Salary Negotiation: Tips and Tricks

A number of studies have shown that job seekers—particularly those new to the job search process—choose not to negotiate salary when a job offer is made to them. In the current job search climate, where a job search can end up taking months, this is not surprising. The instinct would be to jump at the first job offer made to you. In addition, many new job seekers and career changers are simply unfamiliar with the tactics used in salary negotiation. Salary negotiation is an unspoken option, one not everyone knows about. However, knowing and negotiating for your value in the work place is a tactic which, when used effectively, can lead to higher pay and assurance of the suitability of a workplace.

So how can a job searcher negotiate effectively? There are lots of articles out there lining up do’s and don’ts, tactics, and explanations. I have picked out some of the best tips and tricks and included them below to help you be more prepared for your next job offer or pay raise request!

  • Do your research. The internet provides a large number of excellent resources for researching salary and compensation based on industry, location, job title, education level, etc. Use different resources to identify what compensation is average for someone with your background and experience. Having this information not only helps you negotiate salary, but it also helps identify jobs that are most suitable to your background and needs. Career Solutions Group can help you find resources for research into company and position background.
  • Don’t reveal a number. Revealing salary information too early in the process can hurt you in the long run—it might mean that you are offered a lower salary, comparable with past pay, because the company believes you’ll take it. If you can, hold off on providing a concrete number as far as what you would “like” to be paid. If it’s absolutely necessary, remember to use the research you’ve done and provide the salary range comparable to the position and your experience.
  • Examine other forms of compensation. Occasionally in preparing a counteroffer of employment, people focus on pay without thinking of other forms of compensation like insurance, stock options, paid leave, and vacation time. When preparing a counteroffer, keep these other forms of compensation in mind. If a company is immoveable on salary, they might be more willing to provide more paid leave or better stock options. Don’t ask for changes to all these elements: that can come across as greedy rather than reasonable. Instead, pick one or two important ones and focus on modifying those.
  • Be rational. Above all, keep salary negotiation a rational, emotionless process. Use reason and facts to back up your request for higher pay, and don’t bring up “needs” or “wants.” Even if pay is an emotional subject for you, you don’t want to make it one for your potential boss. Keep the conversation rational, and the other person will be much more likely to listen and be supportive. If salary negotiations don’t end up working out, remember to be courteous in declining the offer—it’s a bad idea to burn bridges in business.

If you’re looking to make a career transition and would like professional assistance, email us at We offer free initial consultations with our certified career counselors, and we’ve helped hundreds of job seekers make successful transitions. If you’d like to learn more about our interview support services, click here.

By: Julia Pillard, Career Solutions Group