order of importance to guide your negotiation strategy.
  3. Wait for the Right Time: It’s generally best to wait until you have a formal job offer before beginning negotiations. Once you receive an offer, express gratitude and enthusiasm, but don’t immediately accept or decline. Ask for time to review the offer thoroughly.
  4. Prepare Your Pitch: Prepare a compelling pitch that outlines why you deserve a higher salary or better benefits. Highlight your relevant skills, experience, achievements, and the value you will bring to the company.
  5. Initiate the Conversation: Schedule a meeting or phone call with the hiring manager or HR representative to discuss the offer. Express your appreciation for the opportunity and your excitement about joining the company before transitioning into negotiations.
  6. Be Professional and Respectful: Approach negotiations with a professional and respectful demeanor. Maintain a positive and collaborative tone throughout the conversation, even if there are areas you want to negotiate.
  7. Focus on Value, Not Demands: Frame your negotiation in terms of the value you bring to the company rather than making demands. Emphasize how meeting your requests will benefit both you and the employer.
  8. Negotiate Multiple Aspects: Don’t just focus on salary. Consider negotiating other aspects of the offer, such as signing bonuses, stock options, additional vacation days, professional development opportunities, or flexible work arrangements.
  9. Be Flexible and Open-Minded: Be willing to compromise and explore creative solutions that meet both your needs and the company’s constraints. Approach negotiations as a collaborative process rather than a confrontation.
  10. Get the Final Offer in Writing: Once you reach an agreement, ensure that the final offer, including any negotiated changes, is documented in writing. Review the offer carefully to confirm that it accurately reflects the terms you agreed upon before accepting.
  11. Know When to Walk Away: If the company is unable or unwilling to meet your minimum requirements or negotiate in good faith, be prepared to walk away from the offer. It’s better to decline an offer that doesn’t meet your needs than to accept a position that will leave you feeling undervalued or dissatisfied.

By following these steps and approaching negotiations with preparation, professionalism, and a collaborative mindset, you can increase your chances of securing a favorable offer that meets your needs and expectations.

Negotiating a job offer can be challenging. Meet with a member of the ACES Team for assistance and check out our resources on Handshake!


Career Resources

Labor Market InsightsIn partnership withLightcast logo

Explore occupations by career categories and pathways and use real time labor market data to power your decision making.

First, choose an industry of interest, then filter for occupation. (If you'd like to see data for a specific location only, filter by state.)

Type in a keyword to select a relevant occupation. (If you'd like to see data for a specific location only, filter by state.)

Contact & Location


Campus Center
First Floor, Suite 1300
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125

Service Hours

Monday 8:30 am- 5:00 pm
Tuesday 8:30 am- 5:00 pm
Wednesday 8:30 am- 5:00 pm
Thursday 8:30 am- 5:00 pm
Friday 8:30 am- 5:00 pm