Wage Negotiations

How To Negotiate a Job Salary Offer?


Whether you’re new to job-hunting or a seasoned pro, whether you love the art of salary negotiation or dread it, the truth is that knowing salary negotiation tactics — and avoiding salary negotiation landmines — are key to obtaining the job offer you seek and deserve.

While much is written about the tactics of salary negotiation, this article focuses on negotiation techniques you want to avoid — salary negotiation mistakes that could result in a much lower job offer — or worse — losing the job offer you worked so hard to obtain. These 10 mistakes can be easily have been avoided by following the advice in this article.

1. Settling/Not Negotiating.

Probably the biggest mistake you can make is simply deciding to settle and accept whatever offer you receive. Research shows that younger job-seekers and female job-seekers often make this mistake — either from not completely understanding the negotiation process or from a dislike or discomfort with the idea of negotiating. Settling for a lower salary than you are worth has some major negative financial consequences — you’ll earn less, receive smaller raises (because most raises are based as a percentage of your salary), and have a smaller pension (since pension contributions are usually a percentage of your salary). But settling for an offer that you feel in your heart is too low will not only set you back financially, but also eat at you until you finally begin to seriously dislike your job and/or employer. Of course, in certain professions (like sales), it is expected you’ll negotiate your salary.

2. Revealing How Much You Would Accept.

Information is the key to any kind of negotiation and a common mistake job-seekers make is telling the employer what you’ll accept. Sometimes it is hard not to offer this information — especially if the employer asks for a salary history or salary requirement. Some employers will also ask — in a preliminary interview — what salary you’re looking for. In all these situations, you need to carefully decide how you’ll handle the situation. The earlier you give up this kind of information, the less room — if any — you’ll have for negotiating a better offer when the time arrives. Always try to remain as noncommittal as possible when asked about your salary requirements too early in the interview process.