How to Negotiate Your Salary
You’ve gone through the grueling process of creating your resume, developing and implementing a plan of action for applying to jobs, going on multiple interviews, to finally be offered the position you were seeking.
However, there’s one problem, the salary you were offered is less than you thought. What can you do? You certainly don’t want to turn down this position since it’s what you wanted but at the same time you expected to make more money.
This article will outline the best ways to effectively negotiate your salary so you can feel confident in getting paid according to the value you bring.
One of the biggest reservations for people trying to negotiate their salaries is that they feel they may offend the hiring manager who just spent weeks going through candidates to finally make an offer and may leave a bad taste with them.
Some people are worried that if they try and negotiate their salary (after being offered a new position) their offer may be withdrawn. You must remember that the employer wants you to be part of their team and many hiring managers will even respect you more for your initiative and negotiation skills.
A study conducted by George Mason and Temple University showed that failing to negotiate their salaries cost an average employee $5,000 per year to start and left them lagging behind their negotiating counterparts throughout their entire career!
According to the Job Seeker National Study, only 29% of job seekers negotiated their salary. Additionally, the study showed that men are significantly more likely to negotiate their salary versus women. Finally, the study demonstrated that all job seekers who attempted to negotiate a higher salary, 84% were successful.
Know Your Worth
Just like selling a car, you must know what it’s worth. You can check NADA values and compare it to other similar models that are currently for sale in your area. The same goes for you. You should conduct a salary survey that is available from many sources including Glassdoor, Salary.com, PayScale, and Career One Stop to name a few. This will give you a comprehensive overview of the salary ranges for your position in your location.
Next, you need to honestly evaluate how well you perform compared to others in your industry in the same position. The most telling way is by how much your salary is compared to the average. If you think you’re the best in the industry but are making at the low-end of the pay scale, then there’s obviously a disconnect. However, if you’ve progressed much quicker than your respective peers and have added quantifiable value to the company, you can be confident in expecting the higher end of the pay scale and easily negotiate a better salary.
Things to Avoid Saying
Although it’s important to be prepared to negotiate to get paid what you’re worth, there are some things that you should never say during your salary negotiations. One of the most common things that are said and shouldn’t be is that you have many other companies interested in you. If this were true, why haven’t you already been hired at another company? If you were really that hot of a prospect, especially in a niche industry, there would be many companies trying to recruit you and offer you more than the normal salary for the position.
Another common thing to avoid saying is that if the company hires you, you’ll be an amazing employee and work harder and longer than everyone else. You will undermine yourself by saying how amazing and hardworking you are since all recruiters seek to hire the best and most effective workers. Also, don’t talk about personal things such as your expenses or money that you owe. This will not help you. Negotiating your salary is an art and not an exact science. You need to be tactful and considerate.
What to Say
An honest and straightforward approach is optimal. Approaching the hiring manager after the offer has been made with salary and saying something like, “I am very excited to take this job, but we’re ways apart on the salary. I need $$$$$ in order to accept. How can we bridge this gap?”
Expect the hiring manager to ask why you are worth more than the offer. You need to be prepared to clearly and concisely demonstrate the value you can bring to the organization and know what the salary range is. Another approach could be something like, “I have another job offer that pays $$$$$ and as much as I’d like to accept your offer, the gap is too large to ignore. How can we improve the offer to get on board?” These are simple but very effective ways to approach the salary negotiation.
If you were just offered the position but are concerned about the salary, you can always ask to take 24-hours to think about it. This is perfectly acceptable and can give you some time to prepare for negotiating. Another thing to consider is to negotiating employee perks versus only salary. Some employee perks that may be negotiable are more stock options, extra vacation time, a flexible schedule, education benefits, and an earlier performance review.
Negotiating your salary doesn’t have to be gut wrenching experience. Remember that according to the Job Seeker National Study, only 29% of job seekers negotiated their salary; however, of the 29% who attempted negotiating, 84% were successful in getting the salary they desired. The most important thing you could do is realistically know what you should be getting paid, which is based on the salary range for your position in your location along with knowing how you compare to your respective peers.
Do your research and be prepared to demonstrate to the hiring manager exactly why you should be paid what you’re asking.
Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for service-members transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Finance.
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