How to Negotiate a Salary

Salary negotiations can be tricky – You don't want to price yourself out of a job offer, but you also want to get paid what you are worth. Here are some tips on how to negotiate a salary, without taking yourself out of the running for the job.

Research the Going Rate – Use websites like Glassdoor, Payscale and Vault to gather information on the company and what it pays, and search job postings for similar positions in your area to determine the average starting salary for your position and experience.

Know Your Worth – While you don’t want to price yourself out of a job, you want to show your potential employer what you bring to the table. Highlight past accomplishments, such as how you have increased productivity or saved money for former companies. If you have earned bonuses or incentives, mention these, too – it may help the interviewer realize the benefits of having you on board.

Be Prepared – Before salary negotiations, have your salary requirements in mind – your ideal starting salary as well as the least amount you would accept. If the company in not within your range, ask what other considerations might be included, such as bonuses, equity in the company, or other incentives.

Be Patient – Let your employer bring up salary figures first. If the employers asks what your salary requirement is, say they are open based upon the position and the responsibilities of the job.

Be Flexible – Negotiating a salary may be impacted by how the company is doing financially or the overall economy. If the company is unwilling to negotiate salary, suggest a signing bonus or ask to receive your evaluation/raise sooner than the typical one year.

Be Reasonable – Once you get a job offer, evaluate it carefully; there are more factors that come into play than just the base salary – inquire about commission, bonuses, and projected salary increase. Also take into consideration benefits, stock options, hours, the retirement program, vacation time, and promotion and growth opportunities.

Remember, if you have reached the point in the hiring process where the interviewer is discussing salary with you, it means the company is interested in hiring you – they desire your skills and experience. If you are prepared, confident and realistic when negotiating salary with your future employer, you have a better chance of reaching a win-win outcome.