When it comes to getting paid what you’re worth, it’s not just about your job skills. It’s about how well you negotiate at the table. Confidence aside, here are 3 concrete tips for helping you negotiate a salary that’s worthy of your skills.
Give Yourself a Raise if You Deserve It.
You’ve heard the old adage, “the first person who gives a number loses”, right? Well…wrong. The better negotiator always wins! If your negotiating skills aren’t on point, there’s no reason for you to start the numbers game. Remember that employers always negotiate down, so be prepared to initially ask for 10-20% higher than the salary you’re willing to accept. Do your homework so you know what that 10-20% equates to in dollars. If the company asks what your number is, first tell them you’re negotiable. However, don’t be surprised if they press for a number and when that happens, give your number. The negotiation has just started.
Always back your number(s) up with proof that you’re worth the money. Employers hire problem solvers; show concrete examples of how you can solve their problems.
Be Broadly and Deeply Informed About Salary Standards for Your Position and Responsibilities.
Research, research, research salary standards for similar experience and responsibilities in the same or similar industry. There are sites that even break this information down to the zip code. You need solid information to back up your salary expectations. When providing comparable data, using statistics and examples from their particular industry or something similar gives you more credibility.
If You (Genuinely!) Have Multiple Offers, Let Them Know.
One of the strongest negotiation positions is to have multiple offers on the table. This not only increases your perceived worth to the company, it can potentially open up more negotiating room. Do this with caution. If you give the impression you’re leaning towards the other offer, the company may tell you to accept it, and withdraw their offer. (That’s why you only want to mention the other offer at the negotiation stage – not before.)
When you’re discussing (briefly) the other offer, mention that the offer is for a similar position, so that it’s considered and apples-to-apples comparison. If there is no other offer, DON’T fabricate one!
Bonus Tip: When It Comes to Accepting a Position, Take Your Time, But Not Too Much.
When a company extends an offer, it’s fine to ask for a little time. Tell them you’d like 48 hours to thoroughly review through their offer and any information about the position, company and benefits that they’ve sent to you. If you ARE waiting for another offer, this gives you time to check in with that company and let them know that you’re considering the first offer. However, I don’t recommend more than 48 hours. Trust me, they already know who the backup candidate is, should you decline. If you ask for more than two business days, they could tell you that they have someone who is already waiting to hit the ground running. If you know before the 48 hours are up that you’d like to take this job, let them know right away. Don’t wait until the countdown ticks to zero.
The bottom line: The key to negotiating is to know your worth, and be confident in your ability to fight for it! For personal negotiations coaching, contact ResuMAYDAY at 630-901-3595.