10 Tips on How to Negotiate Your Salary

Mar 2016

4 mins read

Salary negotiation does not come naturally to many people. The reason being that most of us are not used to bargaining. But if we don’t bargain, we are unlikely to receive what we deserve. After months of preparation, getting our resume fine-tuned, responding to the job ads, researching on the internet and networking with the right set of people; if we don’t learn to negotiate, we can spoil our own prospect of getting a high salary package.

Believe it or not, if you say “Okay” as soon as you get the offer, you are likely to lose out on a good package. Let’s look at the possibilities of why we are likely to say yes without negotiating:

  • We have spent a great deal of time in a single company and did not research the salary trends across industries, job profiles or locations.
  • We might be too inexperienced and unaware of how much should we ask for.
  • Too much anxiety makes us accept the offer.

Either way, saying ‘yes’ on the very first salary offer can leave a huge amount of money on the employer’s table. However, considering these 10 tips during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Don’t make the first move:

Be wise enough not to disclose your salary expectations until you know you are shortlisted. The only time to discuss the salary in detail is when the employer is ready to make you an offer.

We might think, “What if the employer asks us before making an offer?” This is likely to happen and we could be tempted to respond immediately. But that response might cost us dearly. Talking too soon about salary can either get you screened out, or you get screened in but for a lower budget. In such a case, try and negotiate with confidence.


Let the employer make an offer:

While dealing with multiple candidates, salary bracket is one key factor for assessing the right candidate and narrowing down the list. If you have already passed the screening stage and reached a point where the recruiter is ready to hire you, let them talk first. In this scenario, it would be much easier for you to put down your terms and negotiate further.

Start with a high figure:

Once you are sure that you are about to get the offer, start your negotiation. This approach puts you in a strong position and could give more momentum to the salary offer. It is easier to negotiate from a high number than to push up from a low number. Going ahead with a high number will pull up the employer’s offer further.

Show your enthusiasm:

Several employers believe that motivation is the key to good productivity. Express your emotions freely and show how excited you are to receive the job offer. Make the employer believe that the only thing stopping you from taking the job is the compensation. They are more likely to value your motivated spirit and reward you with the preferred package.

Do your research well:

Before proceeding ahead for the interview, explore the job market trends. Study the entire scope of the particular job profile, basic skill requirements, industry average salary and the market demand. Capitalise this knowledge to your advantage during the negotiation. This would prepare you well for any question put forward by the employer.

Know your worth:


Many job-seekers fail to fetch a fair market value for their skills and talents. Your individual assets, competencies, special trainings, etc. are significant to an employer.

But how do we explore our real worth? Don’t trust the hiring company to identify your market value. Instead, rely on the internet to give you enough data and determine a competitive rate. If required, highlight your previous compensation, prove your market knowledge and use it as a bargaining tool. The following sites can help in shaping your opinion:

  • Payscale.com gathers ongoing salary data through visitors.
  • Salary.com collates salary data from companies, based on location and size.
  • CareerJournal.com delivers articles on salary trends.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics furnish surveys of corporate payroll data.

Prepare for alternate solutions:

Multiple MNCs or global start-ups prefer to compensate the salary structures with some additional benefits. Take into account any long-term rewards like profit-sharing, performance bonuses, raises, stock options, etc., that are a part of your package to determine your future value.

Check out the perks:

Compensation packages can be substantially increased by negotiating perks. Here’s a list of possible benefits and perks: medical coverage, life insurance, wellness days, training, general education, deferred compensation, tuition reimbursement, vacation, specific training, certification reimbursement, paid sick leave, child day care, etc.

When you’ve finished your salary negotiations, take your time to think and consider all the bonuses. This could be an eye-opener for you and help you take a firm decision.


Be comfortable with the employer:

Never let your discussions get into a “do or die” situation. Try and avoid any sort of argument with the employer. Be friendly in your approach and let the things flow. You’ll be surprised at how receptive your employer might be to this approach.

Be calm and controlled:

The last thing any employer would expect from a candidate is a fit of rage. Even if negotiations are not going the way you want, maintain your calm. Ensure that you keep your emotions in check and prove yourself as a capable and composed employee.

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