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Salary Negotiation Secrets Revealed!

Before you go into the interview, it is important to know what salary you want, what you need to live on, and what you will be prepared to accept. Spend some time working out your budget. Remember to factor into your calculations the remuneration you'll need in the future.

Decide what types of benefits are important to you. A compensation package might include: flexible work schedule, option to work at home, relocation expenses, pension and insurance plans, company car, holidays, stock options, profit-sharing, training opportunities, etc. By evaluating these beforehand, you can concentrate on bargaining in the negotiation process.

It is important to know your market value. You can do this by consulting professional associations, job advertisements, business and trade periodicals, employment agencies, executive search companies, career-related websites, and on-line salary surveys.

Since salaries often vary according to location, you should research comparable positions at similar companies in your geographical area. Investigate your prospective employer's track record for making offers.

To strengthen your negotiating position, try to ascertain how urgently the company needs to fill the post. It also helps if you have another offer to consider.

When completing application forms, say that your salary requirements are "negotiable" or "competitive." Don't state a specific figure on your resume.

Don't be the first to mention salary during the job interview. Let the employer introduce salary first. If the interviewer insists on a specific figure, ask for details of the company's customary salary range for that type of position. Stress that you are confident you will be able to arrive at a mutually agreeable sum.

Do not negotiate a salary until you receive a job offer. By making the offer, the company is indicating that they consider you to be a valuable asset, thus putting you in much stronger bargaining position. When asked at this stage to express your salary requirements, be as non-specific as possible. Instead of an exact amount, state a range and indicate that you are willing to negotiate.

Use timing to establish your value. Don't be too quick to accept the employer's first offer.

If the offer is unacceptable, go back to talking about the responsibilities and importance of the job. Stress how keen you are to work for the company and how much you feel you can contribute. Maintain a calm, friendly, and professional demeanour at all times.

Anticipate objections and be prepared to overcome them. Assess the company's needs beforehand and justify your salary request by showing them how they will benefit from your skills, knowledge, and experience.

Be creative in suggesting salary options. If the company is not in a position to offer a higher salary, concentrate on negotiating parallel benefits such as performance bonuses, company car, profit-sharing, etc.

Remember that you are negotiating your relationship with your prospective employer. It should be a collaborative process. Both parties will benefit from a successful outcome. Avoid conflict. Be firm but friendly in asserting your rights.

If you are satisfied with the offer you receive, try to resist the urge to accept on the spot. Instead, express your enthusiasm about the prospects of joining the company and ask for a little time to consider the offer.

When evaluating the offer, consider all the relevant factors, e.g. salary, benefits, responsibilities, location, environment, and promotional prospects.

Once you have accepted the job offer and agreed on the salary and benefits, ask for a letter of confirmation.

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About the Author

Gerard McLoughlin, Director of Assignments Plus Communications, has contributed career-related articles to hundreds of recruitment companies, websites and publications throughout the world, including: USA Today,,,,, and


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