University of Wisconsin–Madison

Accepting and Negotiating Your Offer

BOOM. You did it. You delivered a killer resume and application, apparently nailed the interview, and have landed yourself an offer. We hope you treated yourself to a trip to the Terrace or Babcock Hall. Congratulations!

Now that the celebration is (temporarily) over, let’s talk real life. Just because you received an offer doesn’t mean it’s the job you’re going to accept (nor do you have to). Likewise, there may be some questions you have about the salary. Meanwhile, some of you may have your bags packed and your two-weeks notice turned in to your professors. Just kidding, don’t do that. You still have to graduate.

You Knew We'd Have a Tool Guide

Deciding whether to accept, negotiate, or turn down a job offer is a big deal, but we’ve got your back. You’re not the first nor the last person to have questions about making this decision, so we’ve created this tool guide to help you evaluate your options.

In this tool guide we cover factors to consider when making your decision, salary negotiations, a list of benefits, and how to accept or reject the offer. As always, we’ve also included examples of both. You can thank us after you receive your first paycheck. Don’t forget that our advisors can also help you think through the offer!

Evaluating a Job Offer Tool Guide

We’ve also taken the time to outline common job benefits. The pay is nice, but compensation isn’t everything. Your happiness is a huge part of job satisfaction in the long-term, so make sure you have a solid understanding of these benefits before you accept or reject your offer.

Guide to Common Job Benefits

Let's Talk Money

Comprehensive Salary Data Resources

We know it’s not all about the cash, but it’s a good idea to make sure your expectations are realistic. These resources can help with that. They can also help you determine your worth and whether your offer is a good fit for your lifestyle and needs.

You might want to check a few of these sites to compare!

Cost of Living Calculators

As much as we want everyone to stay in Wisconsin and never leave, we know that’s not always the case (though we hope you come back and visit… or forever). Use these calculators to determine what your salary means in your new city.