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Offers & Negotiations

Job Search
Salary Negotiations

The topic of salary will inevitably be addressed by the employer at some point in the job search process. You need to be prepared for how to answer the dreaded questions before you begin the job search and interview process.

Questions to Ask
  • After you receive a job offer, you will want to ask yourself several questions and weigh numerous pros and cons before accepting or declining.
  • Is the salary and benefits package fair?
  • Are the terms of employment clearly defined?
  • Is the company and position a good “fit” for you?
  • What are the working conditions?
  • What is the path for advancement?
  • Will you be able to have a life outside work?
  • What if this position is not your first choice?
When to Negotiate
  • Negotiate only after an company has given you a formal job offer.
  • Negotiation is the process in which two parties decide upon the resources they will give and take in an exchange.
  • Your goal in negotiation is to satisfy your preferences.
  • The time between when you are given an offer and when you accept the offer is your prime window of opportunity for negotiation.
Negotiation Topics
  • Salary
  • Moving Expenses
  • Spousal or Partner Assistance
  • Housing
  • Teaching Load
  • Start-Up Package
Negotiation Strategies
  • Look Before You Leap – Take your time to really consider the offer
  • Do Some Research
  • Don’t hesitate to ask – Many applicants are reluctant to negotiate
  • Negotiate Professionally – Be polite & professional
  • Don’t fixate on one aspect of negotiations
  • Have negotiated employment terms put in writing – Review carefully before signing
Accepting & Rejecting Offers

The best way to do this is to first call the company, since that will allow them to know of your answer in a timely manner, and then to follow up with a written letter of acceptance or rejection.


When you accept a job, be certain that your official letter of acceptance confirms all terms that were decided upon for the job, including start date and any negotiated benefits. If you have applications currently under review at other companies, it is courteous to notify the human resources manager and withdraw your name from candidacy. If you have other pending job offers, you should certainly also notify those companies and reject them as soon as you accept your offer. You should begin to familiarize yourself with your new company, and it is never too early to start building relationships. This can be done by contacting some of your new colleagues and introducing yourself and learning as much about the new company as possible. Try to stay in touch with the company between the time of acceptance and your start date.


Sometimes you will end up rejecting a job offer. This may occur for multiple reasons:

  • You receive and accept another more attractive job offer.
  • You realize that the position will not be a good fit for your skills, personality, and/or family.
  • You cannot accept the terms of the offer.
  • You are confident that you will receive an offer from a company that is more attractive to you.

When you reject a job offer, be extremely polite and courteous. Notify them of your alternative plans and focus on the aspects of their company that were positive to you. It is important to conduct yourself professionally and leave a positive impression on the company; the human resource community is relatively small, and you will likely encounter these human resource managers again.

Last updated: 9/23/2016