How To Negotiate Your Salary Like a Pro

Negotiate Salary

You’ve read our other blog posts and are prepared to have a great interview.  You nail the interview and are made a  job offer.  You should take advantage of the timing to negotiate a higher salary.  Your next opportunity may not be for a long time and you could be leaving a lot of money on the table.  This article shares some professional advice for how to best approach the situation.  Also read “The Careful Art of Negotiating Your First Salary”.

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You got the job! But the salary stinks. Sound familiar?

Negotiating your salary can be challenging, but it’s especially important for young professionals. Your first 10 years in the work force will likely determine your earnings for your entire life, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

 Here’s how to ask a potential employer for the money you want.
1. Stop worrying

Talking about money with a future boss can be nerve-wracking. That could be why nearly half of Americans don’t negotiate their salaries, according to a survey by CareerBuilder.

“A lot of people are just happy to have a job offer in an uncertain job market and don’t want to rock the boat,” explains Angela Smith, the founder of career coaching firm Loft Consulting.

It can help to put the conversation in perspective.

“I’ve never heard of a hiring manager who has retracted an offer because a candidate wanted to negotiate a salary,” Smith says.

Many employers actually offer slightly less than they can afford to pay because they expect candidates to negotiate, adds career coach Maggie Mistal.

2. Schedule a meeting

Experts generally recommend discussing salary after you’ve been handed a written offer.

“After they offer you the job, they’re not thinking of anyone else but you,” explains career coach Robert Hellmann of Robert Hellmann Career Consulting. “Suddenly you have all the leverage.”

Hellmann suggests reviewing the offer with your prospective manager a few days after receiving it. This way, you have the opportunity to devise a game plan.

3. Do your research

There’s a time and place for feelings, and the negotiating table isn’t one of them.

Take those few days before meeting with your prospective manager to research the job and determine your value based on facts, says Hellmann.

Career sites like Glassdoor and PayScale can help you figure out the salary range for the position based on your industry and geographic location, adds Smith. You might also weigh your education and experience level when determining your desired figure.

Entrepreneur Molly Hayward once asked a prospective manager for 50% more than she was offered — and got it.

“There’s no black and white answer” when it comes to how much more you should ask for, says Hayward, who is now the founder and CEO of organic tampon company Cora. Still, Hayward says young professionals should only ask for what is reasonable.

Once you know your market value, you can decide whether the salary you’ve been offered is fair. Be sure to examine the entire offer, including any bonuses and 401K benefits, says Hellmann.

If you’re not sure whether the benefits package you’re offered is fair, Mistal recommends talking to employees at the company to get details about common packages.

4. Be a team player

When making the case for a higher salary, remember to be sensitive and thank the employer for offering you the job.

“You don’t want to come across as entitled” explains Mistal. You might also approach the conversation as a team effort.

“You always want to try to make it about we want, not about what I want,” says Hellman. Ask, “What can we do to bridge this gap?”

If a hiring manager asks how much you made at your old job, you may not need to answer.

New York, Massachusetts and Philadelphia have all passed laws barring employers from asking about an applicant’s salary history. More than 20 states are considering similar legislation.

These laws are designed to help combat the gender pay gap by giving applicants the chance to reset their salaries at a new job.

Experts also recommend negotiating terms in addition to salary, such as stock options or the ability to work from home.

“This way, if you don’t get one thing, there are other levers you can pull to improve the overall offer,” Smith explains.

5. Be prepared to back down

You made a case based on facts, but your prospective boss just wouldn’t budge. Now what?

“If you’re being offered far below industry standards, make a decision about whether you’re willing to take the cut in pay [in exchange] for a good experience,” says Smith.

You could also ask for a salary review in six months, says Mistal.

If you do decide to walk away, be careful not to burn a bridge with the employer.

“You may be able to help each other down the road,” says Hellmann.


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The Careful Art of Negotiating Your First Salary

Professional resumes writing services will help you negotiate your salary

We want to see all our clients succeed in business and to get paid what they are worth for the hard work and dedication they put into their education, training, and careers.  On top of offering resume writing services we strive to provide great articles on our blog regarding many aspects of career development, hiring, interviewing, etc. for your reference.  This is a great little article on negotiating salary as someone entering the job market out of school.  A lot of people take a job offer and salary at face value but don’t be afraid to ask for something different, what’s the worst that can happen, right?


Salary negotiation is always challenging, but it’s especially intimidating for young grads starting their careers. Any how-to on salary negotiation will advise you to use your skills and experience as leverage. So, how do you make a strong case for yourself when you don’t have a lot of ammunition?

First of all – do negotiate. Some studies have shown that negotiating a few-thousand dollars more can add up to one million more in total earnings over the course of your career. Here’s my advice for young job-seekers on keeping their negotiation tactics professional, friendly, data-driven, and timely when they receive their first offer.


  1. Be enthusiastic. Even if the offer is lower than you expected, an offer is an offer. Always be gracious and express excitement before you begin to discuss details.
  2. Unless it’s the most perfect offer ever, don’t feel the need to accept (or negotiate) right away. Even if pushed to accept, ask to review the offer in writing if you’d like more time. It’s important to be able to weigh your options and do some research on how the offer stacks up. That being said, don’t take too much time. They have a job they need to fill.
  3. Do use the offer call (or email) to ask about benefits in addition to salary. When you’re doing your research after the call, make sure you know a typical salary benefits range. A full-time, but hourly gig might not come with benefits, whereas some of the best companies provide benefits that end up being worth 50% of your salary. Consider your entire package.
  4. Speaking of the whole package – look at vacation time, moving allowance, and signing bonus. It’s not typical for entry-level employees to be offered all of these, but it’s important to know if any are not included, as you may be able to negotiate these into your offer. Plus, moving bonuses are definitely worth bringing up if you’re moving to a new city.
  5. Be prompt. Once you’ve researched, respond quickly. Email is your friend. It allows you to collect your thoughts, craft ideal responses and put your best foot forward during the negotiation.
  6. Lead with enthusiasm. You’re still interested in the job and want to make it work. Then, bring up what you want to discuss.
    • If you’re going to ask for something, be prepared to explain what you want, why you want it, and if possible, how it will benefit the company. Example: “I’d like to start on X instead of the Y as I would benefit from some extra moving time and then be able to start with all of my energy focused on learning the job.”
    • If you’re going to ask for more money, don’t assume that saying their offer is lower than the average will work. Compliment your research with an explanation of what you want and why. Take the PayScale Salary Survey for detailed insight into how this offer compares to similar ones. This will allow you to justify your rationale for a higher salary. It is important to be data driven when negotiating.
    • Be thoughtful about what you ask. I’ve seen someone who was offered a $50,000 salary ask for $60,000. That’s a 20 percent increase. When you consider that a typical yearly increase is between two and three percent, and promotions are typically are usually between eight and 12 percent, that person essentially asked for the equivalent of two promotions. (Remember, be data driven!) Be ambitious, but realistic about what you ask for, and always back up your request with data about the company, the job title and the role’s responsibilities – not second-hand knowledge you’ve heard from friends or family.
    • Accept or Decline. At some point, you’re going to either have to accept or decline. Show either positive enthusiasm or that you’re grateful for the offer. If it’s not going to work for you, it’s not going to work for you. Bow out with grace. You don’t want to close off an opportunity for them to come back with another offer.

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