What are the Best Tips for Negotiating an Offer?

My biggest concern as I enter a job search is my ability to negotiate any offer that comes my way. That’s just not something I think I am very good at. What are the best tips for negotiating an offer when the time comes?

Ann-Z-newI am a big believer in letting them fall in love first, before you tell them what kind of ring you need. Before you can determine what kind of salary you would need to accept a role, focus on finding out everything you can about the role, career path, company culture, etc. When asked for your salary requirements, always put off the question until the offer stage by just saying “Open” on written applications and if you are filling something out on-line that requires a numerical entry in order to proceed with the application, consider adding 1111 which will allow you to continue. There will be plenty of time to tell them what it will take to gain your acceptance after you have determined that you indeed want the role, and after you factor in all the variables that should go in making a career move.

I have found after recruiting for 24 years now that the longer you put off putting a number on yourself, the more you will get. Oftentimes the interviewer will ask what your salary requirements are at the beginning of the process, and we always encourage candidates to deflect that question by answering that you want to have more information before you can answer that, since many factors will be going into your decision. Let the hiring manger fall in love, and get excited that he or she is going to be filling this role with a fantastic candidate. Only at the point when they have extended a formal offer should you consider countering if necessary with additional requests.

It is also important to remember that there are a multitude of things that you can and should negotiate in addition to base salary. You can negotiate bonus structures, commission structures, benefits, 401k contributions, vacation time, golden parachutes, etc. etc. So many people just focus on the base salary and leave so much on the table. Hopefully, if you are working with an experienced recruiter, she will help you in getting the most lucrative offer possible after you have determined that it is indeed a good match.


Ask Ann,

Have a question you’d like a recruiter to answer? Write to me at AskAnn@execunet.com



Ann Zaslow-Rethaber

Ann Zaslow-Rethaber

A recruiter since 1996, Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is the president of International Search Consultants, a global executive recruiting firm launched in 1999.

ISC has become one of the country’s most reputable search firms, earning more recommendations on Linked In than any other 3rd party recruiting agency in the entire country. With a team of 15 talented recruiters, utilizing the very best high- tech tools available, ISC can produce highly qualified candidates for companies with hi-volume recruiting needs.

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