Avoid these 7 rookie mistakes when negotiating your offer

Rookie mistakes

  1. Using the word ‘negotiate’ when actually you were hoping to ‘discuss the terms of your offer’. Approach salary negotiations with an earnest, friendly, and pleasant tone, and any conversation that follows will be friendly and pleasant.
  2. Communicating the range of salary you are expecting outright to your recruiter. You might as well have said you will readily accept the number at the bottom range.
  3. Not being prepared to actually take the offer. Never waste any employer’s time and your own time if you’ve already decided the job or company isn’t for you. Be earnest and genuine from the onset. The world is a small place, avoid reputational damage.
  4. Not being prepared to actually walk away. Successful negotiations happen when you have alternatives compelling enough for you to decide to walk away. These options may be in the form of choosing to stay on at your current job, going to grad school, starting a business, and the greatest of all – multiple other job offers.
  5. Making it only about the money, which is a true failure of the imagination. There are so many other things that an employer can throw into your package to make the deal sweeter.

Before you enter into a salary negotiation, understand what your own priorities are.


  1. Not asking for the right reasons. No recruiter likes a candidate that asks for the sake of asking. Instead, clarify what your specific reasons are for why you want that extra hundred or thousand bucks. Is it to buy a house this year? Pay off your student loans? Humanize your request with valid reasons for why a better offer helps you achieve your financial goals.
  2. Not emphasizing enough of why you are a great fit and how you add value. As you approach this conversation with the hiring team, consistently remind them about how excited you are about the opportunity and being an invaluable addition to the team.

Make it crystal clear to them why negotiating with you is absolutely worth their time and effort.


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