How to Write a Counter Offer Letter with Tips and Examples

Stephen Greet
Stephen Greet April 18, 2024
How to Write a Counter Offer Letter with Tips and Examples

You’ve received a job offer, but it isn’t everything you expected. So, what should you do?

Negotiating can sound stressful, more so than writing a cover letter, which is why many people choose not to do it. However, the right counter offer could be the key to getting the salary and benefits you’ve always wanted.

After all, you bring value to the company, which is why they want to hire you. You may be an expert in cost analysis, saving the company money, or a project management specialist who keeps teams running smoothly.

Whatever your skill set, this article will show you how to write a counter offer letter that makes your value shine through and work toward the best deal for you.

What Is a Counter Offer Letter?

What is a Counter Offer Letter?

A counter offer letter is a formal letter showing your desire to accept a job offer but negotiate the offer’s terms.

The purpose of a counter offer letter is to show the value you bring to the table while clearly outlining what you would need to feel comfortable accepting the offer. For example, some applicants may detail a specific salary they’re seeking or other benefits they’d like included, such as relocation assistance or extra PTO days.

The most common situations where a counter offer is a good idea are when:

  • The salary offered is below market rates
  • The commission rate doesn’t fit your level of expertise or the work needed to generate sales
  • The salary doesn’t support the area’s cost of living
  • You have multiple job offers and want to determine the best option
  • The benefits package doesn’t include everything you’re seeking

You’ll want to structure this similarly to other formal letters you’d prepare during the job search process, such as when you create a cover letter or a letter of interest. It should have a greeting, introduction, body paragraphs, a closing paragraph, and a closing salutation.

Everything throughout should be well-researched to substantiate your counteroffer. For instance, you could mention the average salary for your job title or an estimate of how much relocating would cost you. Repeating evidence of your skills from your cover letter or resume is a great idea, too, such as how you boosted sales or improved product quality in previous jobs.

Also, remember to show gratitude throughout for a company offering to have you join its team. While you want to be clear about your needs, showing a positive outlook about the company will reinforce why you’re a perfect fit and get you off to a smooth start once you begin your new job.

The Art of Writing a Counter Offer Letter

The Art of Writing a Counter Offer Letter

Research and structure are essential when writing counter offer letters. Here are some tips to ensure yours sounds professional and has the best chance of swaying the hiring manager’s mind during negotiations.

Preparing to write your letter

Before you start writing, you’ll want to do some research to support your primary negotiation points. Presenting solid evidence that what you want is acceptable in the current job market will give you a better chance of getting your counter offer accepted.

The first step involves reviewing the original offer. Write down key negotiation points you want to focus on and conduct your research with those details in mind.

An excellent resource for finding average salaries for specific industries or job titles is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can also use job search platforms like Indeed or Monster to compare salaries and benefits from other companies hiring in your field.

Once you have a solid base of data, you can put it all together in a concise message. For example, you could say, “The average salary for project managers with five years of experience in Chicago is $116,000, and 25 out of 30 companies hiring project managers in the area offer a minimum of 14 days of PTO.”

Structuring your counter offer letter

Just like when you’re writing a cover letter, resignation letter, or other formal correspondence, you should follow a specific structure to ensure it sounds professional. The four main sections of a counter offer letter are:

  • Salutation
  • Introduction
  • Body paragraphs (detailing your counter offer and evidence)
  • Conclusion

Here’s a breakdown to guide you while writing each section.

Professional salutation

The optimal way to start your letter is to greet the hiring manager or a specific contact person by name. Something like “Dear [hiring manager’s name]” or “Hello [recipient’s name]” will work well for a formal letter like this.

While it can feel tempting to start with something more formal and old-fashioned like “Dear Sir”, that doesn’t work well in the modern hiring process. Companies value personalization and inclusivity more than ever today, so greeting people with their names and showing you connect with the company’s mission is always a good idea.


Even though you weren’t completely satisfied with the offer and plan to counter it, you should start your letter by showing gratitude toward the company. For example, you could open with something like, “Thank you for offering me the construction manager role at Vanguard Builders & Innovations.”

