Negotiating is an art, no doubt. Done correctly it will lead to victory. Done poorly it could lead to failure. Related: Why You Should STOP Being Afraid Of Negotiating Salary When it comes to negotiating salary and other benefits in the workplace, nothing makes people more uncomfortable. He who talks money first loses, as they say. Why? Well, it’s because the minute you reference your previous salary, the other side has a distinct advantage. If you reference a desired salary, you may put yourself in a position where you downplay your worth; alternatively, if you present too high a number, you will not be considered for the opportunity. Negotiating can be done in a way that basically bulldozes your way to get the answer you want, or in a way that focuses more on collaboration, cooperation, and communication. It is advisable to take a combined approach to ensure your negotiations are fruitful and effective for you.
Job advertisements sometimes ask you to specify salary requirements when submitting your cover letter. If a job posting requires you to address salary requirements in cover letter or resume form, not all is lost. Related: 7 Examples Of Fresh New Ways To Start Your Cover Letter But, many job seekers feel uncomfortable revealing their desired salary before they've even scheduled an interview. If you're one of those people, don't worry—there are some ways to comply with the employer's request while avoiding having to immediately provide a specific answer. One technique for addressing this topic in a cover letter is to list a range of salaries you've earned throughout your career. For those who have been in the workforce for a while, it is common for this range to be fairly wide. So you could say, “ I've earned between $50,000-$75,000 in previous positions, and I would be happy to discuss salary after an interview." Another way to address the issue is to offer a ballpark figure. For instance, you could say, “My current salary is in the low six figures." Or, “My current compensation, including bonuses, is in the $80s." Remember to factor in bonuses, 401(k) matching, mileage reimbursement, and other additional forms of compensation when providing them with a number. Sometimes employers will specifically ask you what you earn in your current position. Non-employee workers (subcontractors) can easily avoid this question by stating, “As a contractor, my compensation varies from month to month." If you suspect a position for which you're applying pays less than you currently earn, you can say, “My current salary is $65,000, but I am willing to negotiate if that is out of the hiring range for this position." When asked about salary, the most important thing is to not sell yourself short. Unless the number you stipulate is significantly above what an employer is willing to pay, it shouldn't prevent you from getting an interview. In addition, providing a somewhat general answer about salary requirements can aid you in appearing flexible and willing to negotiate. This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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About the authorJessica Holbrook Hernandez, CEO of Great Resumes Fast is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter. Want to work with the best resume writer? If you would like us to personally work on your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile—and dramatically improve their response rates—then check out our professional and executive resume writing services at GreatResumesFast.com or contact us for more information if you have any questions. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert.
Negotiating can be tough, but it’s necessary in many situations. Whether you landed a new job, asked for a raise, or bought a car, you’ve likely had to negotiate at some point. QUIZ: What Kind Of Networker Are You? But what kind negotiator are YOU? Are you a negotiating pro or do your skills need a little work? Take this quiz to find out!
1. When you receive a job offer that doesn’t meet your needs, you:(a) Immediately push back and ask for more. (b) Think about it for a few days then ask for something in the middle. (c) Suck it up and accept the first offer, or decline it in hopes of finding something else.
2. When it comes to negotiating:(a) You can talk anyone into meeting your demands. (b) You’re okay, but you wish you were more assertive. (c) You don’t bother.
3. Which job is most appealing to you?(a) Lawyer (b) State representative (c) Personal assistant
4. When you ask for a raise:(a) You ask with conviction. (b) You’re direct, but you’re willing to compromise. (c) You beat around the bush.
5. The thought of negotiating makes you feel:(a) An adrenaline rush. (b) In control. (c) Nervous and unconfident.
6. Your favorite part of negotiating is:(a) When they push back. (b) When they’re willing to work with you. (c) When it’s over!
7. When negotiating salary, you initially ask for:(a) 30% more than you should. (b) 10-20% more than you should. (c) Whatever is competitive for your position.
8. Do you bother negotiating for more than just money?(a) Yes! I think about vacation days, work schedules, and titles, too. (b) Sometimes – It depends on the situation. (c) Nope.
Mostly As: You’re an aggressive negotiator.You don’t take one cent less than you think you deserve. You ask for a lot more than most people do, and you know you can get it if you really try. Good for you! However, don’t negotiate yourself out of a great job offer. Watch this video for tips on negotiating effectively without pricing yourself out of a job.
