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How to Negotiate Your Salary

Sep 09, 2013 11:56PM ● By Erin Frisch

Employers are looking for well-rounded workers with years of experience in a given industry. However, many employers are also looking for a bargain, just like anyone else, and would rather not pay you what you are worth, even if you meet all their qualifications. If you want to be compensated with a fair and reasonable salary for your time and effort, then a salary negotiation is in order. Like anything else, there is a right way and a wrong way to discuss your rate of pay at the interview stage. Here are some tips for how to negotiate your salary the professional way.

Establish Your Minimum Acceptable Rate and Your Target Rate of Pay

To determine how to negotiate your salary, you should first set a minimum acceptable rate of pay and a target rate of pay. In the interview stage, provide the hiring manager with your target rate of pay, as this gives him or her the opportunity for some wiggle room. As long as you don’t accept anything less than the minimum acceptable rate of pay you have chosen, you should make a reasonable salary with the company that hires you.

Don’t Be Afraid to Push Back a Bit

Companies want to see that they aren’t hiring employees who are pushovers. When they discuss salary requirements with you, they may first offer you a number that seems a little low. Don’t rush to accept their offer because you want the job. Push back a bit, in a professional manner of course. Your goal is to demonstrate that you know how to negotiate your salary, as well as to increase your starting pay. Therefore, it’s okay to respectfully say that you cannot accept the rate that they are offering you, and ask if they can go a little higher. Give them a number that is close to your target salary but that doesn’t make you seem greedy. This way, the employer will know that you are serious about getting paid what you are worth, which means that you will more than likely aspire to do well in this company.

Sell Your Skills

A company needs to know that they are getting a good employee, so it is important that you market your skills and abilities to them as effectively as possible. In the interview stage, tell them what you are capable of, the goals you have accomplished with your previous employers, and the skills and assets that you will be bringing to the table. Let them know what you’re worth; this will make them inclined to pay you more. Of course, do this in a respectful manner and make sure you demonstrate to the company the reasons they should hire you at your desired pay rate.

Consider Your Benefits

A salary isn’t just the amount of money you make. It is also the benefits that are included in your new position, such as vacation time, health insurance coverage, sick leave, and more. If you don’t want to sound greedy, try diversifying your options. Ask the hiring manager for your minimum acceptable rate of pay and ask him or her to adjust the benefits a bit. This will show the company that you’re not concerned with just the money but with every aspect of the company, and that you can be flexible.

Negotiating your salary may be a daunting process during a job interview, but it is something that you need to do if you want to be compensated for what you are worth. Remember to follow these steps at your next job interview, and good luck!


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