You could also reaffirm your connection to the company’s mission to show your continued interest in working with them. For instance, you could say, “I’m excited about the opportunity to work on innovative and modern commercial buildings that will have a long-standing impact on the industry.”

Detailing your counter offer and evidence in the body paragraphs

In the body paragraphs, you should detail the terms of the offer you’re countering, such as the salary you want or a detailed overview of the benefits you’d like added. Remember to remain polite and professional while being as specific as possible throughout.

Try to surround this with any evidence you’ve gathered that proves your counter to the offer is valid. For instance, you could say, “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average construction manager salary in Washington is between $110,000 and $120,000, and I believe my counteroffer of $115,000 is more than fair for someone with my experience.”


As you wrap up your letter, you should thank the hiring manager for their consideration of your counteroffer.

It can also be a good idea to reinforce your initial enthusiasm about working with the company. In the example of a construction manager, it could be something like, “I appreciate you continuing to consider me for the role as I’d be excited to work on innovative buildings that will benefit the commercial business space.”

Lastly, let them know you’re available if they need any other information from you to show you’re open to continuing negotiations about your counteroffer.

Essential Components of a Counter Offer Letter

Essential Components of a Counter Offer Letter

When learning how to counter a job offer, it’s important to know how to frame the intent, such as asking for a higher salary, benefit enhancements, or other considerations.

While counter-offering the salary, you’ll want to show the reasoning behind why you chose a specific amount. Industry standards are usually a good starting point, such as mentioning average salaries for your job title and experience level. You could also cite your significant contributions and achievements in previous jobs to showcase the value you bring.

Negotiating benefits enhancements can feel trickier since there isn’t always precise data about industry standards like there is with salary. It’ll take some work, but you can come up with numbers by reviewing other companies hiring in your field and determining what their benefits package includes. You can also frame things like work-from-home flexibility by showing how it’ll benefit your performance in the role.

Other considerations you may need to make while crafting a counter offer include relocation assistance, flexible working hours, a signing bonus, and professional development opportunities. Some of these will be easier to back with data than others. For example, you can usually come up with an estimated cost you’d accrue to relocate or average signing bonuses in the industry.

However, aspects like a flexible work schedule may require you to get a bit creative with how you show your reasoning. For instance, you could explain how it’ll help you communicate with clients in different time zones or create a work-life balance to help you manage family time, making you more focused during your working hours.

Template for a basic counter offer letter

Just like it can be helpful to use resume templates, a resume builder, or a cover letter generator to provide a template during the hiring process, the same is true for counter offer letters. Here’s a basic counter offer letter template you can use to guide you in this process. Fill it in with the specific details that apply to your needs.

[Your name]
[Your street address]
[Your city, state, and zip code]
[Your phone number]
[Your email]

[Today’s date]

[Hiring manager’s name or company’s name]
[Hiring manager’s job title or department]
[Company’s street address]
[Company’s city, state, and zip code]
[Company’s phone number]

Dear [hiring manager’s name],

[Start by thanking them for the job offer. Reaffirm your excitement about the company’s mission or specific details about the role they’re offering you. Let them know that, if possible, you’d like a few changes made to the offer before you can accept it.]

[Start with the primary thing you’d want to change about the offer. For most people, this will be salary or benefits. Provide specific numbers for your counter offer, like the exact salary you want or the number of PTO days you’d like to have. Give evidence for why what you’re countering is fair.]

[Add any secondary details you want to negotiate. These will be additions to the benefits package for most people, such as retirement plans, sick leave, or other insurance options. Provide specific details for what you’d want included in the offer with evidence for why it’s fair.]

[Optionally, add any other benefits you’d like in the offer. These would usually include signing bonuses, relocation assistance, or professional development opportunities. Again, provide specific details and evidence for your reasoning.]

[Thank the hiring manager for their time and consideration. Reaffirm your excitement about joining the company and let them know they can contact you with any further questions.]

