Open Site Navigation
  • Bethany Williams

How to Negotiate Your First Job Offer as a Software Engineer


Do you want to work for Google, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft or even Facebook? Perhaps you’ve heard these companies are the best places to work as a software engineer. If that’s what you’re looking for, their job offers might be the perfect opportunity for you. But what if there aren’t any of those companies in your local job market? How do you negotiate the first job offer from a mid-sized tech company or startup where you live?


In this article, we will take a look at how to negotiate your first job offer so that you get the most out of it. You will learn about typical first job offers and standard negotiation tactics as well as tips on how to negotiate non-standard offers and even equity packages.



What Is a Standard First Job Offer?

A standard first job offer is when a company makes an offer that is the standard rate for a position at the company. Essentially, the company is offering to pay you what they would pay any other candidate for that same position. First job offers are a useful indicator of where the hiring company thinks your value is on the market as well as how much they are willing to pay for your skills. If the offer is well below the normal rate for your skills, you may be able to negotiate a higher salary. If the offer is at or above the normal market rate, however, you may have difficulty negotiating a higher salary.

Negotiation Tactics for First Job Offers

There are a number of tactics you can use when negotiating your first job offer. Many of these tactics are the same as what you might use when negotiating any other aspect of a job offer. In fact, negotiation is a crucial part of your first job search as it will set the tone for your career. First, you want to understand the reasons behind the offer. What would cause the company to make such an offer to you? Maybe they made an offer that is above the normal rate because they know you have other offers from other companies. Maybe they made an above-average offer because they need to make you an attractive offer to attract you to the company. Maybe they just made an offer that is below the normal rate because they want to save money.


Non-Standard Job Offers

Sometimes, the job offer you receive is non-standard. This means the company is offering you an odd or unusual job offer. Maybe they are offering you stock options or a higher salary after six months. Maybe they are offering you a sign-on bonus or a relocation package. There are several things to keep in mind when dealing with non-standard job offers. First, be careful when making comparisons. You can compare salary to other offers you receive, but it’s hard to compare stock options or a sign-on bonus. You need to take these things into consideration with the risk that you are taking on the company. First, you will want to negotiate non-standard job offers just like you would a standard job offer. You want to understand the reasons behind the offer. You want to make sure you don’t waste an opportunity by turning down a non-standard offer. You want to know that the company is serious about making the offer.

Equity Packages

Equity packages are likely to become increasingly common as companies aim to lure more candidates. If a company offers you an equity package, they’re offering you a certain percentage of their company in exchange for you working for them. There are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with equity packages. First, you want to make sure you have a clear understanding of the details of the offer and the numbers involved. You need to know the percentage of the company that you’re being offered, the amount of time you have to vest in the equity, and the valuation of the company. Secondly, you want to make sure that you don’t waste an opportunity by turning down an equity package. You want to know that the company is serious about making the offer. You want to make sure that the time frame is reasonable enough that you’re able to make a decision. Thirdly, you want to make sure that you understand how equity works and what it means for you. You do not want to end up working for a company for years and then be left with nothing at all.

Conclusion

Negotiation is an important part of the job search process and sets the tone for your relationship with your employer. Therefore, it is important to understand the reasons behind a company’s first job offer in order to effectively negotiate. With that in mind, you want to know if the offer is at or above the normal market rate, below the normal market rate, or somewhere in between. You want to make sure that you understand the reasons behind the offer, and that they are legitimate. You want to compare the offer to the offers you have received from other companies and make sure that the offer is reasonable given the company’s needs and the position being offered.


Learn more about negotiation through videos like this:


© 2022 FBC

Our Mission

Coachable believes that anyone that works hard deserves a great job. Everyone starts with a different set of privileges or resources - not everyone has access to structured schooling or mentors. Our goal is to provide our students with mentorship, structure, and guidance to make sure that anyone who is willing to dedicate themselves can attain their desired job and make a great living. Compared to other institutions, we focus on working with those that may not appear strong by conventional standards, but have the traits that make someone “Coachable”.