How to Plan
Salary Negotiations

Successful salary negotiations involve collecting all the relevant information, planning your negotiation strategy, considering various alternatives and then communicating clearly and specifically with the employer in negotiation towards your goal.

The first step in  salary negotiation is to do your homework and know what you are worth in the marketplace before you begin your job offer negotiation.

Do your research thoroughly as your greatest tool in negotiating is information. Planning your negotiations is all about having the right data available.

Begin negotiations

Find out what other organizations in your field pay for your skills by taking these simple steps.

1. Research your competitive market value

It is much easier to persuade someone to agree with your salary request if the proposal is firmly based on objective criteria, such as what people with similar experience and skills are currently earning.

There are a number of ways of doing this research. You can research salaries on the internet for particular jobs and geographical regions. These free sites can help you with the information you need for your salary negotiations.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of salaries in individual occupations at www.bls.gov
  • This site has a salary calculator you can use www.salaryexpert.com
  • Look for similar job postings in your area on the internet and see what they are paying. Use the Finding Jobs Online article to help you with this.

2. Get all the information you need

You can use the following resources to get more salary information.

  • Ask other people in your field or profession, who work in a similar job at another company. This provides complete and up-to-date information.
  • Teachers and professors who know what their graduates earn. This is especially useful for entry-level jobs.
  • Printed material such as the Occupational Outlook Handbook provide salary surveys. You can usually find a copy at your local library.
  • Ask your local Career Services Offices, recruiters, employment agencies
  • Use social media including LinkedIn and Facebook 

3. Consider your information in the current context

Consider the salary information you have gathered in the context of these business climate factors.

  • the overall state of the economy and the relevant industry including demand for these skills
  • the general employment rate for these skills

4. Determine your company-value

This is what you are worth to this specific employer. Consider the following.

  • How easy is it for this company to find someone with my skills
  • What is the current salary range for other company employees with similar skills
  • How will I contribute to the profitability of the company
  • How urgently does the company need to fill this position
  • How many candidates did they interview for this position

Establishing your market-value and company-value will give you the information you need to develop an effective negotiation strategy.

What salary do you need to support your lifestyle? Use the expenses calculator to work out how much money you need to live on and how much you would like to earn to determine your acceptable salary range.

Evaluate the entire compensation package. Find out how to put a dollar value to company benefits and other elements of the job offer.  Decide which elements can be negotiated when planning your negotiation strategy.

Salary Negotiations Tips

Salary Negotiation Letter

Job Interviews > Negotiating Salary > Determine your Worth



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