(Sign here for letters sent by mail or fax)
[Your name]

Sample counter offer letters

Many job seekers also wonder how to format and phrase counter offers for different scenarios. For example, if you want to specifically counteroffer the salary package or ask for relocation assistance.

Counter offers may also be structured differently depending on the form of communication. For instance, you might not want to be as formal in an email counter offer letter due to the nature and expectations of that type of communication. You’d also need to pay attention to aspects like the subject line in emails.

To help you out, we’ve written a few tailored counteroffer examples below based on what’s worked for others in today’s job market.

Note that while these templates are a good starting point, you shouldn’t copy them word for word. Instead, use them as a guide and provide details specific to your situation. It’s similar to using resume examples.

For example, you’ll want to include details that show you understand and are excited about the company you’re writing to and the role they offered you. Plus, you’ll need to gather evidence specific to the details you’re countering in the offer.

Salary Increase Request Example

Alejandro Torres
1523 Oakdale Dr.
San Francisco, CA, 94101
[email protected]


Jordan Castellanos
Human Resources Manager
437 Maplewood Ln.
San Francisco, CA, 94101

Dear Mr. Castellanos,

Thank you for offering me the senior data analyst role at Quantum Insights. I’m excited about the opportunity to help your analytics team continue to innovate with new data visualization and collection strategies. However, after considering it, I would like to discuss the salary you offered me before moving forward in the process.

I appreciate the initial offer, but based on my eight years of experience working on Tableau and Power BI systems, I believe an adjustment to the salary would be appropriate. I would like to see the offered salary increased to $113,000. That aligns with the average salary for senior data analysts in California, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I want to emphasize my strong interest in joining your innovative data analytics team, and I would be excited to help you provide outstanding service to your clients.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Please let me know if you have any further questions for me or if you’d like to meet to discuss this further.

Alejandro Torres

Example of Requesting Additional Benefits

Elena Muller
2187 Elm St.
Denver, CO, 80201
[email protected]


Miles Donovan
Human Resources Department
764 Pinecrest Ave.
Denver, CO, 80201

Dear Mr. Donovan,

I’m excited to receive the job offer for the global supply chain manager role at Logistics Solutions. I believe a role like this that would use my contingency planning and international coordination skills is exactly the challenge that I’m seeking. That said, before accepting, I would like to discuss a few aspects of your offer.

After reviewing the proposed work schedule and benefits package, I’d like to adjust some things to better align with the demands of overseeing global supply chain processes.

To start, I believe a flexible schedule would be a better fit for a role like this to avoid unnecessarily working overtime when I would need to communicate with vendors in different time zones around the world. For example, the UK vendors are in a time zone seven hours ahead of us, which would require starting my workday earlier to meet with them. I’m proposing a switch to a custom time-tracking system where I can adjust my schedule based on weekly meetings and preparing inventory audits for different locations.

I also know from our last meeting on March 28th that you emphasized the growing need for automation in shipping and receiving facilities. I’d like to request the opportunity and funding to pursue a robotics and automation certificate that would give me the knowledge to deploy that throughout the facilities. The Journal of Supply Chain Management states automation can boost efficiency by up to 50%, so I believe it would be a worthwhile investment.

Thank you for your time and consideration of these adjustments to the offer. If you have any questions, please let me know, and I’d be happy to discuss this further.

Elena Muller

Relocation Assistance Request

Sierra Jennings
930 Cedar Ave.
Boston, MA, 02101
[email protected]


Alexa Rivera
Human Resources Department
4825 Willow Creek Ln.
Chicago, IL, 60601

Dear Ms. Rivera,

Thank you for offering me the senior account manager role at NexGen Technologies. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with your deep, tech-focused client base while finding strategic opportunities that drive businesses forward.

After carefully considering your offer and the need for me to relocate to work at your Chicago office, I’d like to request a few changes to the offer before I can accept it.

Given the significant transition required to relocate to Chicago, I’d like to request a relocation allowance to help offset moving costs. It would help ease my transition so I can quickly get set up and integrate with your account advisory team.

