Compensation Tips

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Art of Negotiation

You've done your research and know the salary you desire for a particular position, as well as a reasonable range given the current climate (see additional tips for more info). A company has just extended you an offer. Resist the urge to accept immediately, as this is the best time to negotiate your salary. Always let the employer make the first offer, and do not assume that it's fixed. In your counter offer, ask for the high end of your range, and be able explain to the employer why you're worth it. Never become emotional or hostile in negotiations. Remember that your goal is win-win, with both sides receiving maximum benefit from the final agreement.

How do I handle salary negotiations?

Talking salary

Research the appropriate salary for the position you're seeking. If you're new at job interviewing, practice saying this salary, out loud in a confident manner. This way, you won't sound wishy-washy or apologetic when you answer this obvious question.


Salary Negotiation from A to Z

First, Prepare your Case

Base it on facts which may include some or all of the below items:

  • Your Past Salary History

  • Another salary offer you've received (Be prepared to show proof)

  • Expenses to be incurred due to change in cost of living, relocation expenses, etc.

  • Current factual data from salary survies

  • Your own background and qualifications (be sure to mention unique certifications, training, etc.)

Second, Present your Case

Practice doing this aloud before your interaction with a potential employer. You don't want to stumble with your words or come across as anything but confident.

Remember to...

  • Approach your employer diplomatically, asking them if salary is open to negotiation

  • Convey to the employer that you are truly interested in the job; you're not just salary-shopping

  • Be prepared for the employer to convey the salary is not open to negotiation

Third, Close your Case

Be sure to...

  • Summarize your main points

  • Reiterate how you are going to be an asset to the organization, by increasing revenue, streamlining procedures, increasing publicity, landing grants or additional funding, etc.

  • Remember that in addition to salary, many other things may be open to negotiation, such as start date, relocation expenses being reimbursed, vacation days, administrative assistance, options for benefit plans, and geographic location


Researching Salaries Online

If you haven't yet been to then you've been missing out on some great information! Whether you are just getting started in your job search or about to prepare for your interview, try using their Salary Wizard to get a ballpark idea of common salaries based on job title and zip code.

Another site to try is Career Builder's where you can find national averages and also locally based information. In the art of salary negotiation, information equals power! Arm yourself with accurate salary information for your preferred position, industry, and location before you begin the interview process.

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Ray Lokar