If you have had an offer of employment which you would like to accept, but the salary is too low, writing a letter is common business practice to negotiate a higher wage. Salary levels are largely dictated by market and geographical trends combined with the experience, contribution and projected performance of the employee, so it is important to research the local sector fully before composing your letter.
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Do your research
Find out as much as you can about the typical pay scale of the job title on offer and what the average is for your geographical area. Totaljobs.com has a salary checker and comparison tool where you can research higher and lower ends of the pay scale for most sectors and roles within the UK. Use this market research to determine where you fall in line based on your qualifications, experience and skills.
Consider the whole package
Even if your salary offer is lower than you might like, you may have additional benefits included in the package such as a contributory pension, company car, health insurance or medical care which should all be taken into consideration when determining if the initial salary on offer is in line with the market value. If performance-related bonuses are part of the compensation plan, find out how much this could potentially add to your gross salary.
If you don't ask; you don't get. According to a recent Careerbuilder.co.uk survey, 70 percent of UK employers said they typically leave some negotiating room when extending initial job offers to candidates and 10 percent said they actually think less of a job candidate who doesn't try to negotiate a better deal. Aim to pitch slightly higher than you are prepared to accept as the employer may counter negotiate down.
Your opening paragraph
Your letter should be typed and addressed to the person who is offering you the job. The first paragraph is critical in setting the tone and direction for the negotiations so you will need to make an impact by showing that you are sincere and enthusiastic about the opportunity. Begin your letter by thanking the employer for the offer and state that you are interested in the position and company.
Follow this up with your key skills and strengths that were discussed at your interview, a reminder of any of your unique selling points and how you are confident that you will make an impact on the organisation both in the short and longer term. You might choose to explain that you can save or make the company money. Keep this factual and based on the information you originally provided on your initial application or CV.
Explain that although you are interested in the role but you don't feel you can accept the current salary on offer. Detail what you think you are worth and why you feel this would be more acceptable based on your research. If you have any other detail that may strengthen your case such as success in your previous roles then include an example in this paragraph.
Finish by reiterating that you are keen to work for the company and strongly believe that your abilities will be an asset to the company. Target Jobs suggests imagining yourself as a salesperson promoting a product and it is up to you to you to demonstrate that the product (you) is valuable, high quality and superior to anything a competitor would offer. Thank the addressee in advance for their time and consideration before signing off.
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