How to negotiate a job offer and get the salary you want

If you don’t ask for what you want, the answer will always be no!

This is especially true when it comes to salary negotiations. However, you can also negotiate other elements of a job offer.  If you are uncomfortable when it’s time to negotiate a job offer, follow these 9 tips and build your confidence.

Research Salary Ranges (And More)

negotiate a job offer

First things first. You should have already conducted company research before you walked in the door for your first interview.

Technically, you should have researched salaries before you applied for the job to ensure your range was appropriate. As you may have noticed, most job postings will not include salary information. In order to get an idea of what the job is worth and what other people in similar roles make, do your due diligence.

This means using multiple sources. Use salary calculators. But don’t stop there. Talk to recruiters in your field and geography. Network with people who are in your line of work to understand what the going rate is. Use as many of these options as possible to develop a realistic expectation for your desired salary range.

Remember, your value in the marketplace is based on how much the employer is willing to pay, the value of your skills and what your previous employer paid you.

Read: How I Bungled My Salary Negotiation So You Won’t Have To

When To Negotiate Job Offer

You technically can’t negotiate a job offer until you have one.

Avoid getting into a detailed salary discussion or attempting to negotiate any condition until you have a job offer. For example, expressing your desire to work from home during the interview could sour the deal. Wait to talk about this until you have an offer and always be sure to learn what the company’s policies/perceptions are for conditions you are interested in.

And don’t try and negotiate on the spot. When presented with the job offer, ask how long you have to consider the offer and schedule a time to provide your answer. Remember, accepting a job is a major decision and you shouldn’t feel pressured to accept an offer.

Read: Your Negotiation Outcomes Will Tank Until You Do These 5 Things

Negotiate With Enthusiasm

If an employer doesn’t think you want the job, it could hurt your chances of negotiating, or worse, could lead to the offer being taken off the table. Tell the employer you are interested in the job and why. And be sure to smile.

Read: How to assess cultural fit in a new job

Negotiate With the Right Person

shake shaking hand hands

The person who extends the offer may not be the person with the power or authority to negotiate. Every company has a different set of procedures. It is important that you know who has final budget approval for the job. While human resources may be the ones who extend the offer, they may not have the ability to negotiate.

Read: Job search tips for mature candidates

Use Company Research and Inside Information

During the interview and through networking conversations with company insiders, you may uncover valuable information. Perhaps you learn that the company has negotiated vacation time for certain employees or allows some of the team to work from home once a week. You odds of getting things are better if there is already a precedent in the company or department. Use the information you uncover to your advantage.

Read: 4 Interview Strategies to Win Your Dream Job!

What Can You Negotiate?

There are many elements to a job offer. Here are some things you may want to consider:

  • Job title
  • Start date
  • Vacation/paid time off (PTO)
  • Flextime/job hours
  • Remote or virtual work
  • Signing bonus or other bonuses
  • Level of responsibility
  • Relocation expenses
  • Professional association dues, subscriptions
  • Laptop, mobile phone, home office technology
    Auto (car lease, mileage)
  • Training/certification reimbursement
  • Severance provisions

You’ll find a downloadable list of these negotiable’s in Don’t Overlook Negotiating Your Offer.

Read: Most common job interview questions

Negotiate Salary First

It’s important to prioritize what you want to negotiate- and don’t be greedy. The general rule of thumb is to negotiate salary first and if you secure your desired salary, be willing to compromise on other items you want to negotiate. Conversely, if you can’t negotiate the salary you had hoped for, push on and negotiate other things. You may consider negotiating for a performance review sooner (with the option of a pay increase if meeting/exceeding expectations), or maybe vacation or PTO is important. Remember, the employer won the salary negotiations, you need a win!

Read: Salary negotiation lines to have up your sleeve

Convey Confidence When You Negotiate A Job Offer

Your body language, tone of voice and the words you choose to use should convey you believe you are worth what you are asking for. Keep in mind, the company has invested significant time and manpower interviewing you. They don’t want to start over.

Read: Negotiating salary don’t forget employee benefits

Always Get Your Job Offer In Writing

Once you have reached a final agreement on the terms of the offer, be sure you ask for it in writing. You will want this before you begin your first day of work. Managers can change and policies can shift. You want to protect yourself in case anything changes.

This post originally appeared on US News & World Report and reposted here from Career Sherpa on March 30th 2017

Need help when you negotiate a job offer? Contact 3Plus now!

Hannah Morgan

About Hannah Morgan

Job Search Strategist | Social Media Enthusiast | Personal Branding | Online Visibility I help people who are serious about their careers and future goals leverage social networks to create online visibility and a reputation of excellence. Career Sherpa.net serves as the umbrella for all the things I love doing: training, speaking, and writing. Delivering presentations and workshops to job seekers and solopreneurs is one of the favorite parts of the work I do. It provides the opportunity to get people thinking about how they manage their careers and online visibility and I get the personal satisfaction from seeing the "a-ha" moments. Sharing the latest trends in job search, careers and social media is a passion of mine. I’ve been featured in USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, Aol Jobs, LifeHacker, The Daily Muse, and Business Insider. I’m a regular contributor to US News & World Report, Job-Hunt.org, and The Undercover Recruiter.