Once you have received a job offer and you are inline to receive the job, it is prudent to come up with a detailed list of expectations. If you already have an offer, remember you can always negotiate better terms and benefits. The tips below provide six effective ways to give help you negotiate acceptable terms and salary with prospective employers.
- Create a plan – Set guidelines for yourself on what you deem acceptable. Do not forget that it is important not to look at salary alone. You should factor in the existing market, relocation expenses, benefits, career advancement opportunities and other factors you deem important. Have your limits in mind and know what you want, what you expect, and what you are willing to settle for.
- Research – The key to a successful salary negotiation is preparation. Research your market worth to determine what a person with your skills, education and qualifications is earning in your area. A wonderful resource for this is engineersalary.com.
- Convince the prospective employer that you are the best they will ever have – When you begin the negotiation process, position yourself as a “must have” candidate. Be prepared to confidently boast your skills and achievements to demonstrate your value. Never show that you need the job, rather prove to the potential employer that you will be a great asset to them.
- Hold off on the money – Try and gauge the employer’s interest in you before you start talking about compensation. In this situation, it might be to your advantage to have insider information: find a willing existing employee to let you know if the current position is critical for a given project, or what happened to the person who had that position before you. In most cases, an employer will reveal the level of compensation they are willing to offer to you. In this case the salary you received in the past is your bargaining chip. If the interviewer does raise the question of salary before you have received an offer, try to return the question to them by asking what they are expecting to pay someone with your qualifications. If that doesn’t work, give them a range that you are comfortable with. Of course you should base that response on the research you have already conducted.
- Get the offer in writing – Do not start negotiating until you have received an offer in writing. Job offer terms are not always clear, so before you officially accept, examine the job from all angles. Make sure you take into consideration the additional benefits that can add as much as thirty percent to your base salary. Never feel pressured to immediately respond to an offer.
- Practice with multiple job offers – Refine your negotiation skills by practicing your negotiation strategy with companies that extend an offer that you most likely would not consider. You never know, your great negotiation skills may turn a mediocre offer into a great offer.
Negotiating better terms is never easy. You must remember to always negotiate from a position of power and you should never appear needy or weak. Never ask for too much or you might be perceived as money hungry. Ask for too little and you can risk earning less than what you deserve. Knowing how much you are worth is a simple, yet critical step in your job search process.
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