When to Negotiate Your Salary (With Tips and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated June 7, 2022 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated June 7, 2022

Published February 25, 2020

Related: Salary Negotiation Tips: During Interview + After Job Offer

In this video, Jenn shares 3 tips on salary negotiation during the interview process AND 3 tips on how to negotiate salary with a job offer in hand!

An increased salary is one of the many reasons why people look for a new job. When you get a job offer, you're likely eager to see what salary and benefits package the employer will offer you. However, sometimes their offer is lower than what you anticipated and you start to consider negotiating a higher salary.

In this article, we share when and how you should negotiate your salary for a new job offer.

When to negotiate salary

After receiving a job offer, you may ask yourself "should I negotiate salary?" Depending on your situation, this may be the right choice. After all, you deserve to be paid the right amount for your skills and experience.

Here is when you should negotiate your salary:

  1. It doesn't reflect your experience.

  2. It will impact your lifestyle.

  3. You'll need to ask for a raise later.

  4. The company can afford it.

1. It doesn't reflect your experience

If you feel that their offer is too low for your education level, experience and skills, this may be a good reason to negotiate your salary. For example, if you worked hard to earn a master's degree, you want your salary to reflect that. Similarly, as a mid or high-level employee, you should be making a higher salary than an entry-level employee.

2. It will impact your lifestyle

Many people want to upgrade or at least maintain their lifestyle when starting a new job. If the company's offer can't support or improve your current living situation, then it may be too low for you to accept. Before negotiating, decide if this new salary will allow you to achieve your financial goals such as saving more money or affording a new home.

3. You'll need to ask for a raise later

Asking for a higher salary now is much easier than asking for a raise later. It's okay to want a salary that improves your standard of living. You want to start your new job with a salary you are happy with because that's likely one of the reasons you initially started looking for a new job. Get the negotiating part done now, so you can start your job fully invested in the company.

4. The company can afford it

Only negotiate for a higher salary if you think the company has the funds to pay you more. Sometimes they may say that is their final offer, so you will need to decide to accept the offer or decline it and look for a higher paying job.

Related: How to Negotiate Salary (With Tips and Examples)

How to negotiate salary

Knowing how to negotiate your salary can help you maximize your earning potential throughout your entire career. You deserve to be paid for your level of expertise and should feel confident while negotiating.

Here's how to successfully negotiate your salary:

  1. Wait until you get an official job offer.

  2. Do your research.

  3. Come up with your ideal amount.

  4. Decide if it is a deal-breaker.

  5. Create your talking points.

  6. Practice with a friend.

1. Wait until you get an official job offer

Make sure you have an official written job offer before considering to negotiate your salary. This gives you more leverage since you know that they for sure want you as an employee. This also gives you a little more time to prepare for your negotiation.

2. Do your research

Determine your ideal salary based on research. First, look up the market average for your position. Then, consider the following factors:

  • Location

  • Level of education

  • Additional certifications

  • Years of job experience

  • Career level

3. Come up with your ideal amount

Use your research to help you determine your ideal number. You may also take your living situation and goals into consideration. For example, you may need to make a certain income to support your family or pay off your student loans.

Determine the amount you are going to ask for and then determine the lowest salary you will accept. This could be the original amount they offered or something slightly higher. It's important to know this ahead of time, so you feel prepared and confident while negotiating.

Also, consider counteroffers such as more paid time off or remote working opportunities. These could be worth more to you than a higher salary.

4. Decide if it is a deal-breaker

Sometimes, the employer is set on the amount they offer you. This may be all that they can afford to pay you or perhaps they want you to prove yourself before offering you a raise. Before talking to them about a salary increase, you should decide if their current offer is a deal-breaker. If you feel comfortable walking away from their offer, then you can be more persistent about a higher salary.

5. Create your talking points

The more prepared you are, the more likely you will be favored in the negotiation. Think of your talking points in advance. Explain to them why you deserve a higher salary. Use what you found during your research and your qualifications as evidence for this.

6. Practice with a friend

Before scheduling a time to talk about your salary, practice your negotiation skills with a friend. You could act out different scenarios with them. For example, you could have them pretend to be an easily persuaded employer and then have them act like someone firm on their offer.

Read more: How to Talk About Salary in a Job Interview

Tips

Developing strong negotiating skills takes practice. Before you talk to your potential employer, learn how you can be more persuasive.

Use these tips to get started:

Be confident

Give yourself a pep talk before your negotiation. Tell yourself that you are a skilled employee who deserves a higher salary. By going into the meeting confidently, the employer is more likely to listen to your talking points and see your point of view.

Be polite

When negotiating, remember that you still need to impress your new employer. You can be firm on your stance but remember to still be polite. It's important to be able to start your job on good terms with them.

Express gratitude

Before telling them you want a higher salary, say you are thankful and excited about their job offer. You may also want to ask them more questions about the role, so you have a better idea of all your responsibilities.

If the negotiation goes well, express your gratitude for their flexibility. If you decide to walk away from their offer, still thank them for giving you the opportunity. They may offer you a higher paying position in the future.

Read more: Negotiation Skills: Definition and Examples

Examples

Negotiating your salary can be done over the phone, face-to-face or by email. You may have better luck doing it over the phone or face-to-face because you come off more confident and you can adjust what you say based on their feedback. If you would rather carefully craft what you say, then you may consider using email.

Here is an example of what you could say over the phone or in-person:

"Hi, Mrs. Jones. Thank you for speaking with me about the job offer. First, I want to say how much I appreciate the offer to be the marketing manager of your company. I am honored to have this opportunity, and this company seems like a great place to work.

Before I officially accept this job offer, I would like to discuss the offered salary.

Based on my skill set, level of education and number of years in the field, I think a higher salary would better suit my position here. In my previous role, I led a team of marketing professionals for three years. During that time, I completely revitalized our marketing campaigns and rebuilt our social media presence.

Due to these experiences, I am looking for an offer between $60,000 to $65,000 for this position. I am also open to discussing additional benefits to offset the increase such as more paid leave."

Here is an example of what you could write in an email:

"Dear Mr. Martinez,

Thank you for offering me the role of senior librarian. Elmgrove Library would be a great place for me to share my love of literature and research with the community.

However, before accepting this exciting position, I would like to further discuss the salary and benefits the library has offered me.

I have over 10 years of library experience. During that time, I have started a reading program for underprivileged children, helped redesign our senior activities and organized various book talks. Since this is a senior-level position, I feel that a higher salary would be necessary for my expertise. I am looking to increase your offer of $50,000 plus 10 days of PTO to $60,000 plus 15 days of PTO.

Please let me know if this is a possibility since I would be honored to work for a pillar of our community.

Thank you,

Patty Gilman"

Related: Salary Negotiation: Top Mistakes to Avoid

This video explains the 3 most common mistakes people make when discussing salary and provides strategies for avoiding them.


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