Tips for Negotiating a Higher Starting Salary

In this economy, you might be so thrilled at the prospect of getting a job that you feel as if you are in no position to start making demands, especially financial ones. But when you work for a company, they own you 40 hours a week, if not more, so you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for a salary that is equal to your worth. If you are concerned about the dollar amount in your job offer letter, here are some negotiating tips to make it higher.

Be sure to know your own worth. You worked hard to earn a degree and gain career experience, and you should be paid according to your qualifications. Figure out your competitive market value and find out how much other people with similar backgrounds are being paid. Visit to look up base salary ranges by occupation and location. Also, ask people with similar academic backgrounds what the range of salary offers they have received are. Knowing how your salary offer compares with others can help you to determine where you stand.

You should take the time to do some research on the pay scale of the company, as well as the industry average. Find out if the company tends to hire from within or from outside. If they tend to higher from within, you might have to take an entry-level position to get your foot in the door, which also means an entry-level salary. It’s also important to be aware of what the annual average salaries are within in the industry, as well as industry projections such as job growth and outlook. The more you know about the industry you want to work in, the better you will be able to negotiate your salary on a realistic level.

Negotiating a higher salary is all about convincing the employer that you deserve it. And if it is one of the first things that you mention, chances are you won’t appear worthy. Therefore, it is important that you prove yourself and show that you are qualified for the job before you allow your financial worth to be discussed. Try to not mention salary until a serious job offer has been made. Job offers are only made to candidates the company seriously want to hire, so once you have received one you can be confident that they will be willing to negotiate.

After you know your competitive market value, the company pay scale, industry average salary, and that you are who they want for the job, you are ready to negotiate a higher salary. Remember, in order to convince someone to give you more, you are going to have to let them know how much you are able to give them. Clearly communicate why you deserve a certain salary based on your qualifications and experience, and the current industry standard. This may also be a good time to see if there are performance-based raises and ask how your salary may progress throughout the years. Sometimes it may take more time to prove to a company that you are worth more than just the average employee.

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