'You don't get what you deserve, you get what you ask for': 3 expert new-job negotiating tips

"Always ask, because if you don't, the answer is no."


Applying and interviewing for a new job is often a nerve-wracking experience. But once you have a job offer, negotiating salary can be one of the most awkward conversations during the process. Should you negotiate? When during the process do you bring it up? How do you know how much to ask for?

For starters, "you negotiate. Period," said Dr. Tega Edwin, founder of Her Career Doctor, during a recent Grow Twitter chat on job searching. "When it comes to your salary, you don't get what you deserve. You get what you ask for."

Vicki Salemi, career expert for Monster, agreed. "Always negotiate (even if $ seems fair)! When I worked in recruiting, I was more surprised when candidates didn't negotiate than when they did. Employers anticipate it. Don't let them down!"

During the chat, Edwin, Salemi, and other career experts offered tips on how to approach the salary conversation with a prospective employer.

Research 'realistic' salaries for the position

"You have to know what the market value is before you can negotiate! But always ask, because if you don't, the answer is no," pointed out Hannah Morgan, a job search strategist at Career Sherpa.

To figure out market value, research comparable salaries for the position you are interviewing for. "Know what a realistic range is for someone with your level of experience! It varies by company and industry," said Morgan. Location matters, too.

Resources on the internet can help you find those salary figures, suggested Angelina Darrisaw, a career coach and founder and CEO of C-Suite Coach based in Brooklyn, New York. "Leverage LinkedIn premium to see salaries listed," she tweeted. "If salaries aren't posted, you can use Glassdoor to investigate typical salary ranges for that role."

Don't forget about your network, either, said Salemi. "Talk to former colleagues, bosses, professional organizations to get in the know" about the industry you are pursuing and its typical pay.

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Demonstrate your value  

When looking to discuss salary, it's important to get to "know how the company makes money," tweeted Angelique Rewers, founder of The Corporate Agent, a consulting firm that helps small businesses land corporate clients. "It doesn't matter if the job is in HR, facilities mgmt. or the cafeteria. EVERY role in the company is there to drive competitive success."

With that in mind, Rewers suggested that you "emphasize how you'll help drive tangible results and successes quickly." In other words, why you're worth the salary you're asking for.

She suggests including measurable results within your resume and to track your impact in your current jobs and previous ones. "Did you help save time & money? Help avoid costly mistakes? Think up a new idea that drove bottom-line profit? Share it!" Rewers said.

Emphasize how you'll help drive tangible results and successes quickly.
Angelique Rewers
founder of The Corporate Agent

'Don't start the [salary] negotiations before the offer'

While all the experts in the chat agreed that salary negotiation is a must, they warned against bringing up money too soon in the job application process. "Be prepared to negotiate any offer you receive. But don't start the negotiations before the offer," said Darrisaw. Edwin agreed, responding, "Very important reminder! Let them start the conversation."

Don't "make it appear as though all you care about is the salary, bonuses, benefits and perks," warned Rewers. "Yes, those things are important, too. But the right fit has to be about more than just financials."

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