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Job Offers and Negotiation




The first step to approaching a job offer is to carefully read all of the material sent. This includes the email, the formal offer (typically a .pdf attached to the email), any other attachments, and all relevant links.

Your materials will typically include the following information:

  1. Salary (or hourly wage)
  2. Location
  3. Start date and end date (in the case of internships)
  4. Expenses covered
  5. Benefits (probably not included in an internship offer)
  6. Housing (provided or not provided)
  7. Contacts
  8. Date to accept offer by



The next step is to send an email to your contact, thanking them for extending the offer. If this is your dream internship/job, be sure to indicate that this position is on the top of your list and that you appreciate the time they have given to thoroughly review the offer. If this is one of a few internships/jobs you are considering indicate that you are strongly considering the offer and appreciate the time for consideration. Also, confirm that you will have a response for them before the date indicated on the offer.


QUICK TIP: At this point, if there are any unclear points on the offer, don’t be afraid to ask questions in your emailed response.


Keep in mind the information below as you consider the job offer. Points from both the internship and full-time sections may be relevant to you.



  1. Is the job description in line with your career aspirations?
  2. Do you feel like you fit into the company culture?
  3. Beyond the internship, do you see a career with this company?
  4. Is the location convenient? Is this a place you would like to live if you accept a full-time offer?
  5. What kind of training/education will you receive?
  6. Is the salary/wage enough to cover your expenses? (Keep in mind: salary/wage is often non-negotiable for internships)



  1. Do you feel like you fit into the company culture?
  2. Do you like the working environment? Is there enough physical space? Is there enough interaction with colleagues and supervisors?
  3. Are there ample opportunities for professional development/promotion?
  4. Is further training offered?
  5. Is continued education assistance offered by the company?
  6. Does this position afford the quality of life you want?
  7. Does this company offer job security?
  8. Is the location convenient?
  9. Is the amount of travel consistent with your desired lifestyle?
  10. Does the company exhibit diversity?
  11. Do you feel that the salary is satisfactory given your qualifications and the industry standard?
  12. Will you enjoy this job?

If you plan on negotiating your salary, head over to the next tab, SALARY NEGOTIATION.


Begin the negotiation process by asking if the job offer is negotiable. If you have a previously established line of communication with your contact through the phone, give her/him a call to ask how much flexibility the company has to discuss salary. Once you have determined that it can be adjusted through negotiations, do your homework. Have a good, sound reason for negotiating.



Conduct research to benchmark a salary range that matches your position. To do this, research salaries for professionals with a similar:

  1. Position
  2. Level of Experience
  3. Level of Education
  4. Location (Country, State, City)
  5. Company Size

If your company offers a benefits package not typically offered by other companies consider factoring in the monetary value of those benefits as well. Benefits can account for 30-40% of your base salary.



Below are some of the resources that will help you establish an appropriate salary range

  • CCO Post-Graduation Data: The CCO generates annual reports on salaries of Purdue graduates.
  • NACE Salary Survey: The National Association of Colleges and Employers produces quarterly surveys of entry-level salary. You can use the NACE Salary Calculator to establish a salary range based on occupation, education, and location.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics: The BLS produces salary data on a state, regional, and national level.
  • LinkedIn Salary Search Tool: See a detailed breakdown of salaries by job title and location.



Salary negotiation is tricky. Asking for a higher salary without alienating the employer is a delicate issue and deserves ample preparation. The goal of negotiating is come to an agreement that feels fair to both parties.

NOTE: It is important to remember that negotiations could end with you getting everything you want, some of what you want, nothing of what you want, or even a withdrawal of the offer. If an offer is altered to meet your requests, be prepared to accept it soon after your negotiations are completed.

Before contacting your employer, consider your means of communication. Can the negotiation be done face-to-face? If so, find out if your contact has the time to meet with you to discuss salary. If your contact can only be reached by email or phone, consider your previous interactions. If your employer has previously expressed that you should not hesitate to give her/him a call should you have any questions, contact the employer through a phone call. If a clear preference for email has been expressed, contact the employer through email.

During your negotiation, express to the employer the areas you wish to negotiate and explain why you are asking for an increase in salary. Perhaps you feel that some of your work experience was not considered in determining your salary offer, or your salary offer does not compare favorably with other offers you have received. If the organization cannot offer a higher salary, perhaps additional vacation, a signing bonus, or moving expenses could be added or increased as an alternative. When negotiating salary, be sure to use your research and benchmark salary range you found in order to help strengthen your position.

REMEMBER: Consider the needs of the organization, the current market and how you can approach the employer in a confident, assured manner. If you implement these tips, you will be well on your way to a successful negotiation!


Check out the CCO handbook for a sample salary negotiation role-play


By now you have thoroughly reviewed the offer and considered whether you fit within the company and the position. The date to confirm with the employer is coming up and it’s time to accept or decline the offer.



