Skimm Scripts·4 min read

A Career Coach Explains Exactly How to Write a Salary Negotiation Email

Accessibility, happy woman using laptop
Design: theSkimm | Photo: iStock
October 19, 2022

So you’ve made it through the job hunt and nailed the tough interview questions. Now, it’s time to talk numbers. But if the initial salary offer isn’t up to your expectations, you’ll need to negotiate. So we tapped career coach and “You Turn” podcast host Ashley Stahl for the deets on what you should include in a strong salary negotiation email. Plus, we’ve got salary negotiation email templates that actually work.

Any tips for what I should include in my salary negotiation email?

Salary may not be the most comfortable topic to discuss. But it’s important not to skip this step after an employer offers you a job. Because skipping out on negotiating could land you in a role where you’re underpaid. Stahl says 84% of employers expect job applicants to negotiate the salary offer during the hiring process. So chances are your new employer will expect this from you too. 

No matter what industry you’re in, there are a few things that you should include in any salary negotiation email.

You don’t have to include the word ‘salary’ in the subject line of your email. But you still need to be upfront about why you’re reaching out. Something like “Response to your offer for [ROLE]”.

A thank-you for the offer

Your salary negotiation email should always start with appreciation for the initial offer you received before you ask for a pay bump. If your first offer was verbal, include the details of your offer in your email to help with clarity. 

Salary expectations

Next, it’s time to ask for the salary you want. Make sure you’re as specific as possible with your salary range. Bonus points if you have an exact number in mind. If you can’t think of a specific number, explain that the initial offer doesn’t meet your expectations, and ask for a review of your initial offer. Hint: Sites like Glassdoor and are great starting points for figuring out the average salary for your role and industry. 

Show your worth

Once you’ve called out your number, it’s a good idea to restate the experience and qualifications you discussed in your interview. The more experience you can include, the more reasonable your number will seem to the hiring manager. 

End on a positive note

Wrap your email up by expressing your interest in the role. Add another ‘thank you’ for their consideration. And don't forget to let the hiring team know that you look forward to hearing back from them on this matter. Example: “I look forward to hearing from you to continue this discussion.”

Got any examples of what my salary negotiation email should look like?

We asked Stahl for a good example of a salary negotiation email. Here’s one that she shared:


I look forward to the opportunity to work at [COMPANY NAME]. I wish to be compensated [DESIRED SALARY] for my role as [POSITION]. Here is what I can offer your company beyond what the job description asks: [LIST]. Here is the value I bring: [EXPERIENCE]. My ask is based on what other companies are paying for similar roles in the area. [PROVIDE DATA]. I look forward to hearing from you to continue this discussion. Thank you for your consideration.




In some cases, Stahl says people will accept a salary and job offer — as long as the company promises to do a future review of their pay after they've been working for a set period of time. If you're in that situation, she suggests including the details of the agreement in writing to wrap up your salary negotiation email thread. One example:


Thank you for our conversation. To confirm, my role is [POSITION]. As agreed, I am excited to perform and then revisit compensation on or before [AGREED DATE]. By that time I will achieve or exceed the following goals: [LIST GOALS].




Can you lose a job offer by negotiating salary?

It’s possible, but pretty rare. Based on her research, Stahl found that 87% of employers said they have never rescinded a job offer based on salary negotiations.Instead of worrying that asking for an increase will ruin your chances, it’s more important to think about the common mistakes candidates make. Like feeling pressured to immediately accept the initial offer. HInt: Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. And if your potential employer doesn’t budge, it might be time to decline the offer


Salary can be an uncomfortable topic. Especially when you’re excited about a new job offer. The key to locking in the salary you want: know your worth. And don’t be afraid to ask for the pay you deserve.

Live Smarter

Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter. Delivered to your inbox every morning and prepares you for your day in minutes.