How To Negotiate Salary

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When offered a job, it can be difficult to know how to negotiate your salary. However, there is a proper protocol for discussing this sensitive issue to help you settle on a sum that makes both you and your employer happy. By following these steps, it is easier to negotiate a reasonable salary without giving the employer second thoughts.

1. Evaluate Individual Worth

Every person has qualities they can bring to a company. It is important to identify those qualities in order to better understand a reasonable salary request. To do this, consider the following individual factors:

  • Years of relevant experience.
  • Applicable degrees or higher education courses.
  • Skills learned on the job from previous positions.

While these individual qualities are important, some factors related to evaluating worth depend on circumstances the job seeker cannot control. The job market is better in some areas, and it is also better for some specific types of jobs. Consider the following factors:

  • The size of the company.
  • The geographic location of the company.
  • The nature of the company's business.

2. Evaluate Similar Salaries

In order to better understand how much to ask for, it is important to know what others with similar jobs are making. Some job boards sites provide salary-comparison tools. These frequently provide an average salary for workers in this field. If possible, use figures from the same geographic location. Always use the most current numbers available.

3. Be Prepared

When most people walk in the door for an interview, they know what salary range they want to aim for. However, few people develop a solid plan for getting to that range. It is better to have too much information than not enough. Use the points you’ve researched above to help you reach your salary goal. Develop a strategy. First, let the employer make an offer so you know you’ve actually secured the position. After doing this, consult a pre-developed plan to execute the following steps:

  • If the offer is not acceptable, make a higher counteroffer.
  • Never make a counteroffer without providing one or more reasons.
  • Have printouts of salary ranges or other evidence needed to back up a counteroffer.
  • Be able to elaborate on each strong point provided.
  • Facts need explanations, so be sure to angle them from an employer's perspective.

When arranging the necessary papers and documents for a salary negotiation, be sure to provide printouts that are neat and organized. Avoid presenting handwritten notes. If possible, use graphs and charts to display figures. All presented papers should be easy for the employer to read and understand quickly.

4. Follow The Dos And Don'ts Of Negotiating

There are several things job seekers should do and several things they should avoid during a verbal salary negotiation. Memorize these rules, and use them to increase the possibility of a higher offer.




  • Let the employer make the first offer so you can feel confident that they want you on their team.
  • Listen and acknowledge the employer's point of view.
  • Be flexible enough to accept a reasonable offer
  • Allow the employer time to think about an offer if he or she requests it.
  • Reschedule a face-to-face follow-up meeting if the employer needs time to consider an offer.




  • Discuss a salary negotiation until the position has been secured.
  • Feel like you have to settle for an unreasonably low offer. You don’t have to take this job if it’s not right for you, and that includes salary.
  • Interrupt the employer for any reason.
  • Talk in a loud voice to make a point.
  • Discuss personal financial issues. This makes a person look desperate and possibly unstable.
  • Argue with the employer after he or she makes a final offer.

5. Stay Strong & Professional

Not all salary negotiations will end in favor of the employee. Even with the best tactics, new hires may still feel somewhat shortchanged. However, it is important to keep in mind that the employer's reasons for a lower-than-expected salary offer may have nothing to do with the employee. Some employers have their own budget limitations, which they may not be willing to discuss in great detail. If a good counteroffer is shot down even with backing evidence, take the following steps:

  • Avoid showing disappointment.
  • Thank the employer for his or her negotiation efforts.
  • Ask the employer what steps, if any, can be taken to improve individual salary.
  • Express a desire to take those steps and constantly move forward.

Always remember that the keys to eventually earning a higher salary are attention to detail, honesty, hard work, leadership, teamwork and professionalism. Those attributes are universally respected regardless of what field a person works in.

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