How to negotiate a higher salary?

If you’ve just received a job offer, congratulations! However, if the offer is a little underwhelming, you might find yourself wanting a little more money. Many people find it difficult to ask for more money once they’ve received an offer, but it’s definitely worthwhile to see if you can push up your salary package. We share our top tips on how to ask for a higher salary.

Going back to an employer who has extended a job offer to you is daunting. If you ask for more money, they might withdraw the offer. However, employers only do this as a last resort if the negotiations aren’t going anywhere. At the job offer stage, they have chosen you for the role.

Recognise both parties

It’s important to understand that a salary negotiation involves yourself and your future employer. Therefore, you’ll be looking to keep on their good side so you can start off on the right foot.

The employer has already decided to offer you the job and they are likely negotiating with you exclusively. However, they have to secure your expertise at the smallest cost to their budget. That’s why many companies will often start with a low salary – sometimes even lower than what people are already earning – and raise it in later stages of negotiations. It’s not uncommon for job offers to potentially rise above 20% from the original offer during negotiations.

The ultimate end goal for both parties is the same – to eventually meet on a fixed figure or package.

Salary Expectations Question

At some point during the application or interview stages, you’ll be asked about your compensation expectations. This could be an overall figure including bonus, or just base salary. It’s important to answer this truthfully. Give an indication of the salary range you’d be looking to earn if you are successful in getting the role. If you downplay this during the interview stages – from nerves or eagerness to get the role – you’ll struggle to negotiate later down the line.

Be Honest

Honesty is the best policy. In any negotiations, be honest about your thoughts and opinions. If a salary offer left you underwhelmed, say so. The employer may feel embarrassed, but they will likely be scrambling to offer you a better package. Invite them to be honest about why they feel their offer is representative too.

Be honest in terms of finances too, there’s no harm in letting them know about your current package and comparing it to their offer. If there isn’t much incentive to move companies, then they’ll likely reconvene to offer a better package to you.

Creating an open atmosphere during negotiations can be rewarding for both parties once it’s all concluded – both parties should feel like they’ve got a great deal – this goes for any negotiations.

Research Industry Salaries

When you’ve received an offer, make sure you compare it to other salaries at the same level. Websites like Glassdoor are useful for this, they bring together salary information from current and previous employees, plus other companies with the same title to give you a rough indication of what you could earn.

When going back to the employer and asking for an industry-matched offer, you should always show how you came to this conclusion. Knowing what the industry pays can have big advantages when negotiating salaries. Most employers would like to avoid becoming known for a business that underpays its staff – once that happens, the company will begin a rapid decline with staff leaving for better-paid jobs far quicker than their rivals.

Consider the full package

Many people look at the base salary and for most roles, this is usually the extent of the salary package, perhaps a small discretionary bonus is thrown in. However, it’s important to understand the full earnings of your current package, plus the earnings from the offer so you can compare them closely. Different businesses operate different salary schemes, all offer a base salary or wage, but the bonus and commission structures can be totally different.


Feeling bold? Make a counteroffer! After you’ve received the initial offer from the employer, go back with a figure that you’ll certainly accept if they met it. You might even ask for a little higher than that figure, just in case they can’t match it but meet halfway. When you make a counter-offer, make sure you justify why you believe you should be paid more.

Consider other perks

When people receive a job offer, most focus on the important salary figure. However, they’ve overlooked the entire package and what other perks you could negotiate for. Perhaps you’re keen to pursue a side hustle and a few extra days off as holiday could be useful. Perhaps you could negotiate better bonuses related to performance? Perhaps it’s worthwhile negotiating a working pattern – 2 days working from home. There are lots of options to negotiate on.

Final Thoughts

Not many people choose to respond to a job offer asking for more money, however it can be a big benefit doing so – especially to your bank account. Most employers will appreciate someone who goes back and negotiates a better deal for themselves, it’s an indication that they will be trying to secure the best deal for the business if they join them. Ultimately, you shouldn’t be worried about employers withdrawing an offer immediately if you ask for more money.