You’ve completed your IT courses and certifications, and you’ve received a job offer. Unfortunately, the salary they’ve offered is lower than what you expected. Thankfully, there’s always room to try and negotiate. Here are some best practices for effective salary negotiation.
1. Research similar positions.
Researching the salaries of other positions like the one you have been offered will give you an idea of whether the offer is a good one or lower than market salary. Just be sure to look for jobs with similar educational and experience requirements. Job listings and websites like Paysa and the Bureau of Labor Statistics provide valuable information about salary ranges for different regions.
2. Start a little higher than you are willing to accept.
There’s a balance here. If you start ridiculously high, a potential employer may not even bother to counter your offer, but if you start at the minimum amount you are willing to accept, you don’t leave room for any downward negotiation by the employer.
3. Ask for perks if salary isn’t negotiable.
If the employer can’t or won’t move on the position’s salary, they may be willing to negotiate on perks like vacation time, telecommuting options, or matching contributions to a 401K. Perks like these may not give you more pay outright, but can save you money on commuting costs or allow you to build your retirement nest egg faster. Also, quality of life perks like being able to vacation more or have a more flexible work schedule can be more than worthwhile.
4. Be honest about your salary history.
Claiming that you make more money than you actually do can come back to hurt you if the potential employer verifies your claims by asking for a pay stub or a statement from your current or former employer. Not only that, but lying about your salary history to try to get a better offer can cause the employer to retract the offer, leaving you with nothing to show for your efforts.
5. Leverage multiple offers.
If you do happen to get more than one offer, you can use either one or both to negotiate a higher salary. The most common way to leverage multiple offers is when your preferred position is the lower offer. Saying to that employer, “I would prefer to work for your company, but I have a higher offer. Can you match it?” is one way to get the best of both worlds—your preferred position with the higher salary you want.
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