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Job Offers and Negotiation Skills

Formal offers from your application to a job, internship, research experience or graduate school can come in many forms, shapes and sizes depending on your intended industry or professional experience. See below for support on the most common steps to understanding the offer you’ve just received.

From evaluating employment offers to negotiating, schedule an appointment with your school or college career center or Syracuse University Career Services to help provide support, guidance and to answer any questions you may have.

Evaluating and Negotiating an Employment Offer

Congratulations on receiving an employment offer! See below for the common phases of employment offers by employers.

After expressing appreciation for the offer and asking to receive the offer in writing, ask for some time to think carefully about your decision. Agree on a date for your decision. One to two weeks is often reasonable, but it could depend on the situation.

Now’s your chance to do some research and evaluate the employment offer. Take a look at Evaluating Employment Offers below to learn more.

While it may be hard to imagine, the most difficult part of a job search can often be accepting an offer of employment. The first offer may not be exactly the best job for you, you may be waiting for other offers or you just may not feel ready to make a commitment.

  • Am I comfortable with the mission and values of the organization?
  • Am I being offered a good benefit package outside the realm of financial compensation?
  • Does the organization’s expectations fit my lifestyle?
  • Does the job fit with my career plans and personal goals?
  • Does the financial compensation package meet my needs?
  • Is the location of the job where I want to live or am I allowed flexibility (remote options, flexible schedules)?
  • Is the salary appropriate for the responsibilities of the position?
  • Will I be doing work that interests me and will I be able to best use my skills?

  • Negotiate terms of the employment offer: You’re interested in the employment offer but areas such as salary, benefits and more may not be supportive of your lifestyle. Negotiation helps meet your needs with the employer’s needs.
  • Accepting the employment offer: Once you’re ready to accept an offer, some employers will ask you to sign a document to confirm your acceptance, while others will require that you write a letter to this effect. Employment acceptance letters typically open with a thank you and an acceptance statement. The second paragraph should restate your understanding of the position and any special considerations which may have been negotiated.
  • Declining the employment offer: This is a delicate matter – one which requires tact and brevity. Whether declining due to another acceptance or because you’ve decided this job is not a good fit for you, act professionally to ensure you retain a good image with this employer. When writing a letter to inform the employer of your decline, open with a thank you and a straightforward, one-sentence statement of the decline. (Including the rationale for your decision is not necessary and may, in fact, damage your relationship with the employer.) It is also appropriate to include your appreciation for the professionalism displayed throughout the interview and selection process.


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Professional Development Technologies

Salary InsightsIn partnership withLightcast logo

Search for a career to find salary projections to help you negotiate an offer.

There are two ways to use this tool below:

  1. By Keyword: Search for the name of the occupation you’re interested in.
  2. By Industry: Not sure what job you’d like? Search by desired industry and see available occupations.

Check out the Annual Earnings section!

First, choose an industry of interest, then filter for occupation. (If you'd like to see data for a specific location only, filter by state.)

Type in a keyword to select a relevant occupation. (If you'd like to see data for a specific location only, filter by state.)