Negotiating a Salary

Negotiation is always something of an art form and many people find negotiating a salary to be particularly stressful. Even in a difficult job market, however, there is ample opportunity to put yourself in the best possible position when the subject comes up, but this is not the time for a spontaneous approach, Nothing helps more than a bit of planning and preparation.

Salary Research

When the subject is salary, know your market. There are abundant online resources that job seekers can use to find rates of pay for almost every position imaginable. The more specific the information, whether about the current needs of a particular company or the employment situation in a specific geographical area, the more useful it can be.

Everything is negotiable, if you know how to take control.

Negotiation is about Timing

As a general rule, it is preferable for the other party to make the first offer in any negotiation. This is especially true if the question is asked before the company has indicated that it wants to hire you. In that case, delay, accompanied by the message that salary is a detail that can be worked out, may be the optimal strategy. Keep in mind that you may have to indicate a salary range early in the interview process. Provide a broad range and remember that you are not yet negotiating.

Presentation Style

How you ask for what you want can be critical. If you have done the research, you should be able to back up your request with facts. Armed with those facts, the key to the negotiation is the ability to view things from the employer’s perspective. Successful salary negotiation entails convincing an employer that the employer

is the one who benefits from agreeing to a certain level of compensation.

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