5 Tips on Salary Negotiations

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

You’ve finally landed your dream job after searching for several months or perhaps the employer found you and after several interviews, you are ready to move forward with reviewing an offer.  This quick article will provide you with five tips and you go into salary negotiations.  

Establish your value first

Often job seekers who don’t know their worth will jump at the first offer presented. A failure to truly understand the going market rate for a position you are being offered along with the value you bring to the company, will leave you with a salary that may be below your true worth.  Remember companies need you as much as you need them.  You bring unique experiences, expertise and savvy that organizations need to grow their company. Focus on your past achievements and how you’ve helped other organizations grow.  If you do not have a ton of experience, think about the impact you’ve made volunteering or participating in school clubs and organizations. Don’t undersell yourself as it reeks desperation and show you have not done your due diligence in understanding the current market rate for your role. You must be realistic with your expectations, but confident in your capability. 

Put the breaks on - don’t be eager to say YES

When the employer presents an offer take the necessary time to review it.  Consult with a trusted advisor or friend on the package.  Employers often have compensation ranges for roles within their organization; there is a minimum and a maximum salary range and hourly rate.  If you immediately jump at the first offer it may be at the low end, whereas someone with more confidence and less experience may be paid at the higher range.  Pay close attention to how long a position has been open as this indicates the complexity to fill the role.  If the position has been open for an extended period, most likely the company has been searching for a while.  This give you some negotiation power. Finally keep in mind that compensation ranges are based on location, location, location.  For example, the cost of living in New York City is significantly higher than Columbus, Ohio so, the pay ranges will vary so be realistic in your expectations. 

Do your homework using salary/wage research tools

There are many online tools where you can research the current salary ranges for your position.  As mentioned above, organizations have ranges for various roles.  If you do your homework, then you will identify a realistic range and what will work best for you and your family.  Check out sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed and  These sites will give you insights into the pay ranges and in some instances what the organizations range may be. Remember to consider total compensation which can include the following: base pay, bonuses, overtime and commission. Every company is different so make sure you have a clear understanding of what the organization is offering. 

Know what you need in salary/wages and benefits

In order to attract the best qualified employee, employers will create a total rewards package which includes salary/wages and benefits.  Make sure to get information on benefits as you are considering an offer.  The out of cost expense for benefits or lack of benefits should be taken into consideration when negotiating your salary.  This can have a big effect on your pocketbook if you do not take the time to review the benefit package. 

Have a conversation with your recruiter

The role of the recruiter is to fill its organization positions.  A good recruiter will not only represent the company but, they will be your advocate.   Have an open and honest conversation with your recruiter if the offer presented does not align with what you are looking for.  If you have multiple offers you have some negotiation power; leverage it within reason.  When the recruiter or hiring manager presents the offer and you have hesitation, talk to your recruiter.  Point out your concerns, if any.  They will report back to the hiring manager and advocate on your behalf. When the negotiations are complete you should feel very good about your offer. 

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