Offer Negotiation

Justify Negotiation

Will a company rescind your offer if you negotiate? No!


74% of employers were able to improve first offer


But 38% of graduates attempt to negotiate

90% of hiring managers never retracted an offer because candidate attempted to negotiate

Six Steps in Negotiation

  • The best time to negotiate is after an offer is made by the employer.
  • 3-4 days before your deadline, arrange a phone call to begin the negotiation.
  • When asked what your salary requirements are by a potential employer during an interview, indicate a range, not a dollar amount.

  • Do your research and know the appropriate salary range and benefits for the position.
  • Determine a reasonable salary range for which to negotiate.
  • Remember to cross-check different sources of data and critically determine your range.

Read more about salary research tools.

Determine your priorities for the negotiation: in general, start with the base salary. Here are several benefits that you might want to negotiate other than salary: 

  • Paid Time Off
  • Bonus
  • Flex Time
  • Relocation Costs
  • Professional Development Opportunities

Determine which factors make you valuable. Focus on the qualifications you are bringing to the job. Put together a list of your qualifications and experiences that make you well-qualified for the job. This list will be useful to reference as you make the request. 

Here are several ideas for your list:

  • Related experience, such as internships, co-ops, jobs
  • Special skills and training or certifications
  • Academic success and achievement
  • University reputation
  • Knowledge & skills that you can bring to the company

  • Prepare a case based on facts. Facts should include: another offer you have received, comparison salaries relative to cost of living, industry salary ranges, Illini Success Survey, your list of priorities, and your list of value leveraging your experiences and qualifications. 
  • Reach out to the appropriate conntact (perhaps an HR manager or your future direct supervisor). Ask if the offer is open to negotiation. Refer to the sample to learn how to ask for a negotiation.
  • Negotiate over the telephone or in person --- never in writing or by e-mail. It's better to discuss sensitive topics via phone or face-to-face.

  • Professionally and confidently present your case to the employer.
  • Convey to the employer that you are truly interested in the job. Don't sound as though you are just shopping for the best salary. 
  • People tend to round numbers. If you propose 71k, it is very likely the other person will round it to 70k.
  • Communicate your strengths, and what you can bring to the table, to have some leverage.
  • We only present but not persuade.

Offer Negotiation Research Tools

Salary Data

Learn about average salaries for UIUC graduates and find resources to research salary data for your industry and position.

Access Salary Data →

Cost of Living can help you compare how your earning potential changes when you consider jobs in different cities and states.

Access PayScale →

Other Resources

Schedule an Appointment

Discuss your concerns, questions, or findings with a career advisor.

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LinkedIn Learning

Learn more about negotiation technique through LinkedIn Learning.

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