Tips from a Recruiter: How to Negotiate Your Salary

Tips from a Recruiter: How to Negotiate Your Salary published a survey stating only 37% of people always negotiate salary and a whopping 44% have never brought up the subject during annual performance reviews. Even worse, women and older workers are far less likely to ask for more money. In fact, a survey by Mint indicated women were 1.3x more likely to say they’re happy with their current rate than men.

The #1 reason for not negotiating salary? Fear.

If you are a candidate trying to land a new job or an existing employee looking for a raise, you need to know how to negotiate your salary. Don’t leave money on the table.

  • Know Your Worth: Do you know your value in the marketplace? Researching salary statistics and other information on sites such as, Glassdoor, and Payscale can offer insight into what professionals are paid based on experience, geographic area, and more. Also, talk to professionals in your industry, and connect with recruiters from staffing firms, to get a good idea of proper salary ranges.
  • Bring a Specific Number: When you bring a precise number to the negotiation, employers assume you’ve done your research into your market value. Avoid ranges like “$60-65k” because it suggests you’re willing to concede and the person you’re negotiating with will focus on the lower number.
  • Go First: Control the negotiation by putting your number out there first. The conversation after this will be based off this starting point. Again, reference your research and focus on the market values for people like you.
  • Be Confident and Kind: Start things off on the right foot with a smile and positive attitude when you begin the conversation. Share how much you enjoy working there (or would enjoy working there if interviewing) and what you bring to the table.
  • Don’t Fear a “No”: A negotiation is a conversation to reach an agreement both sides are satisfied with, so “no” isn’t the end – it’s part of the process. It also isn’t a reflection of your skills and experience, so don’t let it affect your confidence and known value.
  • When to Walk Away: If you are a candidate, come up with a final number – the bottom line you are willing to accept before turning down the offer. If you are an existing employee, don’t threaten to leave because you didn’t get the raise. Maybe now isn’t the right time but stay positive and walk away from the conversation knowing you made your case. Hopefully, that yields a pay bump soon.

The value of your work should be reflected in the compensation you receive, but if it’s not, now you’re prepared to negotiate.


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