Do's and Don'ts of Negotiating a Job Offer

Jason Nazar is CEO & Co-founder of Docstoc ( In this video he discusses Do's and Don'ts of negotiating a job offer.

  1. Do: ask for what you want
  2. Do: have market comparables
  3. Do: be willing to walk away
  4. Don’t: be excessively combative
  5. Don’t: get tripped up just on base salary
  6. Don’t: settle without future accommodations

A lot of time we’re so focused on trying to get the job that we forget that we may actually have to negotiate for the salary, title and other elements that we’re looking for. This is a really important part of the process that may determine how much you end up loving your job and how good of an opportunity it is for you.

So, here are a couple do’s and don’ts. Do ask for what you want in the negotiation process. This is the time you want to make sure you’re very clear and explicit about what you want to get paid, what kind of job tittle you want to have, what kind of growth you want to have going forward. So that you can get what you want upfront or make sure that you get it in some period of time if you prove out your value to the company.

Do have market comparables. If you’re asking for a specific salary range, you want to be able to have data that proves other people with your experience and skillset get paid the same salary range that you’re asking for.

Do be willing to walk away from the job offer. You’ll always have leverage to get what you want if you can demonstrate that you’re a scarce item. If other people are going to want your services as well you’ll always have a more leverage to get the key items that you’re negotiating for.

Don’t be excessively combative in the interview process. It’s actually a good thing to negotiate hard. You demonstrate to the people that are hiring you that you’re going to be a tough negotiator once you’re inside the company, but you got to be careful to not take it too far and be excessively combative because you have to work with these people and the job negotiation process is the first time you’re actually getting a chance to work together in setting that tone with that relationship.

Don’t get tripped up just on base salary. There are a lot of ways to get compensation, bonuses, days off, perks and benefits. You want to understand and think about your compensation as a total package not just your base salary and don’t settle without accepting and agreeing on future accommodation.

So the fact is especially in a tough economy, you may not all get what you want right away and you may have to compromise, but don’t settle for something that you don’t want without getting the commitment that if you achieve and report your results over the next 3, 6, 9, 12 months that you’ll be able to get the accommodations that you’re looking for whether that’s more money, better title of specific office.

And if you make sure to follow those do’s and don’ts once you get the job you’re looking for you’ll probably going to make sure that you start off with it in the best way possible.