Negotiating Offers

Congratulations, you have a job offer! Now is the time to take a breath and think about what YOU want. There are many factors you will want to consider before you sign on the dotted line.

Assess Your Needs

  • housing (will you need to relocate?)
  • transportation (will you need to purchase a car and insurance?)
  • clothing (will you need a new wardrobe to match the new work culture?)
  • food
  • loans/credit card expenses
  • entertainment
  • taxes
  • saving

Establish Your Priorities

  • work related to your skills and workplace environment (physical and cultural)
  • potential growth (promotion)
  • professional development
  • mentoring opportunities
  • type of supervision
  • benefits (vision, dental, drug plan, extended health, pension/RRSP)
  • salary
  • bonuses (stock options, education subsidies, relocation expenses, athletic membership, etc.)
  • hours of work
  • vacation
  • work-life balance

Negotiating the Offer

After determining your needs and establishing your priorities, compare it to the job offer. You may need to do further research on the organization or ask for more information from the potential employer. If you have all the facts and want to negotiate anything in the offer, you need to state your case in a positive and respectful manner. What do you have to offer in terms of skills, education or relevant experience that is unique? Pay attention to your language, tone and demeanor when delivering your message. State your concern or request, provide the facts and provide examples from your research. 

“I’m really excited about working for XXX and wanted to talk to you about the starting salary. I did some research, looking at job postings of comparable positions and visited occupational websites, and the range for people with experience in the area is $00000-$00000. Given my extensive co-op experience in addition to the CSA certificate I completed last fall, I was hoping to start at $00000.”

You may find that you have more than one offer at the same time. Most employers will give 24-48 hours for you to make your decision so ask for that time. Be aware that even accepting a verbal offer can be a binding contract. Although the employer may not pursue legal action if you renege on the offer, you risk damage to your reputation and recruiters often move in small circles within an industry.