Maximizing Your Future Job’s Salary Offer: A Guide to Effective Salary Negotiation

When you get the job that you wanted and applied for, it is a very exciting time in your career.

After the excitement has settled, it is often time to negotiate your salary.

You may feel more anxious or stressed if you negotiate. Or you may decide to accept the first offer that you receive, for fear of losing the job.

But that’s a mistake.

Negotiate your salary because you may be leaving thousands on the table if you don’t speak up.

This can slow down your timeline if you have big financial goals, or retirement plans.

I will cover many topics below, including how to negotiate a salary and improve your counter-offer skills so you can get what’s rightfully yours.

Table of Contents
You Can Counter Your Salary Offer
How to Negotiate a Salary Offer
What are the possible locations for salary negotiations?
Negotiating your salary can backfire
You Can Counter Your Salary Offer
The one question that I hate in job interviews is “How much money did/does your last job pay?”

You could set yourself up to receive a lower offer if you answer this question.

It’s understandable why recruiters or employers want to know this information, but you could be caught in a trap of your own making without even realizing it. In some states, it’s illegal for companies to ask this information.

If you ask me, I will try to answer this question in one of two ways:

My current/previous employers consider salary information confidential …”
“Based on my research and experience of similar positions, I am currently looking for something within this range ….”
“My previous salary fell below market value. Based on my research and experience I am seeking a salary within this range ….”
I don’t believe that my current salary matters, but will share it with you after you tell me the salary range and level for this position …”
Most of the time, the hiring manager will accept the answer given and move on.

You may not want to work at a company that is aggressive or pushy when it comes to asking about your salary expectations.

If you’re really enthusiastic about the company you should be ready to respond regardless of whether you use the lines above.

Try a variant of this if this is your situation:

Please give your current salary (including any benefits, bonuses etc.). Then, quickly shift the conversation to where you would like your career or salary to go in this company.

Explain the number that you are looking for. Focus on your skills, market value and how you want to grow in the company.

You’ve received a salary offer, now what?
You should be ready to make a counter-offer, possibly ask for more money and begin negotiating.

Even if you think the offer is good, it’s still worth considering before accepting.

Why should you negotiate your salary offer at all?

In a CareerBuilder survey, 53% of employers said they were willing to negotiate salary on initial job offers. 52% also stated that they offer lower salaries than they would be willing to pay when first extending a job offer.

It’s time to negotiate your salary!

Salary Negotiation
How to Negotiate a Salary Offer
How do I negotiate my salary? This can be nerve-wracking and intimidating, but you don’t have to let it be.

If the offer you receive is good, and it matches your needs (and more), then there’s no need to fight back. It’s never a good idea to be greedy in order to try and get more.

You have options if you receive an offer below or not in line with your expectations.

Here are some tips and strategies to help you prepare for your next job.

  1. Step back from the offer
    Many people rush to make a choice when they receive a job offer and salary. Before you do anything, take a moment to think about the offer.

Take a few minutes to clear your head, and then think about the offer and its implications for your career.

The best thing to do is politely thank the hiring manager and ask for some time to consider the offer. I suggest no more than two or three working days.

This gives you the time to prepare for salary negotiations. Never be afraid to counteroffer. However, being prepared can make all the different in how successful you are.

  1. What is your market salary?
    You should always be aware of your market value and salary when you are searching for a job or preparing yourself for an interview. Research the national averages, and also the local averages.

You will be able to determine the type of offer that you should receive and support your salary negotiation with evidence.

You can find out what your experience, skills and position are worth by using sites like Glassdoor or Payscale.

  1. Your previous success can help you to be prepared.
    You will also need to demonstrate your worth when you negotiate your salary.

You need to demonstrate your achievements and successes, in addition to what the market may pay for this position.

You can also list any steps you are taking to improve your skills, such as a course, an online certification or a workshop. ).

It’s important to not come across as arrogant or boastful, but you can use this opportunity to show why you deserve a higher salary. Be sure to have solid data and achievements that support your request.

  1. Ask questions
    Ask questions about compensation when you receive an offer. You will have all the necessary information to make an informed decision, or even for your counter-offer.

What to ask in the meantime?

Does this only include the base salary?
When do you need to have a response?
Is there an introductory bonus? Is there a bonus for the entire year?
How often do I get my performance reviewed for possible pay increases?
What other benefits are you offering? Like equity, profit sharing, health savings, education reimbursements, etc.
To avoid a lot of back-and-forth (which is annoying), try to get all your questions in one email or in person. Ask questions, but don’t be afraid to do so!

  1. Do not beg or push.
    Many job candidates don’t know that their tone and approach can be a turn-off during negotiations.

During this process you will never beg for money. Don’t berate yourself about debt or your finances.

