Negotiate your salary the right way!

Thursday, June 02, 2011
By Julie Wiegan

According to Bill Humbert, a professional recruiter, and author of RecruiterGuy’s Guide to Finding a Job, applicants are so happy to land a job that they are accepting a lower salary than they have to. “Some employers feel that they can probably get away with a lowball offer, and many job hunters will grab it just so they can have a job,” he says. “The truth is there are ways to get the job and still get what you want.” Here are Humbert’s top five tips to keep in mind during your job hunt.

Don’t include salary requirements
If you are asked to include salary requirements when applying for a postion, put ‘open’ in that spot. This is one of the ways a company screens applicants early on and giving them actual figures can be used against you. “I’ve seen people agonize over what to reveal, because they are afraid of pricing themselves out of a good job,” says Humbert. If your qualifications are on target, they’ll call you. If the interviewer asks what you made at your last job, ask about the salary range for the one you are applying. You would be surprised how managers or human resource representatives will tell you.
Don’t reveal your salary history
When asked for your salary history on job applications, you may want to write ‘willing to discuss at appropriate time during interview process’ instead of an actual figure. Revealing these numbers pigeonholes you and reduces your negotiation power.

Don’t negotiate salary
Don’t negotiate your salary during the interview but when you reveal your salary requirements. When asked for that number, tell them you need a clear picture of the job requirements and potential for advancement over the next five years. After you have that information, and you’re asked again for that number, respond by asking how areas of your job will directly impact the company’s bottom line. This discussion will allow you to demonstrate what you bring to the table. At the end of that discussion, simply tell them that you are very interested in the position, and that you’d seriously consider any offer they’d like to make.

Continue networking
Even if you have a job offer, you should keep networking and looking for jobs. This can give you valuable market-worth data about the position you have been offered and it can also be a safety net should something go wrong between the time you receive an offer and the time you accept it.
Accepting and negotiating the offer
Once you are offered the position and salary, you can help open a discussion about increasing the offer by asking, “Is there any flexibility in this offer?” You may not get much more in base pay, but rather, an extra week of paid vacation, a signing bonus or other perks.
“Keep in mind that salary negotiation is more art than science, so these tips may not always apply,” adds Humbert. “Many hourly workers don’t have as much flexibility on pay, and some companies have policies that would require you to adjust the script a little to fit those situations. The key thing to remember is that you don’t have to give them a salary range that would jeopardize your earning potential, and that you don’t have to accept their first offer most of the time. Remember that they are interviewing you because they need to fill that position. It’s important to the company to have someone in that job, and while they are considering you, they aren’t doing you a favor. They need what you have to offer, so you should get the best offer out of them that is possible.”

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