The art of negotiating a salary requires you to do market research to gain a clear understanding of your own skills and attributes to determine your value in the marketplace. Thus, this allows you to enter into salary negotiations from a position of confidence and strength.
Know your market and what other are getting paid
It is absolutely critical for you to know what the typical salary range is for the position you are targeting. Without this data, it is extremely difficult to understand if the offer being made is lower or higher than expected in that specific market. There are numerous sources to get salary information such as online salary tracking sites that include www.Salary.com, www.Payscale.com, and salaryexpert.com as well as industry-specific resources. You can also communicate with your friends and colleagues who are in comparable positions.
Understand who you are
The position in which you can negotiate salary will strongly depend on how you assess and communicate your skills and value to potential employers. If you are able to clearly demonstrate and articulate your skills and attributes in the resume and interview, then there will be room to negotiate a favorable salary versus if you are a “so-so” candidate.
How do you know when to address salary
The right time to negotiate salary is after an employer has made the decision to hire you and before you have formally accepted the role. In some cases, employers may ask questions regarding what salary you are requesting. If possible, avoid answering these questions directly. Instead, identify what salary range the employer may have in mind. This will give you flexibility and room to negotiate a favorable salary when the time comes.
You must look at total compensation
One important thing to remember is that while salary is a primary negotiating point, you must consider the entire compensation package. For example, what are the company’s policies on vacation and sick leave, healthcare and retirement benefits, stock options & compensation, bonuses, and flexible hours & telecommuting? Some employers are willing to negotiate certain aspects of your compensation package, therefore don’t be afraid to ask if it is important to you.