More Salary Negotiations Tips

It’s not possible to say too much about salary negotiations. Given that, I thought I’d include more goodies for you on making the most of this stressful process.

  • Make sure you’ve done your research on the salary you should expect for the position you’re seeking. It’s a mistake of the first order to assume you know what the “going rate” is in your profession. Take advantage of the salary research and networking resources now available online to help you pin down the target salary range you want to present to prospective employers. This is research that will literally pay for itself!
  • Ever heard the old adage, “He who mentions money first loses”? It certainly applies to the salary negotiations process. Don’t bring up salary issues before the employer does. And delay salary negotiation for as long as possible – until you know exactly what the position entails, whether or not you want the job, and whether or not the prospective employer wants you. Bide your time and live with the uncertainty of “not knowing” by concentrating instead on marketing yourself well.
  • Know your skills, strengths, and accomplishments and demonstrate the value you’ll bring to the employer by focusing on the who-what-where-when-why details of your achievement history. Show them your record of past contributions and help them understand how they have prepared you to make even greater contributions to their company. Know the challenges the company is facing and get specific about how you can help them surpass those challenges (without giving away your knowledge and experience).
  • Let the employer make the first offer. If asked, say you expect a salary that is competitive with the market – or give a salary range that you find acceptable. Make sure you’ve researched the market and know what range is likely to be well received. Also make sure you add a 20% to 30% margin on that range to create room for negotiations.
  • Don’t inflate your current earnings just to get a higher salary offer. Remember that employers can use your social security number to verify your earnings – and when they hire executives, they are quite likely to do so. You can, however, share your current earnings in multiple ways – as net earnings, as gross earnings, and as gross plus benefits. Choose the earnings figure that puts your best foot forward for negotiations with each employer.
  • Don’t feel obligated to accept the first salary offer and definitely negotiate if the offer made is inadequate. Have a strategy in mind for how you will do so, and once again avoid mentioning specific numbers if at all possible.
  • Avoid being overly aggressive in negotiating the salary you want. But do be assertive enough to negotiate what’s fair (for you and the employer). In other words, seek the win/win solution that will make both sides feel good about their decision.
  • Don’t just focus on salary. Make sure you consider the entire compensation package. Know ahead of time what you want beyond salary and prioritize your goals so you can strategize your negotiations accordingly.
  • Try to obtain other concessions (shorter review time, better title, better workspace) or benefits (bonuses, vacation time) if you aren’t successful at negotiating the salary you want. What else matters so much to you that you would willingly accept less money for it?
  • Research the company before you say “yes”. Know what you’re getting yourself into, know the company’s reputation, and know their financial status. The more you know, the more comfortable you can feel saying “yes” or “no” when the time comes.
  • Always get the offer in writing. If the hiring employer won’t put the offer in writing for you, then restate the offer in writing and send a letter to them documenting your discussions to date.

Lastly, here are a couple of resources to take a look at: