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Being offered a job is an exciting experience. Once you are given the details of the benefits and compensation, however, you may not be able to accept the offer without negotiating for a higher salary. Depending on the situation, sometimes it's best to respond to a job offer in writing. Your negotiation letter should be professional and friendly, but not demanding.
Start your letter by addressing it directly to the person who offered you the job and thanking that person for the opportunity to work at the company. Explain that it is your desire to work for the employer and review why you would benefit the organization. State that, after you both agree on salary and other compensation, you look forward to beginning your career with the company.
Before continuing your letter, research the salary range for the position in the local area of the employer. Don't make unreasonable requests or demands because you will risk losing the offer altogether. Start a paragraph under your introduction to discuss the salary offered by the company. Explain that the average salary for the position in companies that perform the same function is higher than the offer. Also, if you must relocate and the cost of living is higher near the employer, mention that the salary would not be high enough to support a move. Then state a fair amount that you would like to be paid based on the information you have given.
Salary is not the only form of compensation offered by companies to attract the best candidate for the job. If the offer consists of a complicated contract, negotiate each point separately in your letter. If it was verbal or a simple letter stating that a compensation package is available, ask to look at the details before you respond. Employer benefits vary greatly, so if specific terms, such as employer contributions to stock options, are important, review the package carefully. Other items you may consider are the ability to telecommute or a bigger office with a window. Any situation that has a significant impact on your performance and income should be discussed before accepting an offer. In addition, if some items are not as important, mention them to use as concessions during your negotiations.
Close you letter by again thanking the employer for the job offer and for giving you an opportunity to discuss the salary. Acknowledge that you are eager to hear back from the company and hope that you will come to an agreement so that you can start working there soon. If possible, hand-deliver the letter and discuss the highlights in person. The letter can be a reference for the employer to study once you leave, so that all of the points you mention will be addressed in a follow-up letter or discussion.
- Quintessential Careers: Job Offer Too Low? Use These Key Salary Negotiation Techniques to Write a Counter Proposal Letter; Randall S. Hansen
- CareerBuilder.com: Five Ways to Negotiate a Better Job Offer ... Despite the Economy; Lee E. Miller; 2009
- SpringRaise: Salary Negotiation Letter; 2010
- Robert J. Gerberg: Sample Letter for Responding to an Offer
Carol Deeb has been an editor and writer since 1988. Her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers and online publications, as well as a book on education. Deeb is a real-estate investor and business owner with professional experience in human resources. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Diego State University.