Developing Your Career

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How to Negotiate Salary: Five Tips to Get the Best Offer

By Lee Hecht Harrison on May 12, 2015

If you received a job offer today, do you feel confident you know your worth and what you should be earning? Would you be prepared to evaluate the compensation package and make an informed counteroffer? It’s an important conversation—and one that can impact your earning power for years to come. Only through careful research and preparation will you be able to enter the negotiation process and take advantage of the opportunity—emerging with not only the job you want, but a salary that’s commensurate with your skills and experience.

While how much you can negotiate is often impacted by the size and culture of the organization, its hiring policies and the level of the position, some negotiation is expected. Use the following five questions to negotiate better—and get the salary you want:

  1. Have you done your research? Glassdoor.com is an online career community where you’ll find company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews and more.
  2. What’s your worth? Evaluate realistically where you should fall in the range based on your experience in a similar role, education, certifications, skills and special expertise. LHH’s 2015 Salary Guide offer salaries for over 80 jobs with salary variances for 78 key markets.
  3. Can you articulate your value? Don’t try to wing it. Instead, role play with a friend until you’re comfortable providing a great case for how your contribution to the company warrants a higher salary.
  4. What can you negotiate besides salary? Determine what else you could negotiate beyond salary: start date, professional membership dues, vacation, relocation expenses, bonus eligibility, etc.
  5. What’s your bottom line? Know the lowest you want to go. If the best and final offer is below that, you’ll have to decide whether you want to accept the offer or should continue your search.

Being informed about the job market and salary trends will take the anxiety out of negotiating, giving you the confidence to land the position you want with the compensation you deserve.

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