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Tips to Negotiate Job Salaries

Most employers understand and even expect professionals to negotiate compensation and benefits when offered a new position.

In today’s market, some job seekers have the upper hand.  So, when companies do find the right person for the job, the hiring manager may be willing to go to extra lengths to ensure their offer is accepted.

With that in mind, candidates may want to consider negotiating for some extra compensation before accepting the first offer. 

Robert Half Technology offers the following do’s and don’ts for negotiating salary:

1.) Don’t enter salary negotiations without doing your homework. Conduct research to determine your market value. Begin by reviewing industry reports and talking to colleagues and recruiters for insights on current trends. 


2.) Do try to negotiate. Most employers understand – and even expect – professionals to negotiate compensation and benefits when offered a new position. Before you begin to negotiate, figure out what items are most important to you and be prepared to give on those issues that are less critical.

3.) Don’t be the first to bring up salary during the interview. Rather, wait until the hiring manager asks you about your salary requirements and be honest about desired pay. This is when you should reiterate the value you can bring to the firm. 

4.) Do ask about the pay range for a position if salary requirements are requested.

5.) Don’t overlook the value of benefits.  Evaluate the full compensation package, including benefits, perks and job growth opportunities.  Remember that a job opportunity is about more than just money – it’s about job tasks and professional growth opportunities, among other factors.  It is essential to weigh all aspects of the offer.  

6.) Do get it in writing.  Once you’ve agreed on terms, ask the employer to draw up a letter that outlines the specifics of the offer, such as the salary and any special arrangements that resulted from the negotiations.  Having everything in writing will prevent misunderstandings down the line. 

7.) Don’t let salary negotiations turn negative or burn bridges. Regardless of how the negotiations turn out, be professional and courteous. You never know when you might cross paths with the hiring manager again. 

8.) Do make it less intimidating.  You may not look forward to the salary negotiation process, but you can make it less intimidating. With professionalism and preparation, you can set the stage for positive discussions and reach a deal that is fair to both you and the employer. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Nancy October 05, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Thank you Matthew for this informative article. Often individuals seeking employment are reluctant to discuss salary for fear of sounding greedy; you have taken the guess work out it.
S. Ripley October 05, 2012 at 03:37 PM
I can’t stress item number 2 enough. If the position has a pay range, be prepared to negotiate for the top dollar. As the saying goes: “those that ask for more, get more”. Side note: In my previous HR life at a large company, we found that individual negotiation (or lack there off) was the primary reason for pay differences across demographics for the same position.
Katie Donovan October 08, 2012 at 02:46 PM
These are great tips. One other tip to consider is PRACTICE. I often hear how scary it is to start the process. I recommend saying over and over again "Thank you for the job offer. I'm very interested but based on my research I expected the salary to be higher." Once you get that sentence or something similar out the rest will fall into place.
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Gregory Digiovanni November 28, 2012 at 12:25 PM
I recently wrote an article about negotiations. It was more about sales negotiations but this tip still applies. Don't let emotions take over. Always remember to "keep calm and carry on". If anyone would be interested in reading what I wrote you can find it here http://gregorydigiovanni.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/want-to-win-a-negotiation-avoid-these-mistakes/

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