Posted by: deltadallas | March 16, 2011

Salary Negotiation [Mwah-ah-ah-ah!]

Salary negotiation. Just the mention of the concept makes my palms a little sweaty. In my office, I hear recruiters negotiating salaries on behalf of their candidates every day. They are professionals, and experienced at mediating a win-win situation between candidates and employers. What do you do, though, if you don’t have a recruiter working on your behalf? What if the offer made to you is a little low? Do you just take it and hope for a raise at your yearly review?

Do your research
Know what rates are competitive for the position you are considering and be prepared with that information. (Sites like are a good place to start.)

Wait a minute
Don’t respond immediately to the salary offer. When you are given an offer, walk away and think before you accept or negotiate the offer made to you.

Prove your worth
Be prepared with examples of achievements, skills and your ability to produce results. Employers are looking for quantifiable proof of your value as an employee.

Try to postpone the salary discussion until the end of the interview process. If you can wait until you are the candidate of choice, then you will have more leverage.

The whole package
As you are considering the offer, look at your opportunity for bonuses, vacation, medical…everything. Sometimes benefits can surpass even your salary requirements. For instance, we have a client with such great benefits that their total compensation packages for new hires are estimated to be 15-20k above the salaries offered. I don’t know about you, but I would think twice before passing up an opportunity like that!

Everybody wins
Look to benefit the employer as well as yourself. Look for the win-win elements in your negotiations, and be flexible and attentive while you are talking with the employer. You don’t want to leave a bad taste in their mouths while you are starting a new position! Stay positive throughout negotiations and be willing to stop negotiating if you reach an impasse.

Get your final offer in writing
Make sure that everything you have negotiated and discussed with your future employer is in writing. For instance, if you have negotiated a long-planned family vacation in your third month of employment – you will want to make sure it is in your final employment agreement.  A counter-letter is a good method to begin this process.

Let’s face it. When you are in an interview, you are in sales. You must be able to present yourself as a solution. The employer needs to walk away from an interview convinced that you will bring more than what is expected to the position. They need to be sold. That being said, negotiation is a part of the sales process, and if you have done a good job of selling your value, the employer should be open to negotiation.

Tabitha Woods is a Marketing Specialist with Delta Dallas. Reach her at


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