How to Negotiate Your Salary

Salary Negotiation Best Practices

Negotiating a job offer can be daunting. In fact, a survey from showed that 48% of people are apprehensive about negotiating.  Some of the most common reasons are fear of losing the job offer, lack of negotiation skills, and not wanting to come across as greedy.

It’s normal to feel uncomfortable about asking for higher pay. However, avoiding negotiations can actually jeopardize your chances of getting the salary you deserve. In this article, we will discuss some of the salary negotiation best practices, so you can be better positioned to walk away with what you are worth.

1. Familiarize yourself with salary trends

Salary trends provide a pragmatic insight into the compensation landscape in your field. Hence, it is crucial to stay abreast of the contemporary trend to ensure a thorough understanding of pay rates. Having a current, realistic view of the going rate for your career path will help you enter a negotiation fully informed. Thus, increasing the likelihood of achieving your salary goals.

Salaries vary by industry, seniority, and geography. Getting your desired salary is dependent on how realistic your proposed compensation package is.  If you are applying for big companies, you may look up salary information on credible websites such as Glassdoor,, and PayScale.  This is an essential step in preparing for salary negotiations. For example, if you see that the company is paying less than it should be for the role, you can use that to make a case for why you deserve a better salary.

2. Factor in perks and benefits

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, benefits make up 32% of an employee’s total compensation – not a small sum. For this reason, it is important to consider benefits when making negotiations. This may include health insurance, retirement savings plans, professional development opportunities, and vacation time. Your compensation should meet both your monetary and non-monetary requirements.

To successfully negotiate a benefits package, it is essential to conduct research for you to obtain a better understanding of what’s out there. There is a wide range of benefits that prospective employers may offer. Some companies may provide a standard benefits package, while others may let you choose the ones you want. Contemplate what’s valuable to you and what would make an offer more appealing.

3. Have a range rather than a single figure

When asked for salary requirements, it is strongly recommended to offer a range based on data-driven salary information rather than a single fixed number. This helps you negotiate and find compromise more easily. Furthermore, giving a range is seen as you being flexible and cooperative.

As you do your research, you are likely to come up with a range that represents your market value. While it is tempting to ask for something mid-range, it is highly suggested to ask for something toward the top of what you deserve. Even if the numbers you set are ambitious, you may still have chances of getting an offer within your defined range. Consequently, candidates who give bolstering ranges lead to better outcomes and higher compensations.

4. Understand and communicate your value to the recruiters

Being prepared to stand your ground is imperative when negotiating for a better salary.  In such a case, you will need to prove that you are worth the investment. However, you also need to keep in mind the inherent tension between explaining why you deserve more and sounding arrogant. Hence, learning how to communicate the message best is crucial.

When justifying your desired salary, do not focus on your personal needs, such as increased rent, childcare expenses, etc.  You will make a much better case that you are worth more when you focus on your accomplishments and performance. Emphasize the value you have given to employers in your career. Provide specific examples of how your skills and experience will benefit your prospective employer’s bottom line.  

5. Practice your pitch before the actual negotiation

Your pitch is an opportunity to convince prospective employers that you are indeed worthy of the salary you are asking for. How you articulate your value is key to achieving a successful outcome. Thus, impromptu is not an advisable strategy for negotiation. Rehearsing your pitch is a must.

Practicing your pitch will allow you to review the essential aspects of your experience, skills, and accomplishments that will bring value to your prospective employers. Summarize the key points you want to propose in your negotiation. Practice using a mirror, video, or with a friend. This will enable you to feel the cadence of your speaking points out loud in a conversational setting. As you become more comfortable with your pitch, the probability of achieving a successful negotiation increases.

6. Evaluate the offer before accepting it

Getting a job offer can be both exciting and overwhelming. While it is tempting to accept the first offer, it is imperative to take your time to evaluate the offer. Respond promptly to the recruiter acknowledging the offer, but don’t feel pressured to provide them an immediate answer. You may request 48 to 72 hours to think the proposed salary through. This ensures you are making an informed decision.

Remember, salary offers do not always need to be negotiated. When deciding whether to negotiate, it is essential to contemplate and prioritize what matters to you. If you choose to negotiate, you need to prepare a complete, prioritized summary of your ideal offer and keep in mind how negotiable you are on each item.

7. Be Willing to Walk Away

Before you walk into a negotiation, you need to know when it’s time to walk away. Doing your diligence and preparing in advance are crucial steps to help you determine whether a potential agreement is still a good deal for you or not. When considering your numbers, knowing what price you will be willing to walk away is a must. This could be based on your financial needs, market value, or career goals.  

The above best practices should help you navigate the challenges of salary discussions effectively and get a more satisfactory offer. The most important thing you can bring to the negotiating table is an open mind.  Regardless of the outcome, always be professional, courteous, and objective.