“Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing.” – Carrie Fisher
Writing a salary negotiation email after receiving an offer letter or while you are in your current role can be daunting.
Will it lead to rejection after a prolonged job search? A cold response from your supervisor/hiring manager? Or worse still, rescinding of the job offer?
These are valid concerns, especially in a job market increasingly characterized by mass layoffs.
However, you need not be a prisoner of your own mind. We all have an idea of what we are worth in the marketplace. This worth can be articulated through a salary negotiation email.
Even your supervisor or hiring manager expects their employees to negotiate salary. Based on this reality, learning the art of salary negotiation is advisable.
As a job seeker or in your current role, you must master crafting a persuasive salary negotiation email that showcases your unique value proposition and convinces potential employers that your proposed salary aligns with your skills and experience.
This is critical to the salary negotiation process to ensure you get the best deal possible – and it requires a delicate balance of language usage, professionalism, and persuasion.
This article explains how to write a salary negotiation email and includes salary negotiation email samples that will teach you how to negotiate your salary confidently.
Additionally, you will get a salary negotiation email template you can adapt as needed.
A salary negotiation email is a written communication to a prospective or current employer to discuss a salary offer or improve the compensation package. This email usually comprises an overview of the employee's credentials and rationale for the negotiation.
Additionally, it may propose a counter-proposal to the employer's initial salary offer and request supplementary benefits like flexible work hours, extended vacation time, or an improved health insurance benefits package. The email aims to attain a mutually beneficial agreement.
Use the following seven-step process and salary negotiation email templates to write a salary negotiation email:
Make it a point to be clear and specific. Include keywords that will increase the open rate and hint at what the email entails, such as "Salary Negotiation Request," "My thoughts on salary offer," or "Counter-Offer Proposal."
Greeting: The email should begin with a professional greeting, such as "Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. Last Name." Make a point to personalize the greetings.
Begin your email by thanking the employer for the job offer and expressing your excitement about the opportunity. Here's an example:
"Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],
Thank you for extending the job offer for [position name] at [company name]. I am thrilled about the opportunity to join your team and contribute to the company's continued success."
Why start with a thank you?
Demonstrating a positive attitude from the onset shows appreciation for the job offer and eagerness for the role, fostering a constructive rapport with the employer and increasing the chances of a positive response.
Once you've conveyed your appreciation, articulate why you are a valuable asset and merit a higher salary. This may stem from your qualifications, expertise, previous achievements, educational background, or other pertinent factors.
"While I am excited about the offer, I wanted to discuss the possibility of adjusting the starting salary to align with my experience and skills. With [number of years] experience in [industry or relevant job field], I am confident I can bring a unique perspective and valuable contributions to this company. Additionally, my [relevant degree/certification] demonstrates my commitment to the field and my dedication to growing my skills."
To support your request for a higher salary, you should provide evidence, such as specific examples of your accomplishments or industry-standard salary data.
Here's how to provide evidence:
"I have been fortunate to work on several high-profile projects in a similar job role throughout my career, with a proven track record including [specific concrete examples of your work and accomplishments]. Additionally, I have researched industry salaries and believe that my experience and skillset warrant a salary in the range of [specific number or range]."
While it's important to have a target salary in mind, it's also important to remain flexible and open to other forms of compensation. Always remember that the right salary negotiation email should invite a back-and-forth conversation.
For example, you could ask about the possibility of additional benefits such as hybrid working or stock options if they are unwilling to change the base salary.
Here's how to show flexibility:
"While I believe that the base salary component should improve, I would like to discuss other benefits package options, such as a signing bonus, flexible hours, and stock options. I am eager to find a mutually beneficial solution that aligns with my career goals and the company's needs."
Sign off your email expressing your eagerness to advance with the job offer and reiterating your desire for fair compensation.
Here's an example of a call to action:
"Thank you again for the opportunity to join your team. I am excited about the potential to make meaningful contributions to the company. I want to discuss how we can work together to ensure my compensation is commensurate with my skills and experience. I look forward to hearing from you."
Why is this important?
Ending with a call to action can leave a lasting impression on your prospective employer and show that you are committed to the company, even if the salary negotiation does not go in your favor.
The following salary negotiation email example includes some of the steps we listed above:
Subject Line: Salary Negotiation for [Position Name] Offer
Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],
Thank you for extending the [Position Name] job offer at [Company Name].
