After you have found salary and benefit information, you should consider what you believe you should receive based on your education and experience. Define the minimum salary and other elements that you’d need to see in an offer to consider accepting. It will be great when offers exceed these minimums, and it can give you cutoffs so you know if you should turn an offer down.
Having the Conversation
Ask for time to review the offer
Once you receive an offer, it is very common to ask for time to consider it and make a decision. You can ask for a date and time they would like your answer and to whom you can direct further questions. Make sure to ask questions and start negotiating with enough time so that you don’t exceed the deadline (at least a few days).
Phone is better than email
While email may feel less confrontational, a phone call is the best way to keep the conversation grounded. In an email, tone is difficult to convey, and you may come across as demanding. On the phone, you’re one human talking with another.
Lead with questions
From the above ideas, you may be wondering what the organization’s standard policies are and what’s negotiable. Turn these into a list of questions to ask at the beginning of the conversation. For example, “I was wondering how bonus amounts are determined, and during what times of year are they are given.” For questions about basic benefits policies, ask human resources, especially for personal topics such as family leave.
Show your excitement
Whenever needed to keep the conversation positive, emphasize that you are excited for the position or other points, such as working with the people you met in the interviews.
Make It about problem solving
Engage the employer in brainstorming options to help you get an offer that suits your needs and qualifications. Resist making demands or threats in the process (these are your future co-workers, after all).
Explain your thought process
Make sure they understand that you’re negotiating using evidence.
“Based on my background and the salary figures I’ve found for that area, I’m looking to earn $X. Would you be able to meet that?”
“My children get out of school early on Fridays, so it would be helpful if I could work from home on those days. Is that possible?”
“From the quotes we’ve received, moving will cost us $5,000. Will the company be able to cover that expense?”
“In talking with some of your employees, I heard that the company covers the cost of attending industry conferences. Would you also be willing to pay for a professional membership for my first year with the company?”
Faculty salaries are published by the Chronicle of Higher Education and state university salaries are publicly available.
Careers in Bloom, “Answering the Question, What Is Your Current Salary?”
Coursera course on negotiation
Payscale.com Negotiation Guide
How to Read and Understand Offer Letters
Once you accept a job offer (verbally or in writing) whether via our recruiting program or in your independent job search, you are expected to withdraw completely from the job search process. If you are uncertain as to whether you should accept an offer, please consult with a Career Center staff member. Reneging is unprofessional and jeopardizes Duke’s reputation as well as your own in the employment community. Should you renege on an offer, the Career Center will contact you to meet with a member of our team to discuss the situation.