Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
SALARIES / MAY. 24, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How to Negotiate Your Salary and Still Get the Job

So, you've successfully completed two or three rounds of interviews and the company offers you the position. You're elated and ready to turn in your letter of resignation and move to your new office. This is the perfect scenario if you're confident in your ability to excel in your new position, and if you're earning a top salary. But after receiving a job offer, your excitement might be short-lived once the employer mentions your salary. 

On one hand, you're excited to receive an offer; but on the other hand, the salary might be considerably less than anticipated, and you might start to question whether this move is the right one. However, like most things in life, salaries are negotiable. And the truth is, some employers expect job candidates to come back with a counteroffer. Therefore, you shouldn't let a low offer kill your joy.

There are ways to negotiate your salary and still get the job, and the way you approach the conversation can influence the response. In addition, you need to research and prepare in advance for this conversation with employers. 

#1. Understand the job requirements and know your market worth

An employer may offer compensation based on what he or she feels is fair for the position. However, if your skills, experience and education commands a higher salary (based on local salary ranges), you're justified in asking for more money. Therefore, you need to know what other companies in the area are paying its employees with similar experience and backgrounds. You can acquire this information from a salary comparison site, or by searching employment ads posted by local employers.

In addition, you need to fully understand what's expected of you. Therefore, you need to ask questions regarding your assignments and duties during the interview, and take notes so that you're able to easily recall the information. Based on this information, use an online salary wizard to calculate your worth. 

#2. Research the company's performance

Even if you're able to command a higher salary, the company may not be in a position to offer more. This is another reason why background research is important. Knowing the financial health of a company can help you determine a reasonable salary request. For example, if your research reveals that the company had a bad last quarter, or if the company isn't meeting revenue goals, asking for $15,000 over their offer might fall on deaf ears. 

#3. Lose the attitude

Laughing or chuckling at the company's offer isn't going to work in your favor. If anything, this behavior will turn off the employer. Even if you're appalled by a company's low offer, keep these feelings to yourself. The key to salary negotiations is remaining professional and appreciative throughout the process. For example:

"I'm really excited and thankful for the opportunity to work with your company, and I feel that this position is an excellent match for me. And while I appreciate the offer of $60,000, I anticipated a higher salary based on my experience, education and past achievements. I was hoping for a salary around $68,000."

This approach sets the stage to negotiate higher compensation. And since you've already researched your worth and the company's performance, you have the tools needed to ask for more money.

#4. Start high and leave a little wiggle room

Before this conversation with an employer takes place, you should have already determined the least amount you're willing to accept for a job. If the company offers a salary that's less than your desired salary, start your negotiations high -- but not ridiculously high. 

For example, if you're offered $60,000, but you were expecting a salary of $65,000, you might ask for $68,000. This leaves plenty of room for negotiations. The employer may not offer your asking salary, but he'll likely try and meet in the middle, thus getting you closer to your desired salary.

Be prepared to sell yourself. It isn't enough to ask for more money, you need to make the employer believe that you deserve more. With that said, briefly reiterate your qualities and what you'll bring to the table. 

#5. Compensate for a lower salary

After much consideration, the employer may conclude that the original offer is the best the company can offer at this time. You might not get the salary you desired, but other perks or benefits may compensate for less money. For example, your benefits package might include paid health care premiums, or the company may give annual bonuses. In addition, there's always room to negotiate other things, such as a flexible work schedule, additional vacation time or perhaps a better title. 

What tips have you employed to negotiate your salary and still get the job? Your thoughts and comments below please…


Image Credit: Flickr

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