Salary negotiation tips

When economic times get tough, many candidates mistakenly believe that negotiating a higher starting salary is out of the question.

This misconception and job seekers’ unwillingness to negotiate can end up costing them even after the economy recovers, says Dick Gaither, co-author of the recently released book, Next-Day Job Interview.

“In today’s economy, passive acceptance can cost us more than we can afford to lose,” he writes. “As a new employee, you should try for a higher starting salary, because it is a gift that keeps on giving. All future raises are tied to that starting salary.”

Next-Day Job Interview offers several strategies for enhancing a job offer, including:

  • Don’t assume pay and benefits aren’t negotiable. More than 80 percent of employers expect some form of negotiation for pay, benefits, perks, work schedules, work locations and so on.
  • Do know your worth. Walking into an interview and not knowing what the high, low and average salary and compensation levels are for a person with your skills, experience and education is like gambling in Vegas without knowing the rules: You’ll always lose.
  • Don’t negotiate for just more money. Sometimes a company can’t give you more money. In that case, negotiate for things that translate into money or make your life easier, such as extra vacation time, educational reimbursements or travel allowances.
  • Do time the negotiation right. Negotiating before you’ve found out enough about the job and before the interviewer knows your real value won’t work. Delay, delay, delay.
  • Don’t give up too quickly. Salespeople know that the first no is just the start of the sale. Patience and persistence are the paths to success.
  • Do know how to support your request for higher pay. Present concrete and measurable examples of how you will increase your value by doing more than just your job, making the company money, saving the company money and time, or solving problems on the job.
  • Don’t say yes too quickly. The longer that an interviewer talks to you, the more likely you’ll be to negotiate better compensation.
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