How to Successfully Negotiate Your Salary
Negotiating a salary is one of the fastest and easiest ways that you can increase your income. It simply takes a bit of courage, effort, and research.
By negotiating, you can increase your salary by 20% or more quite easily. It’s hard to get that type of income increase from any bonus or raise!
Many people are scared or timid to negotiate salary because they think it will offend the company that’s hiring them, but in nearly all cases the company you’re talking with wants to hire you so it makes sense for them to work with you to find a salary that you’re comfortable with.
By not negotiating their salary, candidates are leaving serious money on the table. You don’t want that to be you!
In this post, we share helpful tips that you can use to negotiate your salary and eventually land a higher income.
Know When You Should Negotiate Your Salary
You have the best chance of negotiating your salary when most of the following conditions are met:
- You’re very qualified
- They’re very interested in you
- You don’t need the job
- You’re not asking for that much more
The more the company wants you for the role and the more closely you match the requirements in the job description, the more leeway you have in the negotiation. And the less you need the job, the more you can gamble. Your chances of a successful negotiation obviously get better too the closer your ask is to their offer.
Not meeting all of the above criteria is a risk and it’s possible the company could not meet your expectations and/or pull the offer.
If you really need the job or it’s your dream job, you’ll have to determine whether negotiation is worth it.
Every situation is different and it’s up to you to decide whether you should proceed with a negotiation. However, in most cases there is very little downside to negotiating, so you should spend at least a little time preparing for how you will negotiate.
Also keep in mind that your starting salary makes a huge difference in how much you’ll be able to earn over the lifetime of your working career. By starting at a higher base, each raise and bonus means you’ll be earning more and more over time.
Start Building Your Case From Day 1
Candidates don’t realize that salary negotiations are won before the offer has even been extended.
Each time that money is discussed in the interview process is an opportunity to build your case for the salary you want.
If you are wondering when to negotiate your salary, the answer is FROM THE BEGINNING of the interview process!
Prepare for salary discussions by practicing and writing down what you want to say ahead of time.That way you’ll be confident and collected when you’re asked to discuss salary expectations at any point in the process.
If you prepare for the negotiation from Day 1, you’ll have a higher chance of getting an amazing first offer.
Also keep in mind that the HR department in most companies will want to save money by offering you the minimum salary possible that they believe you’ll accept. It’s important not to get offended by low offers and to recognize that a company is simply doing its job.
On the flip side, it’s important to recognize that it takes a company time and commitment to even find candidates to hire, so the fact that you can even reach a point where you have the ability to negotiate means that you do have leverage. The company wants you.
Be Someone You’d Like to Work With!
Salary negotiations can be awkward so it’s best to remain pleasant, professional, and excited about the job during a negotiation.
Candidates that come across as entitled or demanding will not fare well.
Tips for success:
- Remain positive and confident.
- Use factual language and not emotional language such as “I feel like..”
- Come to the table with market research and concrete numbers. Don’t ask for “more” ask for X more. Be specific.
- Read body language and verbal cues to know when to press forward and when to back off.
By following these tips, you can increase your chances of successfully negotiating a higher salary.
Leverage Competing Offers in Your Negotiation
A competing offer is power in salary negotiations.
If you have a competing offer, just make sure that you state the competitors in a non-obnoxious way.
Negotiations are a delicate balance where you both you and the employer need each other to succeed. You want a job and they want to fill a position with a good candidate.
While you want the scales tipped a little in your favor as the candidate, it will never be totally tipped so that you have all the power.
So be polite as possible and use the competing offer to your advantage.
If you have evaluated both offers and one offer is clearly better than the other, use the better offer to increase the other offer. This simple tactic can help you earn thousands more.
Call the hiring manager or recruiter back and say, “I heard back from X company and they offered me Y amount with Z other features. Your company is my first choice and I really want to work for you, would you be willing to match that?” Or alternatively, “would you be willing to offer X + 5k?”.
If you handle it right, be specific, and the four criteria are met, you will get it. It’s important to be confident throughout the process, too.
Don’t be too vague. Wishy-washy conversation makes you and the recruiter uncomfortable. Be clear about what you want and have the confidence to ask for exactly what you want. This makes the process for both you and the recruiter much easier and less time-consuming.
Don’t make it more awkward than it has to be. You got this.
Readers, have you ever negotiated a job offer?
Do you have any advice for millennials on negotiating salaries?