Salary Negotiations Overview
Many job seekers leave the salary verdict up to employers, assuming that they cannot negotiate their compensation. While some employers do not encourage negotiation, there are others who are willing to be flexible, for the right candidate!
Reasons to negotiate salary:
• Your education, experience and skills are worth more than the offered amount
• The pay range for the position is less than the industry average
• The area’s cost of living is higher and the salary offered does not coincide
• You have received multiple offers with similar salary amounts and benefits
You must determine a desired salary range. This gives you more flexibility during negotiation. Most employers already know their range for the position, so you want to aim for the high end.
Consider the following to determine if your desired salary range is reasonable:
• Scarcity of the required job skills and experience in the job market
• Your career progress and experience
• Fair market value for the job
• Level of the job within the organization
• Salary range for the job within the organization
• Salary range for the job within the geographic area
• Salary range for the job within the industry
• Existing economic conditions within your job market
• Existing economic conditions within your industry
• Company-specific factors such as comparable jobs, culture, pay philosophy, and promotion practices
Research the going market rate for someone with your skills and the type of position for which you are applying. When you know you are making less than your industry peers, you have more ammunition to ask for a higher salary or a raise. Check out these and similar websites:
• SalesHeads.com (log in and go to Career Resources>Salary Calculator)
• The Bureau of Labor Statistics at www.bls.gov/bls/blswage.htm
To determine your minimum required salary, also take into consideration your expenses, cost of living, saving needs, etc. Once you establish this baseline number, you know the lowest point in your expected (and desired) salary range.
Also, think of a salary range that seems unattainable to you. When you negotiate, fight as if you were fighting for that amount! It causes you to want it more.
Increasing Your Perceived Worth
By increasing your perceived worth, you gain a powerful position at the negotiation table. Here are some ways to do this:
• Present yourself in a positive manner as the "must have" candidate. They are more interested in a long-term asset, not just the right person for the job.
o Make everything flawless (your resume, interview responses, and dress style).
o Speak confidently about your accomplishments.
o Express your goals.
o Show that you fit in the company's culture.
• Show that your work value is better than what they realize. Speak in terms of the whole company. Instead of “I can provide good customer service”, explain how “I can retain valued customers and stimulate business activity”.
• Convince that you have more to offer the position and the organization. Establish how your unique skills, experience, and understanding of the company's needs, make you more qualified than other candidates.
• Validate your skills while objectively negotiating the offer. Throughout the actual negotiation period, listen and politely assert the value you have presented.