20 Tips on How To Negotiate Salary in an Email

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 7 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When a hiring manager extends a job offer, it typically includes a salary and compensation package. Negotiating your offer can be a great way to increase your earning potential. If you recently received a job offer, then you might be wondering what steps you can take to negotiate your compensation package. In this article, we share 20 tips on how to negotiate your salary in an email successfully.

Related: How To Provide Your Expected Salary (With Tips and Examples)

20 tips on how to negotiate salary in an email

Here are some tips to help you negotiate your salary:

1. Give yourself time to review the offer

Take the time to review the job offer carefully to ensure you understand what the employer is offering. You might choose to read through the offer a few times and then allow yourself a short break before responding. Waiting a few hours or even a day to respond can provide you with more mental clarity and ensure you have the opportunity to reflect on the offer you received.

2. Consider the full compensation package

Remember that a salary is often only one part of a larger compensation package. While you may try to negotiate for a higher base salary first, there are several other perks you can consider that are often easier for employers to provide. Some popular benefits you can discuss with the employer include:

  • Additional paid time off

  • Career development stipend

  • Relocation assistance

  • Company stock options

  • Work from home eligibility

  • Tuition reimbursement

  • Child care assistance

  • Gym membership

  • Travel privileges

  • Company car or cell phone

  • Signing bonus

You can estimate the monetary value of each of these benefits to help you negotiate a successful compensation package.

3. Research the average salary for your position

Take the time to research the average salary professionals with the same job title earn. You can use a search engine or visit Indeed Salaries to assess whether the salary you're being offered matches the average salary for someone with your desired position. If you're unable to find a salary for your exact job title, consider researching salaries for similar positions in the same industry. This can help you develop a realistic salary expectation and feel confident in your negotiation.

Related: What Is an Annual Salary? (Plus How To Calculate It)

4. Highlight your relevant experience

If you have extensive experience working in your industry, highlight this during your negotiations. Consider previous job roles, volunteer positions and internships. While you may focus on the number of years you've worked in a related role, you can also reference your most impressive accomplishments and your industry connections. Focus on how you can use your experience to benefit the company you're applying for so they understand the value you can provide them.

5. Mention your qualifications and credentials

Remind the employer of any relevant qualifications, licenses or credentials you've earned throughout your career. Discuss the skills you've developed by pursuing additional training and share how your advanced knowledge can benefit their company. You may also consider how much time and money you've invested in your career development to determine what a fair salary is for your desired position.

6. Give yourself buffer room

While the salary you ask for needs to be reasonable, consider giving yourself some buffer room by asking for slightly more than what you're comfortable accepting. For example, if you'd like to make $40,000 per month, consider asking for $45,000 per month instead. This way, if the employer negotiates a lower salary, you may still feel good about accepting their offer.

7. Calculate your monthly expenses

Before agreeing to accept a salary, make sure you know what your monthly expenses are. Determine how much you pay for things like rent, utilities, groceries, insurance and other necessities. Since these expenses may change from one month to the next, consider reviewing your spending habits over the last three months to assess how much you spend on average. Then, determine whether the salary offer meets your needs.

Related: What Is a Stipend? Definition, Types and Tips You Can Use

8. Factor in the cost of living in your area

In addition to calculating your personal monthly expenses, determining the cost of living in your area can be a powerful negotiating tool, especially if you plan to relocate for the position. For example, if you currently live in a rural area and plan to move to an urban area, your cost of living may increase. You can use an online salary calculator to research the cost of living in your area to make sure you're fairly compensated.

9. Use clear, concise language

When responding to the potential employer or hiring manager, use clear and concise language. This can help you ensure they understand exactly what you're negotiating for and what your reasoning is. It can also make you sound more professional and confident.

10. Show your gratitude

Start your message by expressing your gratitude. Thank the employer for the job offer and the opportunity to work for their company. Maintaining a polite and respectful tone throughout your email can help you make a positive impression and improve your chances of negotiating your salary successfully.

Related: Email Etiquette: The Professional Business Email Format

11. Ask for more information

Keep in mind that while the hiring manager may want to offer you a higher salary, they may also have certain restrictions in place. Consider asking them for more information about their hiring budget and whether there's any room for them to increase their offer. You can also ask them to provide more information about the benefits packages and additional perks.

12. Cite your research

Make sure you back up your research by citing key facts and statistics. For example, you might share what the current market value is for your position or explain the increase in expenses you expect to accrue if you relocate. Providing a data-driven negotiation can show you're serious about working for their company.

13. Assess career advancement opportunities

Consider what career advancement opportunities exist within your desired company. If you're unsure, you can ask the hiring manager whether they think you have the potential to move into a higher-level position in the near future or what the timeline typically looks like for career advancement at their organisation. This can help you determine whether accepting the position at a lower salary is a worthwhile investment in your future.

14. Show empathy

Throughout your email exchange, think about the other person. Whether you're discussing your potential salary with a hiring manager or an employer, being empathetic to their situation can show that you understand they need to carefully allocate their resources to ensure the business is financially stable. This can help you build trust with each other, which can improve the likelihood that they may be more transparent about the decision-making process.

15. Prioritise your requests

If you have multiple requests, prioritise them in order of importance. This can help hiring managers and potential employers determine which elements of the compensation package are the most important to you and improve the likelihood that they offer you a desirable counter offer. For example, if you want a higher salary, but are also open to accepting additional paid time off and company perks instead, lead with your desired salary. Then let the hiring manager or employer know you're also open to discussing other elements of their compensation package to come to a mutual agreement that works for everyone.

16. Talk to other professionals in your network

Reach out to other professionals in your network who work in the same industry you do to discuss your offer. If you feel comfortable sharing your offer letter with them, you can ask them to review it and provide feedback. You can also ask them if they've ever negotiated their salary when applying for a similar role and if they have any techniques they would like to share with you. This can help you develop a well-rounded salary negotiation email and ensure you look at your opportunity from multiple perspectives.

17. Schedule a follow-up call

If you have several follow-up questions or would like more information about the job role, opportunities for advancement and compensation package, consider letting the hiring manager or employer know you're open to discussing the offer in more detail over the phone. This may save time and help you establish a personal connection with them. Provide your availability to make it easy for them to schedule a time to discuss the opportunity with you further.

18. Share why you're passionate about the position

When negotiating your salary, it's important to ensure the hiring manager knows you're still interested in the position. Share why you're passionate about the role. Then explain that while you're excited about the offer, you would like to negotiate the salary before you determine whether you can accept.

19. Be open to negotiating

Remain flexible throughout your correspondence with the hiring manager. If they respond to your request with a counter offer, be open to negotiating further. Maintain a positive and professional attitude to improve your chances of finding a compromise that is mutually beneficial.

20. Proofread your message

Finally, take the time to proofread your message before you send it. You can also have a friend review your email for you. Ask for feedback on grammar and punctuation, as well as tone, to ensure your message sounds polite and professional.

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