Mostly Bs: You’re a reasonable negotiator.You know what you’re worth, but you also know how to compromise. If you think you’re not getting what you deserve, you will speak up, but you’re always willing to find a solution that works for both parties. That said, you could be missing out on some valuable perks. Check out these tips on negotiating for things like vacation time, schedule flexibility, and so on!
Mostly Cs: You’re a non-negotiator.The thought of negotiating makes you anxious and uncomfortable. You would rather deal with a less-than-adequate offer than try to negotiate for a better one. We completely understand your fear of negotiating. It’s very common! Here are some tips for ditching those fears and becoming a better negotiator.
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Every individual wants to find (and stick to) a great job. But the question about salary is always raised. The moment you get the interview, you start to make all sorts of preparations. Once you are done with your first round and called for the second round, you are confident enough to impress the board with your credentials and skills. You are aware that they really want to hire you. But the problem you encounter is this: you would like to ask for a salary that's more than they are prepared to offer. So, how do you persuade the decision makers to offer you a higher salary even when they know you are less experienced? Here are some tips for negotiating a higher salary when limited experience.
1. Emphasize Your SkillsEmphasize your accomplishments from your previous company. Enhance your role and quantify your success in increased productivity, cost savings, and overall contribution to the company. Mentioning these feats help the decision makers recognize the benefits of having you in their company. Also, if you have received any awards, recognitions, performance bonus, incentives, and so on, mention those, too. Highlighting your triumphs helps them realize you are a high achiever and, therefore, worth more money.
2. Conduct Proper ResearchIt’s a known truth that you cannot negotiate without facts. Conduct proper research to find out how much is paid for the position you are recruited for. After doing your research, you should know if the salary offered to you is reasonable or not. If you are still confused with the amount, then seek guidance from your previous mentors or experienced friends. Listen to how the offer is presented. When the interviewer or the expected new boss mentions an amount, do not give a quick “no." Make them feel as if you are considering it. If you really feel they are low-balling you, then it’s the right time to speak up and say the exact amount you expect.
3. Show A Reasonable ApproachKnow the lowest salary you can accept and highest amount you would prefer. Start with a figure higher than what you really want. You are actually setting up a plan for compromise and, if you are lucky enough, it will be right where you really wanted the amount to be. While mentioning a higher amount, always be reasonable. Do not make the impression that you are an over-demanding person, or that you are greedy and arrogant. This impression can really make the interviewers to close the door in front of you. Try not to be confrontational and never walk away from the job offer. There is always a chance that the interviewers call you back with a revised starting salary.
4. Be FlexibleIf you really need the job, consider agreeing to the salary they offer provided that the company offers you with additional bonuses for your specific accomplishments. Be prepared to define your accomplishments. Money is important, but you should consider the complete compensation package, too. Try negotiating other bonuses and benefits, and get a written copy of the same. Also ask about the regularity of possible salary hikes. In any negotiation, your role is to acquire a win-win condition.
5. Believe In YourselfBelieve in yourself and demonstrate the exact skills you have for the company. Your presentation should reflect your enthusiasm and you should create an impression to the decision makers that losing you will be a loss for the company. If you really play your cards well, you are sure to hit the job you want at a salary level beyond your dreams. These are some of the tips that you could use to ask for a salary hike even with limited experience. It’s not an easy job to negotiate a great salary with with limited experience, but with proper preparation, a little psychology, commonsense, and practice, you can really make the employers pay you more.
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When I say the word "negotiation," what pops into your head? More often than not, it's probably a sense of unease. (Something like the first scene of the movie, Wedding Crashers comes to mind.) Related: Why You Need To Negotiate More Than Just Your Salary Yet, the truth is, most of us negotiate almost every day with friends, family, and colleagues. They aren't life or death decisions, but chances are you're regularly negotiating aspects of your relationships with everyone you interact with.
Why Do We Get Uneasy At The Idea Of Bigger Negotiations?We equate them with confrontation. Why? Because that's what negotiations are to many of us - power plays where one side dominates over the other. When you think about it, we generally view negotiations as a give and take kind of event. Thus, our dislike of negotiating comes when we recognize there is a chance we can lose. Let's take one of most common business negotiations as an example - working out a compensation package with a potential employer.
It's All About 'The List'This kind of negotiation makes many of us feel uneasy for a variety of reasons, including its complexity. Here are just a few items you might want to negotiate depending upon your field and experience level:
- Vacation time
- Sick time
- Health insurance - medical, dental, and vision
- Life, disability, and accidental death Insurance
- Retirement plan
- Continuing education/tuition reimbursement
- Relocation compensation
- Signing bonus
- Health club/fitness stipend