Basic Salary Negotiation Skills
- Research your profession’s salary range
Check with recruiters, competitors, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook and the Internet.
- Select a target salary or salary range
You may not get the amount you want, but having a specific range gets you close.
- Don’t initiate salary discussions
Wait for the interviewer to bring up the subject. The most appropriate time to discuss salary is at the end of the interview process or when an employer makes a job offer.
- When asked for your salary requirements say they are “negotiable”
Salary should be discussed during an interview situation. Do not write amounts on applications, cover letters, etc. unless requested, then supply employer with a salary range only. Without knowing about the position and the benefits, you can’t select a salary figure.
- When asked for your salary requirements reply by asking the interviewer to share the position’s salary range
If this person can’t answer your question, ask who can.
- Discuss benefits separately from salary
Insurance, tuition reimbursement, vacation/sick leave, stock options, bonuses, etc.
- Analyze all benefit packages with a family member or friend, or with an investment or financial professional
Get a second opinion and objectivity.
- Consider the cost of living if you’re relocating
Adjust your income based on life style.
- In discussing why you deserve a substantial increase, use examples
Provide accomplishments and emphasize abilities that prove your value. Comparisons to your current or old salary are irrelevant.
- Always assume a firm’s first offer is negotiable and never accept an offer at the interview
Express strong interest, but discuss your offer with others you trust before accepting. If the salary offered is too low, ask for a higher salary. The employer will either agree or make a counteroffer. Tell the interviewer when you will contact him or her with your decision. Make sure to get all offers in writing.
Salary is negotiable and a topic I prefer to discuss in an interview situation. What is the salary range for this position? I am looking to be paid a competitive salary based on my experience and accomplishments. What was the salary range for the last individual who had this position? I am willing to accept a fair salary based on the responsibilities of the job.
Internet Sources for Salary Information
www.salary.com – salaries based on job title and geographic location
stats.bls.gov/ocohome.htm – Occupational Outlook Handbook
Periodicals & Newspapers, Trade & Professional Journals and Associations, Recruiters & Employment Agencies