How to Negotiate a Salary

If you want to know how to negotiate a salary and benefits with a new employer, you have to know when to negotiate as well as how. For instance, asking about the expected salary of a job just after the interview begins is not appropriate. A prospective employer is not going to be receptive to such a question. just about anywhere.

The right time to negotiate is AFTER the job offer has been made – not BEFORE.

It is also important to note exactly what is negotiable. (You can negotiate anything as long as it's related to the position and your benefits, including salary.)

A job offer typically consists of:

  • job title
  • job description
  • salary and bonuses
  • benefits
  • vacation time
Each of these items could be negotiable, although some employers are more willing to negotiate than others. Some employers are in a better position to negotiate than others, too. Smaller businesses often don't have the flexibility to alter the salary and/or benefits very much.

When a job offer has been made to you, you can decide if you are satisfied with the offer or not. If not, give careful consideration to what you believe is most important to you – and your career. Don't be afraid to speak up, but show respect at all times. Determine what you want to negotiate and stick with those items. Don't go wishy-washy and change your mind about what is important to you. Whether you have a verbal or written offer, you have the option of negotiating verbally.

Tell the employer what you were expecting or what you would like to receive – or ask the employer if the salary quoted in the job offer took into account your background in (insert your qualifications) or your degree/certification in (insert your education). Gently remind the employer that you are aware that someone with your qualifications often commands a salary of (insert your researched salary figure). By relating your education and experience to your salary expectations, you stand a better chance of achieving your goal.

How to negotiate a salary – some things to consider:

  1. Know what you are worth. Your past experience and your skills have value.
  2. Place a dollar figure on the lowest limit you are willing to accept for a given job.
  3. At any point during the job negotiation process, a job offer can be withdrawn.
  4. If you are not happy with a job offer, do not accept it.
  5. Consider all aspects of the job in your evaluations: commute, corporate culture, parking, stress level, advancement potential, and even fringe benefits, such as health club memberships and/or on-site child care.

Also, note this: The right time to negotiate is immediately upon receiving a job offer. Do not delay. It is not an effective "tactic" in securing a job offer.

The negotiation process can go back and forth a few times, so don't be surprised if this happens to you. When you know what you are worth and what you want to be paid, you stand a much better chance of getting it.

It is important to know how to negotiate a salary.

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