You have finally landed your dream job, but now you have to negotiate your salary offer. Initially, you have to wait until after the employer falls in love with you and offers the job. At this point, many people are afraid that the hiring manager will remove the job offer if you try to negotiate. In reality, this rarely happens. Negotiating the salary can help you achieve a higher pay rate and more benefits.
Make Sure They Understand Why You Deserve It
Before you negotiate your salary, you should make sure that the hiring manager likes you. The manager needs to understand what you have to offer the company. Instead of just telling them what you want, you have to justify it. You cannot just tell them that you deserve more. You have to show through your work experience, education or results that you are actually worth it.
Do Not Make the First Offer
Unless there is no way around it, you should avoid starting the negotiations. If the hiring manager asks what your requirements are, tell them that you are open to ideas depending on the entire compensation package, salary and position. You could also say that you want to know more about the responsibilities of the position before you negotiate your salary. When it comes to any type of haggling, the person who starts negotiations first is generally in a weaker position.
Remember: There Are Times When You Should Not Negotiate
If you are just starting out in an entry-level job, then you probably should not negotiate the salary too much. You have to have something to offer the company before you can get a higher pay rate. Entry-level jobs can hire just about anyone, so the employer will move on to someone else if you demand a higher wage. In addition, you should avoid negotiating when the advertised rate is significantly lower than what you want. The company can only raise their salaries so much, so skip out on jobs that pay significantly less than what you need.
Prepare for Tough Questions
Companies generally do not want to pay more than they have to. When you negotiate your salary offer, be prepared for tough questions. The hiring manager will want to know if you have other offers and if their company is your top choice. You should also be aware of the fair market pay for the position. If they are asking less than the median salary, then you certainly have room to negotiate. You have to be careful though. When faced with tough questions, some applicants try hard to please the hiring manager. Before long, they end up exposing their weaknesses or losing leverage. Answer the questions honestly, but avoid ruining your appeal as a candidate.
Consider the Benefits
At many companies, a salary is only a part of the package. Employee benefits, retirement accounts, bonuses and other perks can make your compensation package more appealing. If the employer cannot negotiate on the salary, there are always other ways that you can improve your compensation package.
There can be such a thing as negotiating too much. If you are ambivalent about the job, you can walk away from the table and possibly get a better offer. When you really need the position, it pays to be a bit more cautious in your negotiations.