When you receive the offer from the company, you get the numbers of salary and compensation that the company is ready to give you. Important, but often less talked about fact is that you can actually negotiate these numbers. You probably won't make them two times more, but negotiating 5-20% increase is quite possible.

To a lot of people, negotiation sounds scary. You may be afraid that asking for something more can potentially cancel the offer, and ready to accept the first numbers you get.

Important thing to remember here is that the company wants to hire you probably as much as you want to get hired. If you receive the offer, company selected you from many other candidates. Good engineers are rare, and for every one who gets an offer, there are hundreds of resumes checked, and dozens of interviews conducted.

It takes a lot of time for recruiters and engineers to screen candidates and conduct the interviews, so it's estimated that hiring one engineer often costs tens of thousands of dollars. And even when the company finds a good candidate and extends him or her an offer, there is still a chance that the candidate may simply go to the other company – good candidates often have multiple offers at hand.

With that in mind, it should become more clear that negotiating your offer a bit won't make the company turn you away. The company has already spent a lot of time to give you the offer, and they will be glad to reach a consensus so that this time is not wasted.

Here are some practical tips on negotiating your offer:

  • It's hard to negotiate without the leverage, so try to state why you would like a bigger salary. You have other offers, need more money to cover your mortgage or something, or simply know that your offer is below the market average?
  • The best leverage to increase your offer numbers is to have bigger competing offers. If some company offers you 10% more, it should be a no brainer for other companies to increase your offer numbers 10% too so that you may choose them. You may even repeat this process several times.

    Therefore, it's super important and helpful to receive several offers at roughly the same time. For this, be careful to apply to the companies and pass the interviews at roughly the same time too.
  • Sometimes it may be hard to increase your salary, but the company may be more flexible in some other aspects. Maybe the company would be more willing to give you a signing bonus (a good reason here may be that you need some money upfront)? Or more stocks? Or even something like relocation bonus or a bigger vacation?

    Be creative, and compare your offers on all aspects rather than only the salary. This way, there is a bigger room for negotiation.
  • Whatever you do, be nice and kind. Negotiation is not really about "winning", but rather about exploring the possibilities. Don't try to push it too far, and appreciate what you get.

And here are some more good negotiation resources you can check out: