Guide to Writing a Great Counteroffer Letter or Email

Guide to Writing a Great Counteroffer Letter or Email

It’s a great feeling to receive a job offer and feel the weight of the job search start to fall away from you. Sometimes, though, what we’re offered isn’t acceptable. There’s no need to dismiss it outright as a waste of your time. Instead, what you can do is to write a great counteroffer letter or email. 


At HiCounselor, we love to see our clients walk into the jobs and companies of their dreams. We know it isn’t always the easiest path especially when you’re on it solo. We’ve created the following guide to writing a great counteroffer letter/email to help you get the best deal for yourself. If you’d rather have professional help, contact us and let our experts work for you. 


Counteroffer Letter/Email Basics 

You generally write a counteroffer letter or email when you’re not happy with some of the details of the job offered. This may mean the pay package, benefits, hours, office/WFH options, etc. just don’t work for you. Your counteroffer letter or email can state your position in its entirety or simply ask for a face-to-face (or video) meeting.  


We recommend asking to talk about it if you’re better at speaking than writing. You should also ask for a meeting if writing all the details out will lead to a very long email. Before you send the counteroffer letter/email, do keep in mind that the company may reject it. They may have made you the best offer they could and be unwilling to budge. They may just rescind their job offer if they don’t like what you said or how you said it. 


Decide the Details 

As much as you’d like to quote the highest sum or least hours possible, that’s not the right way to approach this task. You can use sites like Glassdoor and Fishbowl to see what you can expect for your level in the industry and the company. Read the whole offer document thoroughly to understand everything that’s being offered to you. Consider any additional details, like bonuses, vacation/sick days, etc. 


Show Appreciation 

Unless you’ve been given a really contemptible offer, convey thankfulness for the job opportunity. When writing your counteroffer letter or email, start by saying you appreciate having been selected and are excited about the prospect of working for the company. Focusing on some of the positives shows that you’re not entirely displeased with the offer and things can be worked upon if both parties are willing. 


Provide Reasons & Research Stats 

When you’re writing your counteroffer letter or email, you should state why you’re asking for the offer to be altered. If you want certain benefits, mention why those benefits are important to you. If you’re asking for a higher compensation package, mention stats about salaries for your experience level, the cost of living in your area, etc. Do this so the recruiters understand why you’re asking for alterations. 


Make Requests, not Demands 

Writing a great counteroffer letter or email involves the delicate art of negotiating. The way you communicate will make a huge difference, so strike the balance between begging and ordering. Keep your tone professional and polite. Show yourself as being open to negotiations rather than fixed to an idea. You can start your sentences with “It would be great if...”, “I’d like to discuss...”, etc. 


Mention Relevant Skills 

If you want to write an effective counteroffer letter or email, take the time to mention that you’re the right fit for the role. You can say that you’re keen to apply a particular skill to help the company get better results. You can mention how having an additional skill will enable you to do a task particularly well. Add these bits when you talk about how you’re excited about the role and the company. 


Mention Competing Offers 

If you’ve got an offer from another firm, you can mention it while writing your counteroffer letter or email. Don’t divulge too many details about the other offer. Try to word the letter/email in a way that makes it seem like you’d rather take up this offer than the other one. Keep in mind though that while some recruiters might up the ante, others will simply dismiss your candidacy when you mention a competing offer. 


Proofread 

Now that you’ve crafted a great counteroffer letter or email, it’s time to review and edit it. Make sure it's free of any typos or grammatical errors. Having too many mistakes on an important document might make you look unprofessional. Also, review the tone of the letter or email. Make sure you’re neither groveling nor talking down to the recruiters. We suggest taking a short break before reviewing and hitting ‘Send’. 


We hope this guide to writing a great counteroffer letter or email helps you get the right package! If you’d like some help for your job search and to improve your interviewing skills, contact HiCounselor and one of our friendly mentors will gladly work with you! 




HiCounselor has forged technical advances to transform the hiring landscape for job seekers and recruiters alike. Our career accelerator program provides job seekers with coaching and mentorship from industry leaders employed at FAANG companies while recruiters ally with HiCounselor to empower their hiring strategy and hone in on the best candidates. Learn more about HiCounselor here and reach out to us on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.