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Accept a job offer

Negotiate an offer

Once you've gathered information about the job, you may be able to negotiate an offer. Although this might not be possible, it's worth asking. This is an opportunity for you and the employer to share information and reach an arrangement that benefits you both. Effective negotiation is a skill that can take years of experience to master—it's normal to feel nervous!

The best way to enter a negotiation is to prepare yourself. 

Sample negotiation (salary)

  1. Identify your budget—how much money do you need to live on?
  2. Research the average salary range for the type of job offered.
  3. Research the organization’s salary range if the information is publicly available.
    • most public sector organizations like government, public educational institutions and crown corporations have little to no room to negotiate salary
    • a company's ability to negotiate salary will probably depend on the level of responsibility of the position—an entry-level position will have less room for negotiation
  4. Determine a reasonable range based on your needs and research.
  5. Meet with the employer and politely state your salary request.
  6. Work with the employer to find an outcome that works for both of you.
  7. If you aren’t able to negotiate a higher salary, ask about the process and timeline for performance reviews and salary adjustments. There are often opportunities for performance-based salary increases within 3 to 6 months.
  8. Use the negotiation period to find out about other areas of negotiation, such as benefits, vacation time and flexible work schedules.

Get advice

Before you accept your job offer, share your news with family and friends or a Co-op and Career staff member. Discuss your goals and whether the job offer fits with your goals.

Remember, there are opportunities in every work experience to gain new skills, develop your résumé and meet new contacts.

Make your decision

Once you’ve made your decision, contact the employer to let them know.

If you’ve accepted the position, thank the employer, confirm your start date and ask about setting up a meeting to review and sign a contract.

Find out if you need to sign any administrative forms and whether you need to complete any training before the first day. Confirm the dress code.

If you’ve applied for positions with other employers, let them know that you’ve accepted an offer, you're grateful for their consideration and you may contact them again in the future.

If you decide not to accept a job offer, follow up with the employer to let them know. Be appreciative and leave the door open for future contact. By acting professionally, you’ll build your reputation as a person of integrity.