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Secrets to successful salary negotiations

Please heed these three secrets of salary negotiation. Remember that knowledge=power!

The following is vital information for you to have, to practice and to use:


  • Ideally you should only enter into negotiation once you have had a formal job offer and the employer is convinced of your worth. Your power to negotiate is much greater when the employer has decided you are the best candidate for the position.
  • However be prepared to respond to the salary question in the initial interview stages by remaining as non-committal as possible and stating a wide range.
  • If you are asked to state a salary on the application form respond with the words “open” or “competitive”.
  • Try to set up your compensation discussion with this person directly. Don’t waste time negotiating your job offer with an employee who has not got the authority to make any changes or improvements on the offer.
  • Know exactly what your salary requirements are before you enter salary negotiations.
  • The greatest tool in any negotiation is information. Find out your competitive market value.
  • Consider the economic, geographic and industry factors of the job to determine your fair market value. Have this data ready for use during the negotiations. You should support your salary request with documentation including current market salary data, your performance evaluations and letters of recommendation
  • Remind the employer of your value to them and continue to express enthusiasm and commitment for the job and company
  • Know when to stop and take the best offer on the table. To carry on beyond this point could cause ill-feeling and damage any future relationship.
  • A legitimate offer should be given in writing and if the employer is reluctant to do this it is a major red flag that there is something wrong.
  • It is important to keep in mind that the majority of job offers are negotiable but only a small percentage of job candidates actually enter into negotiation. You don’t have to be an expert negotiator to get the job offer you want. Follow these basic salary negotiation tips to prepare your strategy for job offer negotiations and ensure a successful outcome.