If you scored the job interview of your dreams and got them to choose you out of the many eligible candidates who wanted the same job, you did something right. You impressed them with your resume, your personality, and your job skills, now you have to impress them with your negotiation skills at your second interview. When you are negotiating your salary and benefits, you are actually negotiating for the job. You don’t want to sell yourself too short, but you don’t want to come across like you’re selling yourself too high. What do you do to ensure that you get the best salary and benefits you deserve for your hard work, skills, and knowledge?
On your application, do not fill in what you want for a salary in the place where it is asked. This will render your negotiations null and void if they already know what you will settle on. Avoid putting any sort of information in your cover letter as well. Here’s what you want to do: You know you are getting a job so you can get paid. Your prospective employer is aware of this as well- but you want to convince them, even for a split second, that it isn’t about the money, it’s about the position, maybe even the prestige. Once you have done so, you can talk yourself up and get yourself a higher salary.
In order to know how much you should ask for, you’re going to need to do a bit of research. Not only will you want to see the median salary for people doing your job, you will want to look at the pay ranges of that particular company. If the company has employees that work for a union, you might have restrictions placed on how much you can earn no matter your level of expertise.
Your research notes should start with how much (or in this case, how little) you are willing to work for, and then work up from there. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time, especially your own, by applying for a job that will pay you far less than you are willing to work for.
It is also important to know how much you are worth. If you are holding the ball in your court because you are a hot commodity in the workforce, you can afford to use your reputation as a bargaining chip. If you’re certain you can be used in numerous places, or if you have employers fighting over you, don’t ever be afraid to bring it up. Don’t be cocky about it, just be confident and sure of both yourself and what you deserve for your hard work.
Last but not least, when negotiating salary and benefits – don’t be the person to bring it up. Let the company bring up finances. When they do, let them know that you want to work out an arrangement that benefits everyone. If they don’t bring it up and you have no choice, you can let them know the range in which you expect to be compensated and let them know you are willing to talk it out. Say only what you need to say and then let them do the rest.