Writing a counter offer letter can be hard. When you got that phone call or job offer letter, you were probably ecstatic. It feels good too when potential employers recognize your talents, especially when there are likely several other qualified candidates for the position.When a potential employer offers you a salary lower than you feel you’re worth, it can put a real damper on the excitement of the job offer. Many jobseekers feel conflicted, wondering how they can negotiate a higher salary without coming off as pretentious and thereby losing the offer. Forget about all of that pressure with our counter offer letter templates. We’ll help you find the right vocabulary to convey your value in a professional way. Check out our template below.
Counter Offer Letter Template
Below is a letter written by Jared Kirschner. A prestigious entertainment magazine offered Jared a position as a staff writer, but he noticed that the salary they offered was lower than average for the position and his personal market value. Jared feels strongly that they should offer more, but he approaches the counter offer from a place of tact and consideration.
I enjoyed meeting with you last week to discuss the offered staff writer position at Entertainment Weekly. I am grateful for your offer and trust it will be a great experience for me. However, I would like to continue negotiating the salary you offered.
While your salary was certainly generous, I would like to counter for $75,000. I believe that due to my extensive experience in entertainment journalism, as well as my higher level of education, this amount more correctly reflects my market value. I also regularly attend conferences to improve my writing, editing, and reporting skills.
I did extensive staff writer salary research before drafting this counter offer to ensure I was making a reasonable request. As we discussed during our interview, I think this position offers exciting opportunities for me and my career. Since I have a proven track record of concise writing and journalistic integrity, I feel I will make a valuable addition to your team once we’ve worked out this final detail.
I look forward to another opportunity to meet with you and discuss my salary request. Thank you for your time.
How to Write a Counter Offer Letter
The purpose of this letter is to effectively communicate your excitement for the job offer while simultaneously conveying your personal market value. A counter offer letter can be a sensitive document, since you can end up losing the job altogether by countering too high, so be sure to keep that in mind as you write.
First, communicate how much you enjoyed the interview, but get to the point quickly. Be sure to convey that you feel the job opportunity will be a positive one for you, but you would like to continue negotiating the salary they offered. This places you in a position of power, because they’ve already chosen you for the position and have likely turned down several candidates already.
Then, after noting that their salary was generous or substantial, write the salary you would like to negotiate for. You should base this amount on significant research into the industry and company for which you will be working, as shown in our counter offer letter template. Clearly explain how you came to this amount, and include your educational background and industry experience as reasons. If you take any continuing education courses or do anything else outside work hours to increase your expertise, it’s wise to include that as well.
It’s important to express your excitement to work with the company near the end of the letter, as well as a confidence that you will have a lot to offer the company. This illustrates that you expect to enjoy the position once they have met your request, and that you are willing to have a reasonable discussion.
What To Avoid in Your Counter Offer Letter
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a counter offer letter is to over-negotiate. The job market is competitive, unemployment is high, and though they may have rejected a number of candidates, there are still plenty of qualified jobseekers to take your place. If a company feels your request is unreasonable, they can easily decide that you will be more of a headache than you’re worth and give the offer to someone else. Instead, as mentioned above, make sure to do thorough research into the position, industry, and company in which you will be working.
It’s also important to keep your emotions out of the letter. It can feel insulting to receive an offer that is obviously lower than you’re worth, but accusing them of low balling you is a surefire way to lose the offer altogether. It’s a much better idea to professionally and confidently express that though you felt their offer was generous—even if it wasn’t—your market value is higher than the offer you received.
When it comes to counter offer letters, following up in any form can seem over-eager and impatient. The hiring process is an arduous one for hiring managers, and they’ve already offered you the position. Having the patience to wait for their response to your email is crucial to the success of your request. This will convey a self-confidence that will help to convince the company that you’re worth what you say you are. If they never respond, you can take that as your answer that they weren’t willing to negotiate, and continue your job search elsewhere. Believing firmly in your market value and sticking to it should help in landing you a job that pays what you’re looking for.
Top 5 Counter Offer Letter Writing Takeaways
1. Know and believe in your market value
Doing the research necessary to understand what your qualifications are worth in actual dollars will go a long way in helping you write this letter. Every skill and qualification has a dollar amount attached to it. Find out what it is if you haven’t already.
2. Do thorough research before settling on a salary request
While researching your own monetary worth in the market, it’s crucial to nail down a salary for your negotiation. Justify this amount by industry, company, and regional standards. As mentioned above, over-negotiation can cost you the position.
3. Include justifiable reasons for your request
It’s not enough that other people in your industry may earn more than you. Your relevant education, both formal and informal, and your industry experience are great reasons to include.
4. Be willing to compromise
You may have come up with a salary you feel you’re worth, but being unwilling to budge won’t go far with your potential employers. Remember, this is a negotiation, not a demand. If they aren’t able to increase the salary they’ve offered, consider negotiating vacation time or other elements of the benefits package.
5. Be confident
Your confidence—or lack thereof—will come across clearly in your letter. It should be devoid of question marks. You are not asking if it’s okay to get paid more, you are asserting your value and requesting its recognition.