Successfully Negotiate Your Salary

You’ve blazed through the first and second interview rounds and have been presented with a job offer. That’s great, but what happens if the initial offer is lower than you were prepared to accept? Many people feel reluctant to negotiate for a higher salary for fear that their counteroffer will be rejected, or worse – the entire offer rescinded. Others believe they should feel lucky to even have a job offer in an economy this rough. In all cases, if you believe that your experience and skills demand a higher salary than what was offered, take care to proceed with your salary negotiations the right way.

Know When to Breach the Topic
If your salary expectations are on the higher end of the position’s range and you push your demands too early in the conversation, you run the risk of disqualifying your application before you make it past the first round. There is nothing wrong with asking for a higher salary once you have a job offer in hand, but you first need for the prospective employer to believe you’re worth the extra expenditure. If you wait until the interview process is further along to discuss the salary specifics, you’ll have more time to present supporting data that you can leverage in your counteroffer.

Have Hard Data on Your Side
Historical earnings and industry market rates are both good factors to refer to when negotiating your salary. However, the strongest point to base your argument on is how much value you will bring to the company. You will need some hard data to substantiate your claims of greatness, so make sure to document any accolades, positive evaluations or awards that you receive throughout your professional career. Your prospective employers want to hear that your contributions have had a financial impact on the business’ bottom line, not that you need a higher salary so you can make your monthly mortgage. If you helped your team cut costs by 12 percent by developing a more streamlined workflow, bring that data to the negotiating table. It’s difficult to argue with proven success and hard data.

How Hard do you Push?
Employers are not impressed when a candidate insists upon several rounds of salary negotiations, so thoroughly research the going rate for your skills in your geographical area, industry and specific company before presenting your counteroffer. Websites like www.glassdoor.com could be a helpful resource. Experts usually agree that it’s reasonable to counter anywhere between 10 – 15 percent more while being prepared to accept a response offer from the employer of half that amount.

Be tactful during the salary negotiation process. Don’t create a tug of war – be prepared to walk away if it becomes clear you will not be offered an acceptable salary.

What are your salary negotiation tips? Leave us a comment below!

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