Evaluating Job Offers and Negotiating

You have survived months of job searching - targeting the type of position you wanted to look for, writing the resumes and cover letters, networking, applying, interviewing and then repeating all this several times.  When the job offers begin to arrive, the hard work doesn’t end.  Making the best decision is not easy and negotiation is essential.


1. Know Yourself and Your Priorities

Before you start any type of evaluation, be sure to clearly define your own personal goals. Remember that salary is not the only thing to consider. Things to consider when determining your priorities:

  • Reputation of company
  • Growth potential & advancement
  • Location
  • Job security
  • Benefits-- vacation, sick leave, insurance, etc.
  • Salary

2. Know the Employer and the Industry

What are the needs of the employer?  What is the current demand on the job market?  Is there an urgency to fill the position?  Can the company negotiate?

3. Know the Market Value

What is the market currently worth? What are others in the field being paid? How do salaries compare between cities? Some of the most popular websites to look at for this information:

4. Negotiate

  • Examine your priorities and identify negotiating points; be prepared to make some concessions
  • Find data to support your position through research and networking.  Why should the company agree with you?
  • Write down your plan and practice what you will say
  • Frame the negotiation as a collaboration or win-win, rather than a conflict or win-lose
  • Avoid commitment words: always, must have, deal-breaker, never, won’t consider
  • Be specific. What do you specifically want the organization to do, to provide, or change about the offer
  • For more advice on negotiating effectively, refer to books such as Getting to Yes, Ask for It, and Bargaining for Advantage.

5. Wait for Employer Response

Possible employer responses could include: Yes/No, Let me check, Not now, maybe later, No, because…but how about this? We don’t negotiate salary, but…

6.  Decide

You have negotiated and decided to accept the offer. There are some things to keep in mind at this stage.

  • Acknowledge the offer with appreciation immediately.
  • Is there a contract to sign? Or do you need to submit a formal acceptance letter?
  • Clarify all aspects before accepting.  Keep careful notes. Obtain the offer and details in writing.
  • Remember that an employer has the right to withdraw the offer anytime.
  • Let all other organizations know of your acceptance.  Do not continue to search.
  • Write thank you notes—to the hiring organization, references and anyone else who helped.
  • Notify the Pomerantz Career Center of your acceptance.
  • Keep track of career search expenses.  Many are tax deductible.