Don't Make These Mistakes When Negotiating for Salary

Nancy Anderson
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A 2017 survey from PayScale reveals more than one-fourth, or 28 percent, of new hires don't participate in salary negotiation because they are uncomfortable when talking about money. Yes, taking someone for more money might be awkward to you, but it's a normal part of the hiring process. Don't make these mistakes before signing your contract.

1. Failing to Make an Opening Offer

You don't have to wait for an employer to make the first move during salary negotiation. When you put your number out there first, it sets the tone for the rest of the negotiation. In a highly competitive job market in 2018, employees have the advantage because unemployment is low and companies want to get the best hires.

That said, make sure to do your research. Perform a market analysis for your position and the cost of living in the area where the employer is based, and use hard numbers to back up your claim.

2. Negotiating Through Email

While it's true salary negotiation through email creates a digital paper trail that documents what an employer says, using email to talk about salary is too impersonal. The hiring manager may misinterpret your tone in the email. Use email for everyday correspondence but not for something as important as your salary.

That's why you set up a meeting specifically to discuss your salary. An in-person meeting gives all parties a chance to put everything on the table, and there are no surprises. Meet with your hiring manager and an HR representative with the sole intent of going through a salary negotiation shortly after you receive a job offer.

3. Forgetting About Other Benefits

Your position isn't just about money. You can tap into other perks of the job, including a flexible schedule, paid time off, stock options, professional development and a different job title. Consider a work-from-home option for a few days a week since that saves time and money for your commute to and from work. Vacation time lets you recharge your batteries so you return to work refreshed and more productive than ever. Keep these other benefits in mind when you come to the negotiating table.

4. Neglecting the Routine

Remember that salary negotiation is an expected and routine part of the hiring process in the private sector. Don't give in to your nerves and fail to talk about money because you could be losing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars over the entirety of your career. Think of this meeting as a normal part of the job interview, which means you do your research, rehearse what you are going to say, and wow your new employer with your ability to make a solid proposal.

Salary negotiation doesn't have to be scary, so avoid these mistakes when talking about your compensation. Don't rush through the process or take the lowest offer the company gives you. Employees also have needs and employers recognize that fact.

Photo courtesy of alex_ugalek at


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  • Dortha P.
    Dortha P.

    ok thanks for the information

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