How to Negotiate a Job Contract

The Prepped Team

March 18, 2020

4 minutes

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Pat yourself on the back, you just got the job offer! After all the hard work crafting your resume and preparing for the interview, you’re the last person standing. But before you get too excited, there’s one more important step you need to take: negotiating the contract before you sign. While the negotiation process may sound intimidating, it’s a normal part of the job search. The following strategies can help you land the salary and benefits you deserve.  

Do your research

You should know the average salary of the position that you’ve been offered. Resources are available online, such as PayScale. If this is your first career job, make sure you’re finding stats that match your job title - a junior graphic designer is different to a senior UX designer. Other factors to consider in your search are education and the location. The initial offer you have been given is a starting point. If it’s not in line with the average salary expectations, you already have room for negotiating.

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State your case

In the negotiation process, it’s not enough to say, “the average salary for this position is x amount of money.” Consider a salary range, rather than a specific dollar amount. Having said that, be clear on your bottom line. What’s the lowest salary you can comfortably afford? Then, get specific about why you are worth what you’re asking for. Some examples might include:

  • You were at the top of your class
  • You have taken specific workshops or courses to improve your skills
  • You have mastered a specialized skill related to your field
  • You’ve already completed an internship in a similar position

You have to show why your value is higher than what they’re offering.

Don’t only negotiate your salary

There are other terms and conditions in addition to salary that can be potentially leveraged to your advantage. Try to negotiate multiple perks all at once. Here are a few to consider:

  • Health and dental benefits
  • Paid parking
  • Commuting costs  
  • Payment of tuition for education that could benefit your employer
  • Flexible work schedule or the ability to work from homeAdditional paid vacation time
  • A signing bonus. However, you need to be strategic, so the bonus doesn’t impact any end-of-year bonuses you may be eligible for.

Negotiations are expected and it actually makes you a stronger candidate because it shows that you know your value. Be confident in articulating your skills and what you can bring to the table. Need a confidence booster? Remind yourself of your skills and capabilities with Prepped.