Negotiating is a skill that can be learned and developed. It is important to know how to negotiate so you are able to ask for what you want and need in a possible position. In order to do so effectively, you need to be informed, know your goals, and be aware of your strengths, liabilities and the environment of the company and industry.

General Advice and Tips for Negotiating

Be sure you understand the terms of the offer: salary, bonuses, benefits, expected start date, etc. Remember you can discuss other types of compensation including more vacation time, support for professional development, later starting date, and others.

Conduct research. Research comparative salaries (see resources below) for the appropriate level of professional experience and location.

Demonstrate through your words and actions that you already consider yourself a part of the team. Remain calm and poised, but be creative, flexible and professional. If you enter negotiations, be sure this is a job you would be interested in taking.

If they respond positively, it is assumed you will accept the position. If you are choosing between offers, be sure to consider your happiness with the position and personal fit with the organization culture, as well as the salary and benefits.

Responding to Questions about Salary

  • Employers may ask you to give a salary requirement, history, or preference.
  • You can state a range to the employer and it is perfectly acceptable to say “negotiable.”
  • If you state a salary request, share with the employer the sources of information you used.
  • If you ask for a salary well above average, justify your request.

Discussing the Salary Offer

  • Present a salary range that demonstrates your knowledge of the local market value.
  • Defend the compensation you're requesting with a list and explanation of your contributions.
  • Be realistic in the amount requested.
  • Address the interests of the supervisor (therefore, know the interests of the supervisor).
  • Proposal should be grounded on objective criteria.

Job Factors to Consider When Negotiating

Skill Transferability

Job Status
Company Image
Advancement Potential
Use of Expertise

Significant Other’s Career
Industry Growth
Learning Potential

Additional Resources