Estimated reading time: 3 mins
You want to start your new job on the highest salary you can negotiate, right?
After you’ve landed that job interview you’ve been looking for, you’ve been impressing them with your enthusiasm, skill set and credentials. Now they’ve called you and told you they’re interested in undergoing a second interview. In other words, they want to hire you. The only problem is that they’re offering a salary that’s a little too low for your interests. How will you be able to convince them that you’re worthy of a higher salary from the get-go without ruining your chances at this potential position? Here are some tips on how to negotiate your starting salary.
- Do your homework: Do some research to see how much other workers in the industry earn on average. Try to see what you can learn about how the company pays its employees. Keep in mind that you may need to accept a position at entry level when the company typically opts to hire from within, even if you want to jump up to management from the start. When you conduct your research, it’s important to determine the lowest salary you are willing to accept is; you don’t want to waste both your time and the company’s time if they’re not willing to meet your expectations.
- Avoid tipping your hand: Don’t mention salary when writing your cover letter, and don’t fill out the salary section when applying for a position. Your goal is to get past the screening process and become considered before salary comes into question. For one, you won’t want the company to feel your expectations are too high, and you also don’t want to accidentally lock yourself in at too low a price.
- Know your worth: Determine whether or not you have any leverage over the subject. If another company wants you to work for them, you have a little bit of power in negotiations. The trick here is to mention that you are attending an interview with another company in order to draw attention to the situation, but keep it a brief mention; overemphasizing this fact might make you look cock, overconfident or–worse–like a liar.
- Don’t mention the salary at all: Don’t look too eager to swindle the company out of a few figures. Let them be the ones to bring it up initially. Inform them that your interests lie in seeking a career that is mutually rewarding within their company, and assure them that you’re confident that you can both agree on a compensation package acceptable to all parties. Should you find yourself in a corner, tell them your salary interests and tell them you’re open to negotiation.
- Be flexible: If you’re really interested in working for this company, consider accepting the salary they offer, provided they also grant you bonuses for certain achievements throughout your career. Be prepared to specify these. Ask how often you may obtain an increase in salary. Remember, your goal is to turn this into a situation where everybody wins.
Sometimes, a company will only give you a higher salary when they actively searched for you. Other times, you might just need to emphasize that you have all of the skills the company requires. If you play your cards right, you just might get the job that you want and get a salary beyond what you ever expected. Either way, using a little marketing skill and some psychology will help you be the winner at the end of the day.