Salary negotiation is one of the most nerve-racking parts of having a job. Whether you’re starting a new job or due for your review, negotiating a salary is a tough but necessary part of everyone’s professional path. With a host of new laws and regulations established recently, it’s important that you know your rights going into a salary negotiation and prepare accordingly (with factual successes) to justify why you deserve that elusive number. To help you prepare for when this time comes, here are some key tips to help you negotiate your salary.
1. Know Your Worth
The first step in negotiating a salary is knowing your market worth. Have a number in mind, but make sure that number is realistic and aligns with your current skill set and job responsibilities. There’s a wealth of great resources online you can reference as well. You can utilize tools like Glassdoor’s salary calculator to get a realistic sense of where your experience, technical skills and education level stand in the market. Resources such as Payscale also allow you to enter important key data points including location, job title and salary to see how you stack up against the competition.
It’s also helpful to track your growth and create a detailed report of your key accomplishments since your last job or personal review. Besides showing a superior that you’re prepared, having concrete examples to highlight your successes makes it easier to negotiate.
2. Bring Out The Facts
Whether you’re negotiating a new salary or a raise with your current company, it’s in your best interest to have specific examples that demonstrate why you are deserving of that target number you want. When conducting your research, check websites such as ZipRecruiter, Indeed and LinkedIn for open jobs with your similar experience, responsibilities and title. Take the listings that have salaries posted, and file them away for your use. This way, when making your case, you can speak to factual examples.
3. Provide A Range
We tell our candidates to never ask for a specific number, but rather to provide a range, which will help to create an open dialogue with your employer. To make these conversations productive, it’s essential to stay realistic; we don’t advise going into the meeting with ultimatums. Often, pending your work product, your current or prospective employer will meet you somewhere in the middle of this range, so make sure you’re satisfied with what you’ve provided them and that it aligns with your market value.
4. Disclose Only What You Must
The last piece of advice I give to every candidate is to never disclose your current salary to a prospective employer. Recent laws in certain cities and states prohibit prospective employers from asking about salary history. While this doesn’t stop you from voluntarily providing the information yourself, it’s in your best interest to avoid disclosing this during every step of the interview process. Chances are it’ll do more harm than good.
By following these important tips, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your compensation goals. Above all, remember that every salary negotiation should be an open, honest conversation about your professional worth and what you bring to the team. If you come prepared with realistic expectations and concrete examples, you’ll do well.