8 Tips for Negotiating Your Salary

Hands Holding Negotiation Word Concept

Whether you have recently been offered a new job or your review period is approaching with your current employer, you may understandably have a reasonable expectation of what your salary and benefits should be. Many people, however, are sorely disappointed when they learn that the offer from a current or new employer is substantially lower than expected. Negotiating better compensation is a smart idea, but you should only do so when following a few important tips.

Take Time to Review the Offer
Do not rush into negotiations as soon as you receive the offer. When you are presented with an offer, thank the hiring manager for the information. State that you will review the offer and get back in touch soon. This simple step gives you time to research the offer in detail and to determine your approach for a possible negotiation.

Understand Your Value
You should not assume that every salary and benefits offer is too low. Instead, focus on what you bring to the table in comparison to what other candidates may offer. You may have the skills and experience necessary to transform the company in various ways, and there is true value in this possibility.

Focus on Strengths and Attributes
The hiring manager chose you over other applicants for specific reasons. Most likely, you had the perfect combination of strengths and attributes to be a perfect fit for the condition. Understand what these specific attributes are, and research how uniquely valuable they may be to the employer.

Be Aware of Market Conditions
Even when you have an excellent resume and skills that are in high demand, understand that there still may be several other applicants vying for your position that may be just as well qualified. Examine the going rate for salary and benefits for individuals with your skillset, educational background and experience. Determine if the offer is higher or lower than the average.

Focus on the Total Offer
Before negotiating, focus on the value of the salary and benefits combined. Many employers cannot afford to pay a huge salary, and they compensate for it by offering incredible benefits that have value. Understand if these benefits offer true value to you and could save you money in various ways. Benefits that mean little to you should not be heavily focused on when you make this analysis.

Understand Related Personal Expenses
Many positions will impact your personal finances in different ways. For example, if you need to relocate for the position, your cost of living expenses may change. You may also have moving expenses, new commuting costs and more. If the position will increase or decrease your personal expenses significantly, the offer should take this into account.

Practice Your Approach
If you have decided that the offer that you received is legitimately too low based on justified factors, negotiating is a smart idea. Ask a friend or family member to assist you with practicing this conversation. It may be better to plan a verbal conversation than to request a higher salary and benefits package via email. Ask your friend or family member for tips about how to improve your approach.

Be Specific
It is not reasonable or effective to tell a hiring manager that you need a higher offer without being specific about your needs. Define what a fair offer is to you, including salary and benefits. When you approach the hiring manager, back up your statements and demands with concrete market information, an assessment of your benefits and more.

Be Confident
Asking a company for more money can be uncomfortable. However, your discomfort may work against you in this type of situation. Always be confident with the knowledge that you are worth more.

Now that you understand how to effectively negotiate a higher salary offer with improved benefits, you can walk through these steps. Even if you need a job desperately, you do not want to leave money on the table by failing to negotiate when it is beneficial to do so.

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