Tips for Negotiating Your Starting Salary


During the acceptance process of a new employment position, you may have the ability to negotiate your starting salary. This process can be tricky. You want to take the right approach to negotiating your starting salary so you make what you feel you deserve, but at the same time you do not want to start off your new position on the wrong foot. By learning the art of tactful negotiation, you can be hired at the salary you wish. There are certain tips to follow to ensure you negotiate the right salary for your position and experience. Learning how to ask for a fair wage, while not seeming overly aggressive or accusatory can be tricky. Follow these guidelines when discussing your salary with a new employer and you should be able to lock in a solid annual salary that meets your budget needs as well as compensates you adequately for the skills you have in your given career field.

Be Likeable

The first step in negotiating your new salary is to be likeable. This sounds easy enough but is an important part to the negotiation process. If your new manager likes you, he or she will be more likely to fight for a higher salary on your behalf. Be polite and ask for what you deserve without being greedy. When looking at offers, do not point out deficiencies or be persistent, turning into a nuisance. Evaluate your approach and be likeable as you ask for the salary you wish to obtain.

Explain Why You Are Deserving

Just because your new employer likes you, does not mean they are going to throw money at you. They want to pay you what they think you are worth. So, essentially, you have to explain why you are deserving of a particular salary. Never make a proposal without having details to back it up. Do not ask for a particular number and avoid giving reasons why you deserve it. Provide a salary number and then add in why this number is justified. List reasons why you deserve the money based on your skill set or experience, or in comparison to the median salary for your industry in the state. Be sure you are able to show your value so the employer understands why he or she should pay you the requested amount. It is always a good idea to have documentation or references to back up your request, but offer to show your documentation only if it seems that the manager is willing to negotiate and wants to hear more.

Consider the Entire Deal on the Table

When you are being hired by a new company, there are incentives or perks that may come along with the job. When negotiating your salary, be aware of the entire deal. Are you going to be provided any 401K benefits or insurance options? Are you provided time off with pay for vacation or holidays? For many employees, provided incentives can negate certain salary points. A company may not be willing to give you the salary you want because they offer so much with incentives. Many companies count in the costs of the benefits package with the salary. Weigh the pros and cons of what the company offers to determine the salary you will seek.

Be Ready for Anything

During the negotiation process, you will be asked a number of questions. Be open and ready for anything. Some questions may be tough and difficult to answer. Remember that you want this position and you want the company to know you are interested. No matter the question, do your best to answer honestly. Be prepared for questions that might be uncomfortable or show your weakness. By being prepared, you can answer normally and not lose bargaining power. The key is to remain confident and not obstinate or demanding.

Consider the Constraints of the Company

Every company has constraints in place when hiring new employees. If you are being hired at the same time as several other people, then you will most likely not be able to earn the highest salary. The company may only have so much money for new hires and offer everyone the same amount. Consider such constraints when negotiating. When starting a new position among others, you will have to truly stand out for the company to be able to offer you more than everyone else. The better you understand the constraints of the company and what you are working with, the better equipped you are to make the right decision when it comes to negotiating your salary.

Do Not Negotiate for the Wrong Reasons

Some new hires think they have to negotiate their salary, that it is expected. That is not necessarily true. If your new employer offers you a good deal, you can take it. There is no need to automatically negotiate. You may end up losing more than you gain by arguing with the company before you even start your new position. You want to choose to negotiate at the right time in order to earn the salary you deserve but also make a good impression so you can negotiate later on after you have been employed for some time.