In total, I’d be requesting $6,500 in compensation. That includes $3,000 for a professional moving service, $2,000 for temporary housing until I find an apartment, $1,000 for a plane ticket from Boston to Chicago, and $500 for packaging expenses. That falls in line with the average costs of relocation based on data from the Federal Department of Acquisition Regulation.

Again, I very much appreciate your offer to join your account management team at NexGen Technologies. Thank you for your consideration, and I’d be happy to meet with you to discuss this further.

Sierra Jennings

Counter offer letter via email

Subject : Natalie Weaver – Job Offer Details

Hello Ms. Collins,

Thank you for extending the job offer to join your team at Green Horizon. I’m very passionate about your cause of contributing to greener manufacturing processes and would be excited for the challenge of the environmental policy analyst role.

While I’m pleased about the opportunity to work for such a great organization, there are a couple of parts of the offer I’d like to discuss before I accept it.

Considering my previous success as a policy analyst, maintaining 95% stakeholder satisfaction while working on legislative changes, I’d like to request an increase in salary up to $70,000. That aligns with the average salary for policy analysts with five or more years of experience in Tennessee.

I’d also like to request an increase in annual PTO days. I believe starting with 10 PTO days would be fair and align with the current job market, where 17 of the 20 companies currently hiring policy analysts in the Nashville area are offering 10 or more paid vacation days for experienced applicants.

Let me know what you think of this suggestion and if I can provide any information to help you decide. Thank you again for the opportunity to join your environmentally focused-team.

Natalie Weaver

How to respond to a low salary offer email

Subject : Chief Financial Analyst Job Offer

Hello Jeff,

Thank you for the offer to join your team at Prestige Industries as a chief financial analyst. This is the exact kind of opportunity I’m looking for to use my strategic analysis skills. Everything about the work schedule and benefits package looks great. However, I would like to discuss the salary offered.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the average salary for chief financial analysts in Missouri is between $70,000 and $80,000. Given my ten years of experience in financial modeling and investment planning, helping clients increase their returns by an average of 45%, I believe a salary of $75,000 would be a better match for my skill set.

Please reach out if you have any questions for me, and I’d be happy to get on a call to discuss this with you. Thank you again for offering me the opportunity to join your strategic financial team.

Mark Owens

Navigating Counter Offer Negotiations

Navigating Counter Offer Negotiations

There’s no guarantee that your counteroffer will be accepted in full, emphasizing the need for compromise. Consider both the advantages and disadvantages carefully before deciding. Continuous counteroffers may strain negotiations, so aim for a resolution that aligns with your professional goals and the company’s offerings.

The following sections delve into mastering negotiation strategies, sidestepping common counteroffer pitfalls, and gracefully accepting or tactfully declining an offer.

Strategies for successful negotiation

Once you’ve submitted your counter to a job offer, there’s still a chance you’ll need to do further negotiation. So, if you find yourself trying to respond to a counteroffer that the company comes back with or answering some additional questions they have for you, here are some tips to prepare.

  • Consider the whole offer: Even if the company can’t increase aspects like your salary as much as you hoped, maybe they can help with other benefits you requested, like a flexible schedule. So, consider the entire offer before saying no, and think about how what the company offers will impact your overall happiness in the workplace.
  • Be prepared to walk away: Sometimes, hiring managers can’t give you more than the original job offer. If they come back saying the original offer is as high as they can go or even decide to withdraw it, be prepared to walk away. It’s important to know your value in the job market and feel comfortable pursuing other options if needed.
  • Prepare for tough questions: After countering, the company’s hiring team may have additional questions to determine whether to increase their offer. Be prepared to answer some tough questions about things like your experience level or your process on common tasks. It can be helpful to look at your resume from an unbiased perspective and prepare for how you’d respond to any potential weaknesses that may come up.

Common mistakes to avoid in counter offers

To help you further, here are some common mistakes to avoid in counter offer letters.

