OK, you’ve made it through the job interview process. The company just sent you a job offer! Congratulations. But, don’t get too anxious and accept the role yet. You have some leverage, so make sure you take advantage of it to make sure you get the best offer. Here’s how to negotiate a job offer.


First, one major mistake candidates often make is not knowing their worth. You should constantly be researching what the average salary is for the position you’re applying for. You need to factor in how many years of experience you have, where in the country you’re located, and what industry the job is in. This allows you to get an idea of what you’re worth on the open market.

Consider Total Compensation

And, another issue is only focusing on the salary in the job offer. As The Balance Careers points out, you need to consider all aspects of compensation. Will the organization offer you a 40(1)k match? What about medical benefits? But, don’t forget to account for other factors. For instance, if the job pays well, but it’s a two-hour commute each way, how much of the salary will you actually retain? How much will be spent on gas or other transportation expenses? (Granted, during the pandemic, this isn’t as much of a concern for a lot of jobs.) Here’s a quick checklist to consider for any job offer:

  • Consider all company perks (unlimited PTO, weekly lunches, commuting reimbursement)
  • Factor in all aspects of compensation, not just salary
  • Be aware of the expected hours and how long the commute is

What Managers Expect

Interestingly, managers expect some negotiation during the job offer phase. Seventy percent of managers expect candidates to negotiate salary and benefits! So, there’s no need to be bashful about this part of the process. Unfortunately, if you don’t negotiate, it can have devastating affects on your lifelong earning potential. According to Indeed, 58 percent of survey respondents claim to never, or rarely ever, negotiate their pay. The average U.S. annual salary increase is 3%. So, if you accept a starting salary that is 10% below your expectations, it could take over two years just to regain those earnings.


Now, take the above example. Let’s say you want to work for the company, but the commute isn’t manageable. Remember, they offered you the job for a reason—you’re their candidate of choice! So, leverage this. Ask if it’s possible to work remotely twice per week. Or, you can ask for a bigger salary, since you’ll spend so much on commuting. These are the types of negotiation points you can discuss with the hiring manager.

What Then?

Unfortunately, there are times when negotiations can’t bridge the gap. There are some job hiring processes where the organization isn’t as transparent as they can be about the salary range. So, there are certain circumstances where the gulf between what you want and what the company can offer is too much to bridge. If this is the case, it may be in your best interest to respectfully decline.

If you apply these tips on how to negotiate a job offer, you’ll be ready to start your new job! And, consider reaching out to Applied Resource Group, Atlanta’s top staffing firm. Remember, connecting with Applied Resource Group now is something we recommend. Even if you’re 100% happily employed, conversations can lead to a lot of places that you wouldn’t have even considered before reaching out. 


Harvard Business Review



U.S. News

Wall Street Journal


Ivy Exec


Best Job Interview

Fast Company