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How to Write a Salary Negotiation Email: Example and Template

writing a salary negotiation email

If we’ve got one piece of valuable advice for job seekers it’s this: negotiate a salary offer. 

Negotiating an extra $5K per year can make a huge difference over time. A 25-year-old, who entered the market at $35K will earn about $1.16 million more over 35 years (assuming annual 5% raises), compared to one who agreed to $30K. 

(But of course, you can and must negotiate your salary with every new position!) 

This post shows how to write a salary negotiation email to an extended job offer to secure a higher starting pay. 

Sample Salary Negotiation Email

Hello Larissa Kay, 

Thank you for getting back with an offer so soon. I’m thrilled at the prospect of joining Startup C, and my candidate experience with you has been incredible so far. 

I’ve reflected on your offer and would like to explore a higher base pay of $100K. If you can bridge the gap, I’d be happy to sign right away. 

As mentioned during the interview, my skills in Scaled Agile and strong knowledge of the FinTech market, means that I can hit the ground running and contribute substantial value over time to Startup C. 

I appreciate your offer and look forward to speaking with you soon, 


How to Write a Salary Negotiation Email (and Get Your Offer Accepted) 

Negotiating a salary offer can be gut-wrenching. What if the hiring manager rescinds on the offer? In that very unlikely scenario, you’ve probably dodged a bullet. Good employers will either politely explain that they cannot accommodate a higher salary at this time or sweeten the deal with extra benefits and perks. Others — consider a higher pay range.

For current employees, four in ten employers made counter-offers to match the salary of the competing job offer, and 40% topped the offer. Among new hires, 66% got better starting offers when negotiating, according to the Pew Research Center

The bottom line: You have to always ask for a higher range — and here’s how to do so with a professionally written salary negotiation email. 

1. Open with Courtesy 

Just like in any other email, use a professional email greeting and a short opening statement.  Thank the employer for sending you an offer. Mention a few quick reasons why you’re grateful and excited to join the company. 

Don’t go straight to “Thanks, but this isn’t the offer I expected”. That comes across as rude and obnoxious. The last thing you’d want is to appear pretentious or ungrateful. 

2. Frame Your Ask 

In the next paragraph, state your counteroffer. Be direct and name a precise number. Frame your request as a call to action: “Can we consider a higher base pay of…?” instead of a more cautious statement like “Would it be possible to negotiate higher base pay?” 

You can also articulate why this offer seems fair. For example, mention industry salary benchmarks or anonymous salary reviews, you’ve seen for the same roles in other companies. You can also name a more personal reason (e.g., that you’re looking to increase your salary by 20% compared to the previous job). 

For example: “Given the role scope and market benchmarks for similar roles, I consider a salary of [X%] would be more appropriate”. 

3. Reiterate Your Value 

You’ve made your claim — aka the pay you want. Now you need to further support it with evidence — why you deserve it. Apart from appealing to the market rates or a personal preference, mention once again why the company needs you.

Add a quick statement about how you’ll apply your core competencies for the company’s benefit and what you’ll achieve at the workplace. 

4. Edit Out Weak Words 

Give your salary negotiation email one final look and remove all the weak words. In particular, prune some adverbs (kindly, possibly, likely, etc). Then look at your verbs. When it makes sense, eliminate hesitant words like “should, could, might.”. These are polite, but also make your writing less persuasive. 

Instead, use sensing verbs, expressing thinking and feeling, to better convey your attitude about the issue. Compare these two statements sound:

Hesitant: “Is there are possibility for you to consider a slightly higher salary of $X as it’s the range I’m searching for?” 

Persuasive. “Based on my experience and current market rates, I think an offer of $X/annually is what I am for in the new role.” 

Hemingway and Grammarly can help you self-edit your email to perfection.

Grab a Salary Negotiation Email Template

Hi [Hiring Manager Name],

Thank you for your offer — I’ve reviewed it in detail and feel excited about joining [company name] as [job title]. 

Before we shake hands, I’d like to discuss the base salary. The [number] is lower than what I expected, given my [years of experience] and salary benchmarks for similar roles. I consider a salary of [number] to be more appropriate because I can start immediately contributing value with [skills] in [your area of expertise].  

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to your response.




Final Tip: How to Respond to a Rejected Salary Negotiation Email

You’ve tried but the employer’s hands are tied. In this case, you have a couple of options: 

  • Negotiate a bonus. Pitch for a sign-on bonus (if that’s a thing in your industry). Or ask about an option to include a clause about annual performance-based bonuses in your offer. 
  • Ask for better perks. If the employer can’t pay more cash, maybe they can budge on other things like a higher annual training budget, flexible working hours, or a couple of extra paid vacation days per year. 
  • Accept the current offer. There’s nothing wrong with saying yes to the initial offer without any further negotiations. You can, however, indicate that you’d expect a salary bump after your annual performance review. 

Don’t be afraid to negotiate as it’s the best way to get the pay you deserve!


  • Elena Prokopets

    Elena runs content operations at Freesumes since 2017. She works closely with copywriters, designers, and invited career experts to ensure that all content meets our highest editorial standards. Up to date, she wrote over 200 career-related pieces around resume writing, career advice... more

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