Ha ha ha.
If you’ve ever tried to negotiate a salary for a new job, then you know that one of the hardest parts of the entire job seeking process is talking about money and the negotiation of what you’ll earn.
And all too often, because this part is so tough, many job seekers accept a role being paid less than what they really wanted to earn and/or what they thought they deserved.
Almost worse yet, the employer may put a nearly impossible incentive structure into place to make you feel like if you just meet all these goals, you’ll make what you want.
All hiring manager’s objectives are the same: to acquire the best employee possible at the lowest price possible.
Meanwhile, your objective is to position yourself as the best candidate and obtain a position at a desired salary. You are naturally at odds with the hiring manager on this last point, so there is nothing pretty about negotiating compensation.
But there is a bit of an art to it.
And just as if you were playing a game of high-stakes poker (because it’s a lot like that actually), you want to keep your cards close and face straight.
Try to never reveal your salary requirements before having at least an understanding of a pay range that they have in mind. If you’re asked in an application or during an interview what your salary requirements are, it can be hard not to give them a reply, but it really is in your best interest to get information on pay before letting them know what you want.
I recommend simply replying that “I need to learn more about this position, the objectives, and the company before I can make that determination; I would also like to know from you first what the range you have set for this position”.
Whether you reveal your desired salary first or whether the employer gives you a sense of a pay range, never accept the offer as it is given without negotiating something better. 9 times out of 10, there is always room for the employer to go higher, and if they hold firm at a certain dollar amount, negotiate for more in terms of benefits.
How many times do you negotiate can be tricky. You don’t want to irritate the hiring manager and risk them staying firm on principle or worse, cancelling their offer. At some point, if you want the job, you will have to accept an offer.
What’s important here is understanding your lower and upper limits.
Before You Play
Before you go into any negotiation with an employer, you’re going to do so much better if you’re prepared and to understand your personal needs and expectations.
It may not always be possible to find out exactly what the employer is willing to pay for the position, but a little research on your part ahead of time can give you at least a ballpark to work with.
And with a ballpark understanding of the salary range potential, you can then assess if that coincides with your own salary expectations, compensation needs, and future goals.
Congratulations! You’ve just completed the “Apply & Get Noticed” course. I hope that it has helped you understand how to identify the right opportunities, how to apply the right way, how to craft great cover letters and resumés, and I hope it will help you in future interviews and negotiations.