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Newsletter Archives

Reality Check
What Gets You to Your New Job?

Dress to Impress
Dressing for Interview Success

Are You Ready . . .
For Your Job Winning Job Search?

Preparation for the Interview
Toughest Interview Questions

Resume Presentation
Tips to Look Good and Stand Out

Reinventing Your Workself
When Circumstances Change

Pep Yourself Up for the Interview
Getting Psyched for the Big Opportunity

Make the Most of the Interview
Interview Questions for You to Ask

Your Job Search Is Your New Job
Spending 8 Hours a Day on Your Job Search

Frequent Resume Missteps
What Does Your Resume Say About You?

Employment Testing & Assessments
How Do They Enhance the Interview Process?

Casual Interview Discussions & Informal Questions
Stay Conscious and Interview Focused

Handling Job Search Rejection
Another Networking Opportunity

Stay Positive During Your Job Search
“Best Practice” Tips for Remaining Optimistic

Salary Negotiations
Be Prepared, Positive and Open

Reference Checks
Detailed Assessments Are Now the Norm

Writing Thank You's
Make a Noteworthy Impression

Cover Letters
Make a Good First Impression

Working with Recruiters
What Recruiters Want You to Know

Common Resume Mistakes
Is Your Resume Promoting Your Talents?

Know the Company
Do Your Homework

Salary Negotiations

Be Prepared, Positive and Open

In every job offer, there comes a time when the employer puts a proposal of salary on the table. Before the negotiations begin and the offer is made, do your research. Know the salary you desire, the salary you will consider, and what salary will make you walk away.

Most candidates fear the moment when the company names the salary in an offer of hire. In this month's newsletter, we will explore successful salary negotiations.

Preparation for Salary Negotiations

Before going into salary negotiations, ask yourself the following questions to evaluate your strengths:

To get inside the employer's head, consider the following:

Negotiation Tips

Still the most seasoned executives — even those who have negotiated billion-dollar deals — freeze when negotiating their own salary.

Prior to negotiating your next salary it is good to know the following:

Recruiters Will Ask and Verify Your Salary

Some employers and recruiters will ask you to name your past salary and perks. Before answering this question you should decide your salary strategy. Know that your past salaries will be verified by even the smallest employers, so tell the truth. Here are some tips and good approaches.

"My last salary was $50,000, with company paid insurance benefits and a 20% bonus."

"My last salary was $50,000, with company paid insurance benefits and a 20% bonus. I am sure when we get to the point of salary negotiation, we can come up with a mutually agreeable salary."

"My last salary was $50,000, with company paid insurance benefits and a 20% bonus. Since I achieved my MBA, I am looking to make a base of $65,000 or more."

"I am happy to review my past salaries with you. What is the position paying?"

Do Your Research. Be Prepared to Make the Research Available.

A good and impressive way to support your salary request is to provide written research on competitive salaries. Websites like Salary.com, 6-FigureJobs.com and MonsterMoving.com have great salary comparables, including competitive and demographic information.

Wear Your Salary Range

Dress for your salary range by "dressing the part," and let your body language speak to your professionalism. Even in the most casual workplaces, a professional interview dress code is still the norm. These outer trimmings have an influence on how valuable you appear to your potential employer.

Know Your Hierarchical Fit

While negotiating your employment arrangements, be sure to nail down the reporting structure for your new job. Once you are on board, you don't want any surprises about where you fit into the hierarchy.

Figure Out Your Negotiation Psychology

Having a few job offers on the table at the same time can increase your bargaining confidence. Know what salary you want and the minimum salary you will take. Also know when to walk away from the negotiation. Be creative. Perhaps a higher salary is not available to an employee in the organization, but they may be interested in hiring you as an independent consultant at a higher rate and then, after a period of time, be able to hire you at that rate adding company paid benefits.

Talking Money

When negotiating salaries, there are some issues to consider.

