Negotiating Salary Packages
Part of the job search process can include salary negotiation. See Salary Negotiation
Hints on page 34 to determine whether you are in a position to negotiate. With a basic
knowledge of negotiation, your anxiety will be reduced and your success rate for n
egotiating will increase. There are several ways to make the process of salary negotiating
effective. Start by taking a good look at your own salary requirements as well as
developing an understanding of what your skills are worth in the current employmen t
- Research salary ranges before you begin the interviewing process. Contact the
professional association which represents your career field for salary information. Look
at your monthly cash requirements. Keep in mind that your paycheck after taxes is a
pproximately 28% less than your gross monthly salary. Factor fringe benefits into your
calculations. Include savings and contingencies in your budget planning. (You do not need
to tell anyone your salary requirement: it only provides you a foundation on w hich to
- Enter the salary negotiation portion of your interview with a firm understanding of your
skills and what they are worth to different segments of the economy and in a variety of
industry settings. Salary range information is available from several sou rces, including
the Career Center's Resource Room, the state labor office, professional journals, and the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (See the bottom of this page for more information.)
- The first inquiry about salary may come in the form of an application. When completing
application forms, be sure to use "open," "negotiable" or
"competitive." Avoid stating a specific figure.
- Factor the organization's entire compensation package (i.e., tuition benefits,
investment options, health plan, and any perks) along with salary into your negotiation
discussion. Compute the dollar worth of these benefits and add this figure to the salary
for a more realistic picture of how the organization compensates. If it is important to
you, you may decide to negotiate benefits rather than an actual dollar increase.
- When an interviewer asks for salary history or salary range, he/she is interested in
establishing a starting point for negotiation. The important thing is to avoid basing your
desired salary on your current salary. Do not lie about your past salary-r eference checks
can easily provide this information. Provide information about why your salary may have
been lower, if appropriate.
- When stating a salary range, it is acceptable to extend the range to approximately
$5,000. This shows that you are within the employer's price range but interested in
somewhat more compensation.
- Determine opportunities for promotion. Job progression is an important factor in making
salary decisions. Ask how promotions and salary reviews are handled.
By taking a good look at your own salary needs, understanding the current market, and
approaching salary as something that you and the employer will agree on as mutually
beneficial, your chances of successfully negotiating a salary are greatly enhanced.
Job Hunting Mistakes
How to do well at an interview
How to write a good cover letter
Letters as a job search strategy
How to conduct an effective job search
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