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Negotiate a Salary

Most job seekers feel anxious, embarrassed and uncomfortable when the time comes to discuss salaries. Advice such as “Never bring up the issue of salary; let the interviewer say it first,” rarely helps if you don’t have any idea of how to respond when the topic does come up. Below is some basic information about salary and benefit negotiation as part of your job search.


The Fundamentals of Salary Negotiation:

  • Determine the market rate salary range for this type of position (can vary depending upon market)
  • Prepare a budget to determine your financial needs.
  • Before you go into the interview, decide what salary you want to earn, what you need to live on, and what you will be willing to settle for.
  • Be realistic: entry-level salaries are less negotiable than salaries for mid level or executive positions.
  • Practice your salary negotiation skills with a career advisor during a mock interview.
  • Document your skills and accomplishments and be prepared to talk about them.  Know why you are worth whatever you expect to be paid!
  • Don’t discuss salary during the interview process, but rather wait until an offer for employment had been made. Once an offer has been made, then you will have a better idea of the salary range they are willing to negotiate with you.
  • Once you have agreed on an employment offer and salary level, be sure to get it in writing.

Resources to identify market rate salary ranges: 

In addition to your online research be sure to talk with professionals or networking contacts in the profession you are aspiring to gain employment in to gain an idea of their salary range. Talk with your career advisor at The Career Center to develop your action plan on researching and negotiation salary!