The Art of Salary Negotiation

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After three positive yet tough interviews with a potential employer, the interviewer finally approaches you with a job offer. However, the salary is a little bit lower than you expected it to be. So what is your next move going to be?


Negotiating a salary with a potential employer is simply part of the on-boarding process. Many people believe that you should just take what is handed to you. Yet accepting an average offer could have its consequences during the next few years. For example, if you were to agree to a less-than-average salary proposal, you may be setting yourself up for years of mediocre annual increases. Most employers usually give employees 8 percent to 10 percent annual raises, which is considered an exceptional raise if your initial salary is satisfactory. In order to ensure that you are not only happy with your potential responsibilities on-the-job, you also should make sure that you are satisfied with the potential income. Here are some tips to ensure a successful salary negotiation.



  1. Do not negotiate your salary immediately after the job is offered to you. After the job offer is on the table, you should thank the potential employer for his or her interest, express your enthusiasm for the position and state that you will need some time to think it over.
  2. Do research. Make sure that the salary you are seeking is fair for the potential job function as well as where you live. The more knowledge you possess, the greater advantage you have during a salary negotiation.
  3. Negotiate using your strengths. For example, if you are well-spoken and a good communicator, negotiating with a potential employer in person may be the best option for you. However, if you are shy and uncomfortable in such situations, negotiating your salary with a letter may be a better option.
  4. During interviews, when asked, “What kind of salary are looking for?” always ask for more money—of course, within reason—than you really want. This way, you can feel out what kind of money the potential employer is willing to offer.
  5. Continue to promote yourself during the negotiation process. Always, continue to market yourself and explain to a potential employer what you could do for the company. For example, you might say, “My vast knowledge of both open-source and proprietary database management systems will greatly improve the efficiency of your IT department.”
  6. Always keep your cool during the negotiation process. Conversations and letters should always be conversational rather than confrontational.


Remember, salary negotiation is simply a part of the on-boarding process and hiring managers anticipate negotiations. The worst thing that could happen during a salary negotiation is that you don’t get the salary you asked for. Also, never initially low-ball yourself, because you will continue to regret it year after year.

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