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Negotiating an Offer

Negotiating a job offer can be intimidating. What do you say? How do you say it? How do you express your enthusiasm for a position, yet set firm boundaries regarding the salary and the benefits you desire?

If you are officially offered a job, the first thing you need to decide is whether or not the offer is acceptable to you in its present form. If this is the best you can negotiate, would you still accept the offer?

If you feel the offer is unacceptable to you, you must determine what will make it acceptable.

Generally, the only time to negotiate is after you have been offered the job. You are not in a position to negotiate salary or any other conditions until you have a firm offer.

Most companies have a fairly tight salary range for entry level positions. To establish the acceptable range for the position, review salary surveys to determine the average salary offered to graduates with your major and degree level in the industry.

When discussing the salary with a potential employer, bring up the average salary range for professionals in your field based on your research. A range is often more comfortable to discuss, because it allows you and the employer more flexibility.

You can consult salary websites for ranges by employer type, industry, and geographic location. CAP Career Counselors can also help you research and determine appropriate salary ranges for various occupations.

For more assistance with wording your negotiation, explore some of these additional resources: