Career Tips - Salary Negotiations

Career Tips - Salary Negotiations

this article is taken from : Advanced Career Systems, Inc. All rights reserved
by Kim Isaacs, CPRW, NCRW, Career Consultant

       You made it through the door for an interview. The job sounds perfect. The manager who is conducting the interview is attentive and seems interested in hiring you. Then the question, "What salary are you looking for?" You feel your blood pressure immediately rise and your palms get sweatier.

How do you handle this situation? This is one of the most difficult aspects of the job search. If you say a number that is too high, they may lose interest in you. If your number is too low, you may be hired but at a salary way below what they were willing to pay. Some applicants give a low figure just to stay in the running for the position. Workers who later find out that they could have received a higher salary normally feel resentment towards the employer. To get the salary you deserve, follow the following guidelines:

Rule #1: Do your homework

Find out what the position pays BEFORE entering the interview. You may not be able to get an exact figure, but you can research pay scales in your locality for your type of position. Check out the Careers section in your bookstore or library. If you are highly qualified, expect to earn at the high end of the scale. Dont be afraid to call other professionals in your field for some advice. As long as you are respectful of their time, most people are flattered that someone is interested in what they do. This is also a great way to network and find out about other potential opportunities, so dont forget to send a thank-you letter, along with a couple of copies of your resume, to everyone you spoke with! Then, at the interview, you will have solid knowledge about the salary range for the position.


Rule #2: Listen, dont speak

The first person to say a number or a ballpark figure loses the negotiations. As soon as you say a number, the employer has power over you. Your best bet is to glean information from the employer to assess his or her standpoint and predicament. Have they received hundreds of resumes from qualified applicants? In this case, you may not have that much bargaining power. How long has the position been available? If the position has been vacant for a while, they may be having trouble finding a qualified applicant. If you fit the bill, you are in a prime negotiating position.


Rule #3: Be reasonable and flexible

In negotiating, you should start high, but not through the roof! The interviewer will not take you seriously and you may miss a great opportunity. Instead, make your case for the top of the range by relaying how qualified you are and exactly how you can boost their bottom line if hired. Before the interview, rehearse a two-minute speech about yourself that highlights what you can do for them. Use reason to demonstrate why you are worth the top of the salary range. However, you should also be somewhat flexible regarding compensation. If they offer slightly less than what you were hoping for, you should consider the offer and not stand firm at one number. Take into account if this position is a strategic career move for you, the availability of other opportunities, and the total benefits package. And remember, once a job offer has been made, you dont have to give an answer right away. Let them know you will get back to them at a specified time with your decision..

Good luck!

Uploaded By : erwin
Last Update : 17/07/2004

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