This tactic is not effective and only makes you look desperate. Never bring up your financial stress or struggles in salary negotiations, even if they are real.

It is also important to avoid being pushy or demanding. No matter how the hiring manager is expressing himself, maintain a confident, positive attitude. Keep the mood light, even if you don’t get exactly what you want. Work towards a compromise.

  1. Other offers can be leveraged
    It might seem controversial but if you approach it without being smug, this can work. You are likely to be interviewed by multiple companies when you are looking for a job.

You can take advantage of this if you get a second or third job offer.

It is important to inform each employer that you are interested in a job that you’ve received.

Do not give the other salary offers, as this will only encourage the hiring manager to make better offers.

Never use threats or intimidation to try and get someone to accept your offer. It will backfire.

This is a tactic that I haven’t tried, but which I believe can be very effective and show how much in demand you are as a professional.

  1. Think beyond the salary
    Negotiating the salary is important but you should also consider other aspects of the job. They are just as important.

What else is included with the new job, besides a little more money? What about the flexibility of the job, the location, the health benefits, and the 401k? Or do they offer training opportunities as well?

Negotiate on all pieces of the total compensation package. Ask for more starting vacation time, equity (if the company offers stock options), a new job title, or extra equity.

If they already offer many perks, it might be worth accepting the job without trying to negotiate more money. Remember that most aspects of a potential new job can be negotiated.

  1. Be ready to walk away
    It doesn’t always matter how you say or do things. Some companies and hiring managers have strict budgets or benefit guidelines where there is no room for negotiation.

Job hunting is a frustrating experience. You can either accept the salary or leave the job. You will have to decide based on your financial and job goals.

If you’re considering accepting the offer, make sure to have a compensation evaluation in place for at least six months.

It is not guaranteed that the company will comply, but it’s worth trying to negotiate if you still need the job and are excited about the role despite the fact that the salary negotiations haven’t moved.

Want to learn more about how you can make more money at work?
What are the best tips to increase your salary?
How to Get the money you deserve by asking for a raise

Where Could Salary Negotiations Happen?
You need to know the location of these negotiations.

These discussions can happen sooner than you expect in three areas. It is important to prepare for all scenarios. Each company will handle this in a different way.

These tips are not exclusive and may overlap, but they should help you to negotiate in the various scenarios that you could face.

Emailing a salary offer to negotiate
Email is a common way to negotiate salary. After a series interviews, you may receive a job offer via email.

It’s common, whether you like it or not.

You want to make the process of negotiating the salary offer as simple as possible for your hiring manager when you receive the email offer.

Respond politely and courteously
Show your appreciation and enthusiasm by using words
You can ask any questions about the offer
Check spelling and grammar
What compensation are you seeking and why do you deserve it?
Please double-check spelling and grammar before sending.
Negotiating salary over the phone or face-to-face
I would suggest scheduling a phone call if it seems like there will be a lot of back and forth. It’s better to schedule a phone call even if you don’t have that.

Talking instead of emailing can help to avoid miscommunications and simplify the conversation.

In person or over the phone, keep your conversation cordial and polite.

Also, it’s important to have a collaborative mindset. Negotiation is the goal, not to be demanding or giving ultimatums. If this is how you start these conversations, your working relationship won’t be very good.

Avoid using words like “I want” or “I need”. These are common phrases but can have a negative impact on your counter-offer.

These tips are also useful for in-person interviews, as you might be asked to return for a meeting or offered the position during an interview.

Can Negotiating your Salary Backfire?
Many people are afraid of negotiating a salary because they fear it will backfire. The offer could be withdrawn from you. This could occur if you’re too aggressive, or if the company feels that the process is complicated.

You have to get rid of that fear, and understand that employers expect you to come back with a counter-offer. There is nothing wrong if you do so if your tone remains respectful and are prepared.

It is possible that your salary range may be set by executive leaders based on budgets of the company. They might not have the money to pay you more.

Your salary offer negotiations can be slowed down if you drag them out too long. This could lead to frustration on both sides. This is not a good way to begin a possible working relationship.

Negotiating a salary can backfire in a few other ways:
Negotiating before the offer has been made
Negotiating after you have accepted the job
Bring in personal circumstances in order to obtain more money
It’s not a good idea to use other offers or threats as a way of gaining attention.
If you take the steps and follow the tips above, you will be on the right track to getting the best out of your new job.

You can be nervous but the more confident and prepared you are the better off your salary negotiation will be.

What do you say when you receive a low-paying job offer?
Here’s what to do if your salary is low:

Step back and then come back to the offer
Ask for some time to consider the offer (between 2 and 3 days).
Consider the value of the whole benefits package
Negotiate salary by preparing your research and experience
Negotiate benefits and perks as well
You can walk away if you have to.


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