Regardless of whether you are accepting or declining the offer, be sure to do so both verbally and in writing. If you accept the offer, thank the employer once again and include a statement confirming:

  1. Start date
  2. Position
  3. Salary
  4. Location
  5. Other pertinent information

After accepting the offer, immediately contact other employers you have interviewed with, have scheduled an interview with or have received offers from, informing them that you have accepted another position.


Dear Ms. Johnson:

I am excited to accept your offer to join <COMPANY NAME> in the Auditing department at a starting salary of $XX,000 per year and health insurance will be provided 90 days after start date.

Thank you for your assistance in clarifying the company’s employee benefits package and relocation policy.

I am looking forward to starting my employment of June 21. I am eager to contribute to the Auditing team and <COMPANY NAME>.


Janice Boilermaker



  1. Thank your employer again for the offer, expressing appreciation for the time and effort they invested in the recruitment process.
  2. Explicitly state you are declining the offer in a professional manner.
  3. Again, declining an offer should be done through both phone and email (preferably in that order).


Dear Mr. Jones:

Thank you for your offer for the position of Assistant Project Coordinator at <COMPANY NAME>.

While I believe firmly that <COMPANY NAME> provides an exciting and challenging opportunities, I have had another offer which I believe more closely aligns with my current career goals and interests. After much consideration, I have decided that I must decline your offer.

Thank you for all the courtesy and hospitality extended to me by your office. I appreciate your interest in me, and I enjoyed learning more about your organization.


Sam Miller

Don't Get Scammed! - Watch for fraudulent job offers.

Here are some good tips that a job is porbably a scam:

  • You must give your credit card or bank account numbers, or copies of personal documents - but you get nothing in writing
  • You must send payment by wire service or courier.
  • You are offered a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account - often for depositing checks or transferring money.
  • You receive an unexpectedly large check.
  • Spelling and grammar errors may indicate that the listing was written by someone with a limited knowledge of English. Many scams have international origins.
  • Look at the real URL, (put your pointer over the link and see where it's REALLY going), not the displayed URL. Is it going to a logical website? Is a major bank or corporation likely to have its website at AOL or Yahoo? Are legitimate companies likely to use international websites, such as .ru (Russia) or .cn (China)? Check the international source of the message at Domain Name Sources
  • If a job posting includes such statements, do not respond and notify immediately.
  • Consider doing your own web search on Google or Yahoo or another search engine of your choice. Do the websites, email addresses and phone numbers match with those you find listed? If not, you may be dealing with a scammer.

What is myCCO?

myCCO is a portal where Purdue students and alumni can apply for internships, full-time and part-time opportunities.


How can myCCO help me?

Employers posting jobs, internships, and other opportunities on myCCO want YOU. Using the myCCO service allows you to take advantage of Purdue University’s reputation and vast network of industry connections.

How do I get a myCCO account?

  1. As a first time user enter your PUID as both your user name and password.(NOTE: the first 2 digits MUST be a double zero (00) even if they're not included in your current PUID. For example: 0012345678). Your PUID (with the double zero) will always be your username to log in to myCCO. Once you have completed your myCCO profile, the system will send an email with your "NEW" password.
  2. Read the “Participation Agreement” and “Cancellation and Missed Interview Policy” before clicking “I Agree to Terms.”
  3. Complete all required fields when completing your profile.

Video Instructions


How can I make the most of myCCO? 

Upload Your Resume

  1.        Click on “Resumes ETC” on the top navigation bar.
  2.        Select “Add New.”
  3.        Add a descriptive label to help you remember each document. Employers will not be able to see the label.
  4.        Select your document type. Use “Other Documents” for your transcript.

Edit Profile Privacy to be included in Resume Books and receive emails from myCCO

  1. Resume Books are a feature of myCCO that allows employers to pull resumes from students who meet the criteria of a position they’re looking to fill. If you opt-in for resume books, you have the chance to receive an email or call from an employer about a position!
  2. CCO Career Consultants will email you every time there is an on-campus interviewing opportunity that hasn’t received a lot of applicants so you know about the opportunity. You will also receive the Inside Track-a weekly career newsletter that updates you on career events happening that week.

Search and Apply for Jobs & On-Campus Interviews

  1. Hover on “Jobs” on the top navigation bar.
  2. Click on “myCCO Interviews and Job Listings” on the drop-down menu.
  3. Use the search bar and the advanced search options to find job postings relevant you.
  4. Apply to a positing by clicking the “Apply” button and submitting the required documents. For some positions, you may not be able to apply. These positions are on-campus recruitment postings and you must meet all screening criteria, including major, degree, graduation date, and work authorization.
  5. Note: Read the job posting carefully as the employer may refer you to the company website to apply.

Create Job Search Agents

  1. After running an “Advanced Search,” Click “Saved Searches.”
  2. Give your search a title and set a schedule for new job posting to be sent to you.
  3. Select “Yes” for “New Results Only.”
  4. Click “Save.”

