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How to Write a Counter Offer Letter for a Salary

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Most job offers are accompanied by a formal letter stating the terms of employment including salary. When it comes to negotiating your pay, a counter offer letter is a professional option in which you state your case explaining why you deserve more than what the employer is offering.

Letter Format

A salary counter offer letter should have the standard business header at the top of the page which includes the employer name and address followed by your contact information and date. Direct the letter to the attention of the manager who has offered you the job. If your job offer letter is from a general human resources department, it is acceptable to address the letter to the attention of the same department.

Introductory Paragraph

Thank your future employer for the job offer in your introductory paragraph. Start by acknowledging the job offer and salary terms first, and then transition your intent with a brief but sincere appreciation for the opportunity at hand. You can keep your introductory paragraph simple such as: "I want to take a moment to thank you for offering me the position of Personnel Administrator at Temecula City Hall. I am in receipt of the job offer including a proposed salary of $62,000 per year, benefits with Blue Shield, and vacation allowance.”

Second Paragraph

Address the purpose of the letter in the second paragraph. Start by stating that you propose another salary for the position. Explain the reasons for the increase in salary to make the letter compelling. You can include multiple examples that justify the increase in salary: “While I am thrilled at the opportunity at hand, I want to address some initial concerns with the salary I’ve been offered. Ordinarily, a salary of $62,000 is considered entry level pay for a Personnel Administrator in their first year. Considering I have five years of managerial experience, I’m requesting a salary of $70,000 annually, a figure that is commensurate with my experience.”

Concluding Notes

Your final paragraph can optionally request a response date from your employer and include your contact info. Let your potential employer know you are excited to start with the company, and conclude the letter on a positive note: “If possible, I ask for a formal response to my salary request no later than Friday, March 1. If you have any questions or would like to meet in person to discuss this matter, please do not hesitate to call me. Thank you in advance for your consideration. I am looking forward to advancing my career with the Temecula City Hall.”


Ruth Altman writes on business, lifestyle and careers. She holds a Master of Arts degree from Pepperdine University in addition to a bachelor's degree from Harvard University.

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