  • Overreaching without justification: A reason why you should do research before negotiating is to learn what a good salary for your role is in the current job market. If the numbers you’re seeing during research for salary and benefits packages make the offer you received sound fair, then it could be detrimental to try negotiating for more.
  • Failing to maintain a professional tone: It’s a common misconception that you need to be forceful during negotiation. In reality, a good negotiator is someone you can reason with. A calm and professional tone is a great way to portray that. You want to continue showing a potential new employer that they can work with you.
  • Using the wrong letter format: Counter offer letters should be formatted like other formal correspondence during the hiring process. A letter that is too informal or isn’t organized can come off the wrong way during negotiations. The examples of job counter offer letters from earlier in this article will help avoid this.
  • Negotiating issues one at a time: While it may seem better to negotiate parts of the offer one at a time, it can drag out the process, especially when a company needs to make a hiring decision quickly. Instead, present every aspect of the offer you want to negotiate in the first email or letter.

Accepting the offer

Accepting a job offer requires the same professionalism that you put into your counter offer. Most companies will want an official job acceptance letter to confirm your commitment to the role.

A great way to start this letter is to thank the hiring manager for the offer and express your excitement about the opportunity.

You should also confirm any essential parts of the offer in writing, especially parts that you negotiated. A good way to word this would be something like, “As we agreed on in our last meeting on April 2nd, my starting salary will be $78,000, and I’ll have 16 days of annual PTO.” A confirmation like this will ensure everyone’s on the same page when you start.

Rejecting the offer

When negotiations don’t meet your needs, you should still send a formal email or letter officially withdrawing yourself from consideration. Even though things didn’t work out, keep a professional tone throughout and remain grateful that the company considered you.

An example of how to phrase this would be, “Thank you for your offer to work as an accountant with Summit Capital Partners. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to interview me and trying to put together a deal that works for both sides. After consideration, I’ve decided to accept another offer that better aligns with my career goals at this time.”

Being professional and showing gratitude in the final message will keep the door open for future opportunities with the company. You could also offer to connect on LinkedIn to stay in touch.



Negotiating with a company after receiving a job offer can feel stressful. However, it could be the key to getting a salary or other benefits that meet your career goals.

Remember to stay positive and professional throughout this process. It’ll continue to show the hiring team that you’re someone the company can work with and will be a good fit for their workplace culture.

It’s also important to do your research before counter offering a salary or other benefits. The more you can justify what you’re proposing, the better the chance that you’ll be successful.

At times, you may need to take a step back in this process. When you receive an offer back from a company that doesn’t meet all your requests, consider where they’re coming from and if the entire deal they’re offering is fair based on the current job market.

By considering these tips and using the counter offer letter samples in this article as a guide, you’ll be on your way to taking another satisfying step in growing your career!

Counter Offer Letter FAQs

Counter Offer Letter FAQs
How to send a counter offer email?

Counteroffers by email can be typed out in the body of the message like a regular email, or you can attach a formal counter offer letter as a PDF. While emails can be more casual in nature, remember this is still a formal business proposal, so show gratitude and maintain professionalism throughout.

How do you respond to counter offers from a company?

If a company sends a counteroffer back to you, don’t feel like you need to make an official decision immediately. It’s best to respond to the offer within 24 hours, saying thank you and asking for a timeline when they need an official response. Then, after consideration, you can accept it, reject it, or send another counter offer back.

How do you know when to accept or reject a counter offer?

The best way to determine if an offer is fair is to research average salaries and benefits packages for your field in the current job market. If the counteroffer aligns with the data you’re seeing, you can feel comfortable accepting it. If it doesn’t, you may need to consider whether it aligns with your career goals.

Should you counter a job offer?

You should counter a job offer if the salary and benefits don’t align with the current job market, cost of living, or responsibilities of the role. However, negotiating isn’t always necessary, especially if your research shows the offer is fair. Countering could be off-putting to the hiring manager.

How to counter offer salary?

While countering the salary, you should present details about average wages for your field in the job market and the value your skills bring to the table. Make sure to do your research to back your reasoning, give a specific salary you’re seeking, and maintain a professional tone in your letter.