Monday, April 16, 2012

How to Negotiate YOUR Best Salary

Whether you are just starting to interview or you have a job offer on the table, negotiating salary is an important skill that you will need to cultivate and utilize throughout your professional career. Although our economy is on the turnaround, it is still crucial that you negotiate for the compensation you want and deserve.

ü  Do Your Research
Before you jump in and ask your future employer for $10,000 more than he or she has offered, research similar positions in similar areas to compare. Salary websites are a great tool for comparing your offer with others that are similar, and can help you find a number that works for you. A few great sites are, and It is also important to gauge your own worth based on your experiences, awards or recognitions and use that to your benefit as you measure yourself against others.

ü  Set Your Sights
Choose a two-number range that you will use in your negotiation. The first number is the highest one you would feel comfortable asking for someone in your position. This is your starting figure. An employer will usually only negotiate down, so if you start low, you have nowhere to go. Second, choose the lowest salary you will accept before walking away (keep this one in your mind). Your final negotiated salary will ideally fall on the middle-to-high end of this range.

ü  Wait for the Right Time
When an employer asks if you have any additional questions on the first phone interview is not an appropriate time to discuss salary or start negotiating on your behalf. Instead, be prepared with your ideal salary by the third or fourth interview. When an employer makes you an offer and names your salary, politely acknowledge the offer and say you will get back to them. By launching into the discussion when you are ready, you will be calm and assertive.

ü  Using Leverage
Having another job offer in your back pocket might be a great tool to receive the salary you want, but be tactful and professional when negotiating this way. Instead of playing a back-and-forth game between employers, use the higher offered salary to give you a basis for what you’re worth, and use that as a tool to negotiate.

ü  Accept the Offer!
Congratulations! Once you have negotiated your right salary and are happy with your new position, it’s time to celebrate. Not only will you feel confident in your abilities to market yourself but your employer will respect you for being forthcoming, honest, and assertive.

Still not comfortable negotiating for your salary? Stop in the Career Services Center M-F, 8am-5pm for more tools and tips to help you out. Or, call us and make an appointment with a Career Counselor at 414-288-7243. Your perfect salary is achievable!

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