Counter Offer Email Message Example

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You have a job offer in hand, and you’d like to accept. There’s just one problem: the compensation is a little lower than what you’d hoped.

In this case, you may decide to counter offer. If you’re communicating with the hiring manager via email, it's acceptable to send an email message asking to discuss the offer further. Here's a sample counter offer email message you can tailor to fit your own circumstances.

Counter Offer Email Message Sample

Subject Line: Your Name - Job Offer

Dear Contact Name,

Thank you for your offer of the position of Regional Manager of Product Development for the Witten Company.

I am impressed with the depth of knowledge of your development team and believe that my experience will help to maximize the profitability of the department.

I would like to meet with you regarding the salary and benefits you have offered, before I make a final decision. I feel that with the skills, experience, and contacts in the industry that I would bring to Witten, further discussion of my compensation would be appropriate.

Thank you very much for your consideration.


Your Name

Phone: 555-555-1234

How Much Compensation to Target

You don't need to mention in the email how much more money you're hoping to make – that discussion will unfold after the hiring manager sees your email and agrees to schedule a meeting or a phone call.

(Hopefully. More on the other possibility in a moment.)

Ideally, you'll have set your target salary range before the first interview, but if you haven't, there's no better time than the present.

You want to have a good idea of how much you're hoping to get – and willing to take – long before you start negotiating in earnest.

Research is crucial, here. Don't make the mistake that many job seekers commit, where they set their price based on a gut feeling or financial obligations that need to be fulfilled.

By doing so, you could either be pricing yourself out of a job you want or selling your skills far shorter than necessary.

Instead, research salary ranges for the exact job title and duties, as determined by the job description and what you've learned during the interview process. There are a lot of online tools that can give you a sense of what's reasonable. For example, the salary information site will create a free report for you, based on your answers to survey questions about the job you're targeting, your experience, skills, education, and geographic location.

Finally, don't set the low end of your range lower than you'd like to accept. Hiring managers have a budget, and may even get bonuses for keeping costs low. They'll often offer you the lowest number they think you'll take – not because they want to low-ball you or devalue your skills, but because it's their job to stay on target, budget-wise, as well as hire good candidates.

Is It Ever a Bad Idea to Ask for More Money?

Most employers expect candidates to negotiate.

In fact, a CareerBuilder survey found that 53 percent of employers were willing to negotiate even with candidates for entry-level jobs. The same research shows that over a quarter of employers set their first offer at least $5,000 lower, with the expectation that prospective employees will negotiate.

Further, some negotiation experts estimate that not negotiating starting salary can cost workers up to $1 million in earnings over the course of their careers. You can see why it’s often in your best interests to ask for more.

As long as you base your request on market data and ask in a professional, polite way, no reasonable employer will object, and most will give you a little more, if not the whole sum you've requested.

Of course, the keyword here is "reasonable" – there are always a few companies who have to be the exceptions that prove the rule.

Even in this case, however, most hiring managers will tell you regretfully that their budget will not allow for further negotiation, and leave it at that. In this case, if you want the job, you might try to negotiate for perks like additional time off or occasional telecommuting.

Although we have heard cases of employers pulling job offers because a candidate has negotiated their starting salary, those are few and far between, and often have compounding factors. (For example, in an industry where negotiating is not as common, or an inelegant pitch from the person doing the negotiating.)

In the end, any employer who yanks the offer just because you asked for more money in a respectful fashion is probably not someone you want to work for.

Read More: How to Choose Between Two Job Offers | Counter Offer Letters