The simple answer to this question is yes, and you absolutely should if you feel the pay isn’t right or the details need to be tweaked. You may be tempted to grab the offer without thinking twice, but remember that this job will take up a huge amount of your time and energy, so make sure that it meets your needs as well as you meeting theirs.
More than ten years ago I applied for my first publishing job. I knew it was the job for me but the pay was scandalous. They were looking for a graduate with a second language and it paid less than the temporary admin work I had been doing since leaving university. I was prepared to take a pay cut to get into the industry, but I also had to pay my bills.
When the job offer eventually came through I was elated. I had made it! But I knew I couldn’t afford to live on the salary. So I bit the bullet and asked my new boss if he would consider upping the wage to cover my travel expenses. There was a long, agonising pause. But then he calmly agreed and sent me a revised contract. It was a small victory but a necessary one, and it stood me in good stead when it came to negotiating salary increases down the line, both at that company and with subsequent employers.
If you want to negotiate your job offer, remember the following:
Don’t be afraid to negotiate. If your new company really wants you on board they may be willing to sweeten the deal. If not, you will have to decide whether the offer is acceptable as it stands or whether you need to look for other options.