Video Instructions

Follow Purdue Internships on Twitter

  1. Purdue Internships keeps you connected to myCCO internship postings on a daily basis!


What else comes with a myCCO account?

  • Live Online Resume, Interview and Job Coaching: Brainfuse Job Now
  • Ability to practice interviewing using Big Interview
  • Access company data using Mergent Online
  • Access to listings of company information sessions
  • Network with company contacts who have recently recruited at Purdue
  • See what companies are coming to upcoming career fairs


Having trouble creating your account?

  • FORGOTTEN PASSWORD: If you think you have an existing account in myCCO but don't remember your PU-ID, email with the subject line: Existing myCCO Account Forgot PU-ID.
  • ALUMNI: If you need to request your PU-ID: Click here to submit the Alumni PU-ID Request form and the CCO will respond to your request within 3-5 business days.
  • FUTURE STUDENT: We look forward to seeing you on campus. Your PU-ID will work at the beginning of the semester that you start your full-time classes.
  • REGIONAL CAMPUS: Students attending any of the Purdue Regional Campuses or Statewide Technology locations pursuing a "Purdue" degree are eligible to utilize myCCO. Please contact your campus Career Services office.
  • POST DOC FELLOWS: Please complete the PU-ID Request form. In the Problem Description area please enter CURRENT POST DOC and the department that currently employs you. Note: When you create your myCCO account, select the graduation year you will finish your post doc position at Purdue University.

Have questions? Please contact the CCO at

I agree to:

Accurate Information: Certify my job search documents to be truthful and accurate

Grant Access: Allow CCO to provide my job search documents to prospective employers

Honor Commitments: Keep all appointments that I've scheduled with employers and CCO Staff

Genuine Interest: Sign up for interviews with only employers with whom I'm interested in working

Professional Conduct: Accept an offer of employment in good faith and immediately notify employers of acceptance or non-acceptance of the offer. Withdraw from interviewing process and no longer pursue positions with other employers

Report Suspicious Inqueries: Understand that job seekers can be deceived by organizations posing as legitimate employers. Evidence of this behavior includes requests for personal information (i.e. social security numbers or credit card numbers) and requests for money. If you're suspicious of such an organization, do not respond to them and please share details with us at

Consequences for Non-Compliance: Accept that failure to adhere to any point in this agreement may result in the removal of my interview privileges in the Center for Career Opportunities

The CCO agrees to:

Provide Services: Assist you with your career decision-making and job search activities

Access of Information: Provide access to a range of career opportunities and types of employers

Non-Discrimination: Provide access and reasonable accommodations to prospective employers without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability

Protect Confidentiality: Exercise sound judgment and fairness in maintaining your confidentiality

Student Advocacy: Respond to employer EEO non-compliance concerns and unethical behavior. Follow-up with those posting suspicious vacancies, when possible, and consult with students and alumni affected by this dubious behavior

On-campus Interviewing: Cancellation and Missed Interview Policy

If you must miss an interview, you are required to cancel it in advance. When you fail to cancel your interviews in a timely fashion or do not appear for your interviews, your actions reflect poorly on you as an individual and on the University as a whole. Not only do you inconvenience the employer, but you may also deprive another student of a valuable interview opportunity. These situations, if unchecked may also have more serious implications on the University's relationships with employers overall.

Therefore, the Center for Career Opportunities treats these incidents very seriously and advises you to take special note of the following Cancellation and Missed Interview Policy.

Interview Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellations will NOT be accepted via email or voice mail.
  • Students must appear in person in Young 132 to complete paper work before an interview can be cancelled
  • Students are required to give three business days or 72 hours notice to cancel an interview
  • Always investigate an alternate date with the employer before you cancel an interview
  • It is your responsibility to speak personally with the employer representative and explain why you will not be attending the interview. Be aware, however that the employer may still report you to the CCO
  • If you cancel an appointment directly with an employer, remember to also contact the CCO
  • Regional Campus Students ( Purdue Calumet, IUPUI, Purdue North Central and IUPU Ft Wayne ) are required to work through their Regional Career Services office to cancel interviews. The Regional Campus Liaison will forward the information regarding the cancellation

Sudden Illness or Serious Personal Emergency on Interview Day

  • Students are expected to contact the CCO (765) 494 - 3981 prior to their interview time. Employers check-in between 8 and 8:30 AM and should be notified prior to that time

Employers typically are not in the office on weekends. Monday appointments should be cancelled no later than Friday morning.

If you miss an interview:

  • Your myCCO account will be locked
  • You will receive an e-mail from CCO with instructions to come to Young 132 immediately to resolve this matter
  • You will be required to meet with a walk-in counselor and discuss the reason you missed the business appointment to which you committed
  • The discussion and your reason for missing the interview will determine whether or not your file will be reactivated and if you will have the opportunity to use myCCO in the future.