How To Negotiate Salary For A Job Offer

Every job seeker should know how to negotiate salary for a job offer. Although it's the last step in securing a job offer, it is often the trickiest. By learning the ins and outs of negotiating for a higher salary, you can land a job that pays you what you are worth.

  1. Know the market rate for the position. This used to be a difficult task. Now, with the internet, it's easy. With the internet you can find all kinds of information pertaining to salary. There are websites that break position salaries down by experience, location and type of employer (non-profit, corporate, government, etc.). When you go to negotiate salary for a job offer, you will be more confident knowing that you have accurate facts.
  2. Talk to people in similar positions. Hopefully, you have friends, or have friends that have friends, who are in a similar job position. If so, dig for some salary information from them that will help you understand what you need to to negotiate salary for your job offer.
  3. Collect your accomplishments. If you have any hard data on money you have saved or earned for a previous company, tell them so. This could be costs savings, sales increases or any other thing you did to bring in revenue for an employer. Let them know that you plan on bringing the same kind of financial results to them.
  4. Don't show your cards. You will be tempted too, but don't. The job application may ask you what salary you desire.  Write "negotiable." Nothing else. When the interviewer asks you what salary you expect, say something along the lines of "I know we can come to a mutually agreed upon salary." You do not want to discuss salary until you have a job offer in hand.
  5. Allow the employer to make the first move. Let the employer provide the first offer.
  6. Provide a counteroffer. If you are not satisfied with the employer's offer, you will need to negotiate salary with a counteroffer. Carefully consider the dollar figure that you will need to accept the job. Don't be nervous here. They shouldn't take away the job offer just because you counteroffer. They expect that and it is smart of you to try.
  7. Suggest alternative benefits. If the employer didn't accept your monetary counteroffer, you can negotiate salary for the job offer in other ways. Perhaps you desire additional days off or an additional week of vacation. Frequently, if an employer really wants to hire you, but is budget-strapped on salary, they may work with you on vacation time. If vacation time doesn't work, you could ask about flex time or telecommuting arrangements.


US Department of State

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