Just went through a round of interviews and liked the company.
But not any more than my current Job.

The offer was lower than I am willing to take to move to a new job. So I am going to send a rejection e-mail. The question is how much detail do I go into? Do I try and explain why or simply say thanks but no (with some extra fluff to be polite).


Based on Joe's comment below.

I think the goal here is provide an opportunity for the new company to make a better offer. But I am not going to be devastated if they don't up their offer. So advice on how to reply in this situation.

  1. Do I say no thank you (and hope they make a better offer).
  2. Do I say no, with explanation (if so what level of detail do I go into).
  3. Do I try and ask for a better offer and specify what I am willing to go for (The trouble here is deciding what Bonus/RSU are really worth to me (in reality very little)).

Are there any things I should watch out for?

This is some details about the offer.

Second part of the question is my reasoning sound?

Current Salary:    190 + NoBonus  + Stock Options (currently worth nothing)
Offer:             180 + 36 Bonus + 5K RSU (first year)

The new offer has RSU which vest over 4 years but are back end waited at 15%/20%/30%/35%.

My argument is that Bonus is nice. But not part of my salary so I can't count on it. RSU are fine but the companies share price has dropped 30% in 3 months and 60% in the last year so I am not seeing any real value there.

So the base salary is lower.
Base + bonus is larger but it assumes I get the bonus which depends on the company/division being profitable.

Though my current stock options are not worth anything. They amount to 0.5% of the company (Current valuation $135,000,000) and if I leave I have to take the gamble that they will be worth something eventually and actually purchase the options (which will be $50K) within 90 days of leaving.

Thanks for any input.

  • @JoeStrazzere: That's actually a good question. I am not adverse to another offer. But then again historically I don't have a good feeling about trying to push harder (they knew my current base and options position before they made the offer). So let me edit this question to say I am looking for a better offer. – Annoymous Feb 24 '16 at 20:39
  • FWIW, several relatively recent IPO's took off to a high share price while just the principals were able to sell, then dropped to a lower level when the rank and file were able to sell, then went lower than that for a while because the market overall was low, then went back up. I wouldn't discount the RSU's. RSU's at a fixed amount while the share price is low could go through the roof. – Amy Blankenship Feb 24 '16 at 21:08
  • What sort of environment is it ? What is the corporate culture like ? Are the tasks/projects interesting and challenging ? What other benefits do they offer ? And many many more things.... I don't want an answer to these questions, I'm just trying to tell you that there's more to an offer / job / company than money... – Radu Murzea Feb 24 '16 at 21:37
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    You're not sending a rejection, you're negotiating (or not). Send a counter. – jimm101 Feb 24 '16 at 21:48
  • 1
    Rather than say no just ask for whatever money it would take. You're no worse off if they decline. – TheMathemagician Feb 25 '16 at 12:58

It seems you're not really trying to reject the offer, but get the organization to make a better offer. As the comment by @jimm101 suggests, don't send an outright rejection. So, go with your option 3 - send something that tells them that you're interested in the job, but that their offer isn't acceptable and make a counter offer that you find acceptable.

A few years ago I was in a similar situation and successfully negotiated an acceptable offer by sending something like the following:

Dear (HR rep - in my case, adjust as appropriate):

Thank you for your email offering me (position). I enjoyed meeting with your company, am interested in the position, and feel I would be an excellent fit.

Unfortunately, your offer is not one I can accept. For me to leave my current position and join you, I require (whatever salary, options, and benefits you (reasonably) want).

Thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely yours,


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