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The Ultimate Guide to Drafting a Salary Negotiation Email


Whether you have just received a job offer or feel like your responsibilities have changed, at some point in life, you will have to negotiate your salary. It is completely normal if you feel uncomfortable having these sorts of salary discussions with your hiring manager or boss, however, to highlight your value, you need to take the stand.

If you feel that you are working hard in the position, yet are undercompensated, then you have to raise the concern. You deserve to feel good about your compensation. Therefore, writing a professional salary negotiation email can help you raise the subject with your employer clearly and thoughtfully.

Your compensation matters; because when you are paid fairly, you tend to be happier to work for the company. Being paid fairly also shows that the company values and appreciates your efforts. Although you are demanding your basic right, most people are still reluctant to engage in salary negotiations because of:

·         Fear of consequences: Employees are usually concerned that discussing salary might deteriorate their relationship with their employer or supervisor.

·         Lack of information: Employees are unaware of the market competitive salary for their job.

·         Social taboos: Salary negotiations are considered taboo in some cultures, and people often feel uncomfortable talking about money.

The following guide will provide you with a step-by-step guide for writing a salary negotiation email and a few tips for an effective salary negotiation.

Drafting a Salary Negotiation Email

A salary negotiation email is sent to a potential or existing employer to begin negotiations on the initial salary offered for a role or to negotiate your current salary. Negotiating salary can be quite distressing for many, therefore, you need to understand what to include in a negotiation email which can help ensure you earn the appropriate salary according to your expertise.

How to Write a Salary Negotiation Email

To write a compelling salary negotiation email, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps:

A Clear Subject Title

Writing a subject line for your salary negotiation email is not a piece of cake. You have to avoid including salary in the subject line, as it looks too direct. However, at the same time, you have to get the recruiter’s attention and make sure that the subject line is relevant enough to compel the recruiter to read the email further. Therefore, try to keep it concise and avoid being too informal.

A Polite Greeting

Since your salary negotiation email should sound professional, the best way to do that is to start with a polite greeting. Choose a respectful and professional greeting depending on your interactions with the employer or potential employer. The greeting can be formal or informal, depending on your interaction or experience with the employer.

A Warm Introduction

Whenever writing a negotiation email, you must not ask for a pay rise right in the beginning. First, you need to provide some context to the recruiter by expressing gratitude or showing excitement about working for the company or taking on new responsibilities. By expressing gratitude and positivity, you strengthen the relationship with the employer, which eventually smoothens the negotiation process.

A Specific Salary Expectation

Once you are done with the formalities, it is time to talk about the actual topic. It is preferable to be upfront about your salary expectations, however, if you are uncomfortable, you can ask if there is an opportunity to review the offer or your current salary. If you are being upfront, then you must research the market average for similar positions and should have a salary range or a specific number in mind. Since this is the starting point of the negotiation, try not to pick something too low or too high.

A Justification for the Claim

Once the request has been made, you must justify your claim. This is the opportunity to show your worth by listing your work accomplishments, your strengths, and your experiences. Think about five or six things that you know you could excel at in the role and write them down to help create specific examples to include. Try to be as specific as you can, because the more evidence you present, the more reasonable your request will seem.

Other Negotiable Items

Money is not the only means through which you can demand compensation. Your salary may be non-negotiable, in that case, you might need to check if there are any other items you are willing to negotiate. You must outline those details in the email to be clear and specific. Other negotiable items could include a higher health spending account or more paid time off (PTO), which could ultimately improve your work-life balance and overall well-being.

A Positive Sign-Off

The best way to end your salary negotiation email is by thanking your potential employer or manager for considering your request. You must let them know how much you enjoy or look forward to working with them. That way, the employer knows it is worthwhile to try to make your request work. Don’t forget to ask them what you should do next. Then add a professional email sign-off such as ‘Yours sincerely’, ‘Kind regards’, and so on.

Special Tips for Your Salary Negotiation Email

Since writing a salary negotiation email requires immense attention to detail and tone, here are a few tips that can help you compose your salary negotiation email effortlessly:

Take Your Time

When you receive the offer, you must take some time for yourself to properly go through the offer. Companies usually allow time for candidates to consider the offer, therefore, you are not obliged to respond immediately. You should take this time to go over all the details included in the remuneration package and the base salary component. By understanding all the elements of the job offer, you can easily decide whether to accept it or not.

Keep the Salary Negotiation Email Concise

While it is important to highlight your skills and expertise, however, you should not exceed your email for more than three to four paragraphs. A long email simply loses its hook and the employer feels bored, this could ultimately affect your chances of getting your salary increased. Therefore, your negotiation email must feature an intro, body, and conclusion only.

Know Your Value

The salary negotiation email allows you to show the value you bring to the employer. The content of the email should demonstrate how your expertise and skill set can help the company achieve its objectives efficiently. You must include your years of experience, level of education or any certifications you hold, and specific skills that are relevant to the role.

Consider Tone

When communicating via email, miscommunication could be a potential issue that could arise in the future. Therefore, you should proofread your email and check the tone before sending it to the employer. If anything is vaguely written, simplify the language to make things easier for you and the employer.

Consider Alternatives

As said earlier, for many roles or companies, the base salary is non-negotiable, however, you can ask for additional benefits to be included in your job package. These sorts of benefits could include flexibility in offering more annual leave, a gym membership, or an early performance and salary review. If the employer cannot increase the salary, then you can urge them to look at other alternatives as part of the negotiation.

Conduct Research

When writing a salary negotiation email, you must check the market in your area for the salary range of similar roles. If your current salary is in the market range, then the probability of salary increment is quite low, but if you can prove to the employer that you are worth more, then it is worth a try. However, if the offer is lower than the market, make sure you mention this in your email.

Consider Your Expenses

Most companies expect employees to relocate or incur other costs to accept the job, then those additional expenses should be part of the job offer, if not, then you must raise the concern in the negotiation email. However, you should avoid stating in your email that you need a salary increment so that you can meet general living expenses, this sounds very unprofessional and informal sometimes.

Be Firm

When writing your salary negotiation email, you have to be very sure about the specific number that you mention. You should be firm on your request, and if possible, you must give data and evidence to prove the employers that you are worth every penny. This confidence is also an excellent negotiation strategy as you are stressing you would not back down. However, be firm but also polite when negotiating.

Final Thoughts

Feeling nervous about negotiating your salary for the very first time is understandable, but if you implement the right strategies and tactics to draft your salary negotiation email, your employer will be urged to increase your salary. Politeness and positivity are the vital keys to creating an effective negotiation email!

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