I received a job offer, and I would like to provide a counter. The application form had a required "Salary Desired" section, and I gave a range. The offer is within this range. I would like to give a counter offer that is within this range as well, but I don't want to create a bad impression. These questions have provided some insight:

Provided salary range and got offer at lowest figure - can I counter?

Negotiating a Counter Offer

Should you always counter the first offer letter?

However, in my case, the position that they have offered me is different from what I initially applied for.

I was thinking of taking the approach of the first answer in this question. My questions are (1) is this approach still appropriate, or should I justify why I'm asking for more and explicitly reference that my initial application was for a different job?* (2) does the fact that I indicated a salary range for a different position make a difference when it comes to how my counter offer will be perceived?

*Keeping in mind that (a) I believe that the offered position is more rigorous than the initial position (b) Looking at this offer independently, I don't believe that I have any real justification for asking for more

1 Answer 1


You have two approaches (three if you decide to accept without countering):

1) You can play hard to get. Provide some variation of the following: "Hey this job offer is great and all, but I really need to consider it. If you can move the numbers up on X (base, signing bonus, stock, whatever lever you want to pull) this decision would become a lot easier for me." I've found this is incredibly effective and is pretty simple. There's no need to even pretend you'll walk away if you'd still happily accept the job at the initial offer. If they can't move at all on compensation, then let them tell you that, and you can take it or leave it.

2) You can explain that the job they are offering is not the one you thought you were applying for, and that you would expect compensation for the actual job to be a little higher than what they're offering. I would not recommend getting too specific because you can give the wrong impression (i.e. that you think the hours are too long, or the work might be too hard).

Personally I think this tactic is a little more difficult and harder to pull off successfully. It's also the only one liable to backfire. In my opinion, your best bet is to start with #1, and if they don't seem willing to budge, move on to #2 with the understanding that it's more of a desperation move.

My advice is almost always to counter (unless you provide a number and they've already beat it), so go for it. Typically there's very little to lose by doing so, and it will pay off tremendously in the long run. Try and project confidence and be ready to demonstrate that you're worth what you're asking for.

  • 2
    When I give a range, I make sure the bottom figure is the one I would like to get. That way you got what you wanted no matter what. Often you can then be pleasantly surprised as they offer slightly higher than the bottom figure.Your advice for point 1 is spot on. If you know that you got what you wanted anyway, it's easier to pull off, I find, because this casual approach is easier when you know it doesn't really matter if they negotiate. If you say 80-100 K and they offer 80 but you wanted at least 90, then your negotiating position is more difficult because you can lose out.
    – HLGEM
    Nov 1, 2016 at 21:52

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