Ensure the Employer States the Salary First

Get the employer to state a salary range before you mention yours. It's a well-known poker maxim that the first player to tip his hand is likely to lose.

Take Time to Consider the Offer

Don't say "yes" or "no" to the offer until you have had time to consider the proposal. It is a good idea to take some time to mull over the offer prior to giving your answer.

"The position sounds fascinating and I believe that I have the skills to really make a difference in your company. I would like time to make a good decision about your offer. Could we meet tomorrow to talk more?"

Consider the Whole Package

Consider all the elements of your compensation package (insurance, retirement plan, vacation, holidays and all that good stuff) before settling on a salary.

Saying Yes - Get the Offer in Writing

When all is agreed upon, get the offer in writing. After all, if an issue comes up later, the individual who made the offer may forget the promises or may be long gone from the company. If your negotiated points are in writing (either a letter of agreement or an employment contract), you should not have a problem when you present the offer you accepted to anyone who questions the terms.

Even though the letter seems simple and straightforward, it might warrant a quick review by an employment attorney just to make sure it protects you sufficiently. Here is what a letter of agreement should contain:

Be sure that your letter of agreement is signed by someone high enough in the organization to authorize your agreed-upon points, especially if any of those items go against standard company policy.


In most salary negotiations, the time comes when the other side puts an offer on the table. At that point, the ball is in your court. Unless you want to accept the initial offer or walk away, you have to make a counteroffer.

Here is some practical advice that should help you develop counteroffers and achieve your goals.

Get Prepared

Before the negotiation begins, take the time to research standard compensation for the position. Establish a reasonable range for salary, a typical benefits package and common additional compensation (e.g., stock options, annual bonus, performance bonus). This work makes it possible for you to know the ballpark in which any satisfactory agreement may be made.

Then, from those general points, determine the most favorable compensation package for you. You should be able to justify this package given the field in which you work (since compensation differs across industries) and your experience, expertise and credentials.

Be Certain You Have Your Facts Straight

Many negotiators make the mistake of putting out an arbitrary position as their counteroffer, then having to retreat from it because they cannot justify their figures or because they face a hostile reaction. Avoid this pitfall by selecting a reasonable and appropriate counteroffer — one based on the data you gathered in your research — and staying there until the other side offers a persuasive reason for you to move.

Be Wise - Keep the Big Picture in Mind

Keep the big picture in mind. Your goal in negotiation is to reach an agreement that satisfies your interests, not to win a battle between positions. If your counteroffer is not moving you closer to an agreement, do not hunker down and defend it to a bitter end. Make sure your salary figure is supported by data. Use your energy to generate solutions, not to fight battles.

Negotiation is all about exchanging ideas, possible solutions and information. Offers and counteroffers are the typical steps in this dance. When you counteroffer, do so based on thorough preparation and thinking. If you do, you will find yourself much more effective and relaxed.

"Use" the Recruiter

If you were introduced to a company by a recruiter, let the recruiter do the negotiations for you. (Of course you are providing them with your needs.) The recruiter can "hunker down" with your salary wants and work towards a win-win situation allowing the major salary negotiation combat to occur from the mouth of the recruiter and not you. Then, when you arrive on the doorstep of your new job, this eliminates any negativity between you and the negotiator.

In Summary . . .

Take your time to be sure you are making the right decision with regards to your long-term and short-term goals. Maybe there is a way to compromise on one of your points and then compensate with another request.

Things might not fall into place immediately in your bargaining efforts; the employer may not readily agree to all your requests. Instead of signing a deal right away, they may make a counter-offer. If this happens, take some more time; assess the situation, then return to the bargaining table with your response.

Once you've reached the time of salary negotiations, know that the employer wants you to join their team. You should work towards the same goal.


We wish you great success in your job search!

1StopResume.com utilizes several sources to bring you revolutionary and fundamental job search wisdom. While we would like to acknowledge individually those websites, books and articles, authors, and masters, this list would be extensive. We thank these sources for their contributions.