I'm excited about the opportunity to join your team, but I was hoping we could discuss the salary. Based on my market research and experience, a salary of [Specific Number or Range] would be more appropriate for the job title of [Enter title].
I'm open to discussing other forms of compensation. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
This salary negotiation email sample can be used to improve the terms in your current position.
Subject Line: Salary Increase Request
Dear [Manager's Name],
I want to discuss a salary review based on my current role and responsibilities. As I now manage [Number of People/Projects/Accounts], I believe that my current salary of [Current Salary] does not reflect my value to the company and my changed job description, which came with additional responsibilities on [Insert date].
After researching industry standards and considering the market data and my experience, I believe a salary raise to [Requested Salary] is reasonable. I would appreciate your consideration and am open to discussing this further.
Thank you for your time,
Before writing a salary negotiation email and to improve your case and chances for success, you need to know how much you deserve to earn based on specific details such as skill level, experience, and market value. Online research and networking are ways to gauge your worth before drafting salary negotiation emails.
Many online tools can assist you if you're curious about gauging your worth in the marketplace. Websites like Glassdoor and PayScale can give you an idea of what people in similar positions and experience levels are making.
You can also visit Indeed or LinkedIn for job postings with salary information.
Remember that online data may not always be accurate, but nonetheless, it will offer you a salary range to aim at.
Another option is to look for government data or industrial surveys that provide salary data. One good source you can review is Bureau of Labor Statistics, which calculates average salary data by job title, occupation, and geographic area.
Connecting with coworkers, mentors, and even a leadership coach can be a great way to learn about salaries.
You can keep up with compensation trends by joining professional groups or attending industry events.
It's crucial to be respectful and professional when networking. Ask for suggestions, ideas, or strategies for compensation negotiations instead of outright asking individuals about their pay.
Keep in mind that every person's circumstances are unique, so the information you acquire might not necessarily be relevant to your salary negotiation.
Resist the temptation to mention any personal financial issues you may face, such as student loans, mortgages, or bills you must pay.
This often comes across as unprofessional and may make the employer feel like you are asking for more money out of desperation rather than merit, potentially jeopardizing your salary negotiation efforts.
Example of a bad justification: "I need a better salary because I have a lot of bills to pay, and I'm struggling to make ends meet in this tough economy."
Pro tip: Focus on your skills and qualifications – and the value you will bring to the company, including what you have already created in your duration there.
You should refrain from bringing up other employment opportunities or salary because doing so can give the impression that you are not entirely dedicated to the role. Instead, emphasize how excited you are about the organization and the position.
Example of a bad justification: I need you to match that offer or make a higher one, for instance: "I've received another job offer with a higher salary."
Why it damages your chances: This can give the impression that you're not committed to the business, which could sour relations with your employer.
Make no demands or threats; doing so could complicate the hiring process, increase tension between you and the company, and complicate the bargaining process.
Example: "I'll have to look for another job unless I get this raise in pay."
Why it lowers your chances: This could give the impression that you're irrational and unwilling to make concessions or cooperate with your team or manager.
Avoid employing combative or angry words – even if the negotiation becomes challenging. Keep your conduct respectful and professional to foster a good working connection with the employer.
Example: "I'm shocked that you gave me such meager pay, for instance. Do you even appreciate my abilities?"
Why it harms your chances: You might come off as unprofessional and challenging to deal with if you do this.
Remember to show your appreciation and enthusiasm for the employment offer. Gratitude can go a long way toward fostering a good working relationship with your company.
Example: "I'm grateful for the job offer, but I'd like to talk to you about the pay."
Why it harms your chances: Failing to express gratitude can give the impression that you are entitled and ungrateful.
When you decide to negotiate salary, you likely do so with great hopes that the recipient of your email will agree with your proposal. However, things don't always work out, and thus skills in managing expectations are recommended.
Here are some tips on what to do if your email negotiation efforts are rejected:
At Highrise, we help our members develop all the important tactical skills they need for success, including how to negotiate effectively. We've worked with thousands of growth-minded professionals looking for contemporary leadership development training to enhance impact and supercharge growth.
Through our signature experience —The 6-month Highrise Leader Impact Program —you can identify what's been holding you back and develop the skills to bring out your strengths.
With our guidance, you can confidently navigate salary negotiations and achieve your career goals.
Don't let fear or lack of knowledge hold you back. Invest in your growth and development with Highrise today and become a pro in salary negotiations.