Writing job offer counter proposal letters is about creating a balanced negotiation. When you receive a job offer, you likely feel elation and want to accept the position automatically. However, you always want to make sure you are compensated fairly. If the offered salary or compensation is not what you expect, writing this type of letter requires a sensible approach that does not jeopardize your job offer.
Main points in job offer counter proposal letters
A job offer counter proposal letter is the key to obtaining a better job offer for yourself. Most employers are open to negotiating the specifics of your employment, so when you feel the compensation or specifics of employment are unfair given your experience and what you offer the company, write this type of letter. Your job offer counter proposal letter should address several main points:
- Thank the company for the job offer
- Request further negotiations
- List the points of the offered contract you want to negotiate
- Ask for the employer’s response to your negotiations and conditional statements
Formatting job offer counter proposal letters
The format of your job offer counter proposal letter should follow the formatting for a traditional business letter. Include the current date, the name and work address of the person with whom you are negotiating and a professional greeting.
At a minimum, your job offer counter proposal letter should be three paragraphs, but the ultimate length depends on how many aspects of the job offer you are negotiating. There is not a set format for this type of letter, but use the following paragraph guide to get your letter started in the right direction.
First paragraph of the job offer counter proposal letter:
- Express your appreciation of the job offer
- Set the tone by staying direct and sincere
- State your interest in working for the company
- Include your best selling points—how you can make an impact on the company
Second paragraph of the job offer counter proposal letter:
- Introduce the first portion of the job offer you wish to negotiate
- Explain your counter offer
- Back up your counter offer with research and wanting fair compensation or restating your value to the company
Optional paragraphs of the job offer counter proposal letter:
If there are multiple points you wish to negotiate regarding the job offer, use an additional paragraph for each point within the body of your job offer counter proposal letter. Avoid putting all the points of negotiation into one paragraph in a job offer rejection letter. Only address one aspect of the job offer in each. When you have addressed everything you want to negotiation, move on to the final paragraph.
Final paragraph of the job offer counter proposal letter:
- Stress the modesty of your negotiation requests
- Reiterate the potential impact you can have on the company
- Express that you are looking forward to taking the job offer and start working as soon as possible
- Request a face-to-face negotiation if you are comfortable with it or a written reply to your requests if you are not
In addition, there are several additional paragraphs you may wish to include in a job offer counter proposal letter. If any of the below circumstances apply, add a paragraph for each individual point.
- Aspects of the job offer that you need clarified
- Aspects of the job offer upon which you agree with the employer
- Aspects of the job offer about which you would like more information, such as non-compete agreements, bonuses or confidentiality agreements
If you decide to write a job offer counter proposal letter, make sure you do your research on the aspect of the offer you are trying to negotiate. You want to show your request is warranted, and avoid making unrealistic and outlandish requests. Know the value of your worth. Write concisely, honestly and directly, and you are likely to at least create a basis for a conversation that helps you receive a job offer that compensates you fairly for your skills and experiences.