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Tips on Negotiating Salary

Photo of a Businesswoman Negotiating Salary



A difficult part of the job search for many job seekers is negotiating salary. If you propose a number that is too high, you may look greedy, but if you throw out a number that is too low, you may look like you have a low self-image or don’t value yourself very highly. There are a few things you should keep in mind when negotiating salary with a potential employer, to help you be paid what you are worth.





Research Pay Rates Before Negotiating Salary

The first step in learning the process of negotiating salary is to research pay rates. A search of the Internet can help you find pay rates for comparable jobs in that career field or industry. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great place to start.   This resources provides job candidates with job descriptions  and pay scales for a large number of professions.  In addition to salary information, the site provides information on educational and certification requirements, and occupational outlook information. There are also a number of other sites that are available that offer valuable information that will assist the job seeker with how to negotiate salary.  Using tools available on the internet will assist you with educating yourself as to what employers are paying employees based on their job title, location, and education, and level of experience.  After you get some research together, come up with a number that is in the middle of the spectrum. Make sure it is an amount that you can live comfortably on. Don’t sell yourself short – you deserve to be paid a fair salary. But don’t shoot too high, or the employer will be discouraged from even negotiating with you.   You may also want to consider a letter to negotiate salary.  Please reference this sample salary negotiation letter.  Always remember to use your research including information obtained from the salary wizard before you negotiate salary after an offer.


Job Offer Salary Negotiation

When it’s time to start negotiating salary with your prospective employer, don’t hesitate to mention that you have other offers, but don’t brag or be overly pushy about them. This will turn the employer off and they will send you away empty-handed. Make sure you accentuate your positive attributes and the benefits that hiring you will bring to the company. Sell yourself and let the employer know that you are worth every penny you are asking.

While you are in the process of negotiating salary with the employer, be open-minded. It’s important to be reasonable with your numbers, but also be flexible. Go into the negotiating salary process with the lowest number you could possibly take in mind, and don’t accept anything less. If the employer can’t meet your needs for you to make ends meet, it’s best to walk away and find another job that can.  For more information on salary negotiation tips reference the article How to Negotiate Salary.


Salary Negotiation Tips

  • Research the salary of the position you are applying for
  • During the interview process and during salary negotiations be sure to highlight your strength and what you bring to the table
  • The employer should be the first party to mention salary
  • Be honest about your current salary
  • Don’t feel obligated to accept the opening salary offer
  • Consider your complete compensation package, not just the salary you are being offered

Source:  University of Wisconsin, Platteville, Career Center


Salary Wizard and Salary Research Web Sites

Below you will find a list of some informative salary sites that are available for Job Seekers. These sites include a salary wizard that provide information on the pay scale and salaries that employers are paying employees.  Source:  Got a Mentor, 10 Best Web Sites to Research Salary Information

Occupational Outlook Handbook   Position descriptions, pay scales, required education, and certifications information is available. Provides information  on compensation.  The site offers salary data that includes reports, articles, and surveys.  Salary data is broken down by what employers are paying employees by their job title, location of job, experience and education level.  Contains salary information for both the employer and the employee.  Free reports are available that identify pay ranges, common benefits within companies and employment opportunities for Job Seekers. Available data includes salary reports that include pay scales and salaries, company benefits and cost of living data.  This information can assist you with negotiating salary.


Informational video available on The Best Way to Land a High Paying Job


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