Land Your Dream Job
Careers that help you move from intention to action

Your Guide to ... Closing the Deal | Salary, Benefits and Negotiation

You got a job offer! Congratulations!

Because of all your preparation, your resume made an impact, you had a great interview or two, and you are the one they want to work with! They like you, they really like you!

Show your genuine enthusiasm and gratitude to the hiring manager when you get the celebratory call.

But before you accept the offer, take some time to reflect and assess whether the position is going to meet your professional and personal goals, and whether the salary and benefits package is going to work for you.

  • Don’t get caught up in the moment. Show your enthusiasm but stop short of saying, “Yes!!”
  • Be sure to consider organizational and cultural fit.
  • Recognize that salary is only one component of the compensation package.
  • Make sure you understand all the details of the job offer including benefits.
  • Prepare a script to help you get started asking for salary or benefit enhancements

More about understanding benefits

Once the hiring manager makes an offer, many job candidates only consider salary.

However, it’s important (especially in the nonprofit sector) to consider other benefits as well.

Consider non-salary compensation such as health and life insurance; reimbursements and bonuses; and time off. Check out our mini-glossary of some of the major benefits, including descriptions and considerations.

Strategies for negotiating your compensation package

Key points include:

  • Know how the position is funded. You may have asked about this during the interview, and you can also ask about it after the hiring manager has offered you a position.
  • Know what you’re worth, based on your level of experience, the size and budget of the organization, the geographic region, and the current job market climate. Learn more about researching your salary range.
  • Convey your value — negotiation should be about what you bring to the organization, never about how much you need to cover your living expenses, student loans, etc. Highlight the skills you specialize in required for the position, and additional, unique know-how you bring that will enhance your performance.
  • Know what you need. If your list of “cons” far outweighs your list of “pros” — the salary, vacation time, health benefits, etc. are all unacceptable to you — the position may be a poor fit.
  • Ask for a summary of the offer in writing. If the hiring manager changes the offer based on your negotiation, politely ask that the revisions be put in writing too. You can say something like, “I’d like to talk this over with my partner and it would be great to see everything laid out in an email.”

Explore Jobs on Idealist