Artwork by: Veronika Kiriyenko
From the time you’re offered a job till you’ve formally accepted it, you have a narrow window of opportunity to negotiate your salary. Learn about the best ways to negotiate your pay, with some useful examples.
Getting a job offer is certainly one of the best feelings in the world. However, sometimes, the expected salary mentioned on your offer letter makes you think to yourself, ‘Is that really what I’m worth?’
The good news is that you can get what you deserve if you know what to say when negotiating your salary. Before accepting the job offer, you can talk to your employer and request a better compensation package.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss:
How to negotiate your salary like a pro
How to ask for more money than offered (with examples)
When it comes to negotiating your salary, timing is everything. Typically, it’s better to negotiate your salary before accepting the job offer. Once you accept the offer, you’re probably going to be locked into the salary until your next appraisal, and it wouldn’t look professional on your part to consider negotiations before that.
According to recent 2022 estimates, more than 40% of millennials in the United States negotiated on their salary and got what they bargained for. Nearly 70% of managers who were surveyed agreed that employees should negotiate their compensation and benefits package instead of accepting the first offer that comes their way.
So, how do you politely negotiate salary? Here are a few tips and tricks to help you create a salary negotiation plan of action.
Your bargaining position is at its strongest before you have been officially hired by the company. So before you accept the job offer, do some market research on the average salary range for that job role in your area. This information will help you determine your negotiation threshold.
After determining the industry average salary range for your job role, take a look at your education, skills, and experience that will be relevant to the job. If your experience is significantly higher than the average candidate, you might be in a position to demand a higher compensation package than the industry average.
Instead of thinking about a particular figure, come up with an ideal salary range. Any figure within this range should be acceptable to you. However, make sure that the salary range is reasonable and reflective of your skills, qualifications, experience, and expertise.
Think of your salary negotiation conversation as another type of job interview, where practice makes perfect. Once you’ve figured out the ideal salary range, write a script and practice it as much as you can. This way, you will enter the negotiation discussion with confidence, and you will be able to steer the conversation in a way that benefits you.
Don’t share your salary history or previous salary range with your employer. Doing this could jeopardize the negotiation process and pigeonhole you into accepting a lower salary figure. Similarly, if the employer initiates the salary conversation during the initial job interview, try to deflect these questions until you have received a valid job offer. You don’t want to stick to a certain salary figure or range until you have a full idea of your job responsibilities in their entirety.
When it comes to negotiating salary, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Your negotiation strategy and revised salary range will depend on your job role, previous experience, industry averages, and what you bring to the table. Nonetheless, during these discussions, you might want to use some of the following keywords to turn the odds in your favor.
I’m excited by the opportunity to work together
Based on my research
Employees with similar experience
Is that number flexible at all?
Now that you know how negotiation works and what you need to do to successfully negotiate your salary, let’s take a look at a few scripts you can use.
I’m excited about the opportunity to work together, and I know I’ll make a good fit for your organization. I’m also ecstatic about meeting my team members and utilizing my previous knowledge and expertise to provide a fresh perspective on some of the challenges the company is currently facing. However, based on my research, the starting salary stated in the job offer is on the lower end of the industry range. Employees with a similar experience as mine are already making [amount] at the same job level within the same industry. I was wondering if the salary figure quoted is flexible at all.
First of all, I’d like to say that I’m thrilled by the opportunity to work at your organization. It has long been a dream of mine to work at your company and take my career to the next level. I reviewed your job letter, and while I would agree to most of the employment terms and conditions, I wanted to know if there’s any wiggle room for the starting salary. Market research indicates that the ideal salary range for this job role for an employee with my qualifications and experience is [enter the new salary range]. If we can have an open discussion on the salary and benefits package, I’d be more than happy to share my thoughts on the matter and negotiate on a range that’s suitable for both of us.
I understand that you have a specific pre-authorized budget for this job role and that the economy is going through a recession, which is why I want to be as flexible as I can with the salary. I’m still excited about the job opportunity and I’m more than willing to sign the offer letter and get started if we could revise my salary within the range of [enter salary range]. I’m confident that the revised compensation package will go a long way in keeping me motivated at the job and help me stay with your organization for the long haul.
As you’ve probably seen in my resume and during the course of the interview, I have all the requisite skills, knowledge, and experience for this job role. I’m eager to start working at your organization, which is why I was wondering if the salary figure quoted in the offer letter is negotiable. According to my research, the average salary range for this job role is [enter salary range]. Is there a way you can match my salary to the industry average? I’m open to negotiation.
Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to work at your organization. I’m really excited to meet my team members and utilize my skills to help your company achieve its long-term objectives. While I fully agree with all of the terms and conditions of the employment, I wanted to know if we can negotiate on the starting salary as it is not reflective of the nature of the job and my previous experience. Would it be possible to consider a salary figure within the range of [enter range amount]?
After you have received an offer letter, but before you have officially accepted it, you have the opportunity to review your starting salary, determine whether it's sufficient, and think about negotiating.
Before negotiating your salary, make sure to do your research. Quoting an exorbitant amount is likely to irk the employer and make them reconsider their decision of hiring you. Instead, you need to be realistic with your salary expectations.
During the negotiation process, indicate your enthusiasm for the job and willingness to work for the company. Also, bear in mind that if the organization does not agree to revise your starting salary, you can still negotiate on other benefits and perks.
Asad's writing expertise lies in the fields of HR and marketing—putting him in the unique position of understanding the job-search process: both from the side of the applicant, and the side of the hiring managers. With this valuable blend of perspectives, he’s able to help his clients position themselves as top candidates for their desired roles.