Career Center

How to Write a Salary Negotiation Email

The job offer comes from a prospective employer while you're still searching for a job. You're interested in the work, and the benefits package looks good, but you'd prefer to earn more money to reach some of your financial goals. 

You might respond to the original offer with a counter-proposal that outlines the salary range in which you are interested. The counteroffer can be presented in person or over the phone, but a letter or email may be a better option. Then, you can think through your response and make sure you come across as credible, professional, and reasonable.

For a better understanding of counter offer letters, what they contain, and how to use them most effectively, let's go over what they contain and how to use them most effectively.

In what way does a counteroffer letter differ from an offer letter?

In a counteroffer letter, you write a counterproposal and send it to the HR department, recruiter or hiring manager of your prospective employer. A proposal letter such as this one is sent by snail mail, but most counter offers are sent via email today.

It essentially expresses that you are still interested in pursuing the job offer, but you would like to change one or more terms.

The employer may not accept your counteroffer, but it's worth trying. Some employers will try to lower your salary or benefits at the beginning of a job negotiation to see if you're willing to accept them. In other words, don't be afraid to write a counter offer letter asking for a raise after the company has made its initial offer. It is expected that 70% of hiring managers will negotiate salaries with candidates.

Make sure you do your homework before you counter

Whenever you are writing a counter offer letter, it is a good idea to do some research first. It is a good idea to start by researching how much an average employee in your field is paid for the work in question. 

Once you have this information, you might want to send in a counter proposal if the company's first offer is substantially below average. In addition, you might try to find out whether any other company employees submitted counteroffers during negotiations. It may be possible for them to tell you how the company reacted to their offer and if it was accepted.

Make sure you negotiate more than just your salary

In addition to your salary, remember that your total compensation package consists of a lot more.

Other benefits should also be considered, such as Paid leaves, Insurance benefits, Employee fitness facility, Free parking space, etc.
The majority of people think of a counter offer in terms of negotiating salary, but in 2019, 59% of hiring managers were more open to negotiating benefits and non-monetary perks. If you are negotiating salary, consider leveraging other factors as well.

Pros and cons of counter offer letters

There are also three distinct advantages to job applicants who receive counter offer letters:

Writing a counter offer letter can help you be more assertive if you're a weak verbal negotiator.

It's a chance for you to present a convincing argument to convince the other party to consider your counteroffer.

A written record of your negotiations is automatically created by the program, which could be helpful if there are future misunderstandings between you and your employer.

Despite the pros of writing a counter offer letter, it is important to consider the cons as well:

You can't guarantee that the employer will be willing to negotiate with you. It is possible that they will simply respond by saying that their offer is final. 

If your counteroffer letter does not meet the company's expectations, your application may be rejected altogether. It is therefore important that you word your letter tactfully and professionally. Keep everything purely objective; don't use emotional terms.

Counter Offer letter contents

Use a basic template that organises the formal letter format into separate sections if you are unsure how to word your counter offer letter. An employer's letter should include the following sections, each with its own purpose and scope:

Letterhead: Always use the standard format for business letters, such as cover letters. Contact information for the company should be included as well, such as the company name, address, phone number, email address, and other pertinent information.  

Brief introduction: Express your interest in the position and thank the employer for the job offer letter. In your letter, you should also explain why you deserve the terms outlined, such as your higher level of skills than the average applicant.

Body of the letter: This is where the meat of the negotiation is laid out. Your counteroffer should be divided into paragraphs for each point. Each paragraph should include the employer's initial proposal and your counterproposal. You should also include the reason why you are making a counteroffer. If your prospective employer does not offer health insurance, you may ask for a higher salary to cover this expense. 

Conclusion: Let the employer know you're still interested in working for them, and you'd be happy to arrange an in-person meeting if they'd like to discuss matters further.

Subject line: Make sure you include "[Your Name] - job offer" in the subject line of your email if you are sending a counteroffer.

Here are some additional tips for writing a counteroffer

When you support the claims you make in a counteroffer letter with clear evidence, the employer is more likely to take your assertions seriously.

The employer may be more likely to agree to your terms if you provide evidence that the average national salary for the job in question is higher than what they're offering. In addition, if you have a better offer from another company, you may be able to parlay it into a higher base salary (or other benefits). You'll also be showing your employer that you're in demand and have other options available to you.  

Make sure your letter is free of grammatical and spelling errors by editing and proofreading it. If you would like feedback on your work, you may want to have a trusted friend, mentor or family member review it for you.