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Salary Negotiation 101: How to Negotiate for the salary you want.

One of the most challenging conversations when it comes to job hunting is discussing the topic of money. This includes everything from talking about expected salary to negotiating for higher compensation.    

A study from Fidelity Investments discovered that of the individuals who negotiated for a higher salary, 85% of them were successful in receiving some form of what they wanted. However, despite this high success rate, only 42% of candidates attempted negotiating. With individuals seeming discouraged from asking for a higher salary, thoughtful advice can help them reach their career goals.   

For those thinking about attempting to negotiate for a higher salary or are seeking more guidance on the subject, here are ten tips for successful salary negotiation.   

1. Be mindful of the setting

When deciding how to begin salary negotiations, it is crucial to consider the setting. And for those looking for a raise, the setting becomes even more critical when considering current projects and your boss’s schedule.    

Indeed recommends the best time to negotiate your salary is right after securing your offer. Here you have the most power over the situation, as you know that the company firmly believes that you are the right person for the job. When discussing your counteroffer, schedule a meeting with the hiring manager, as you want to make the impression of having a formal negotiation.    

2. Conduct research on the Market   

With asking for an increased salary, one must stay within the means of what is reasonable for one’s field and education level. The process of discovering a suitable range includes performing market research.   

To help make a convincing argument, rely on data from the Occupational Employment & Wage Statistics (OEWS) program. With available data for 830 occupations, they look at how data varies by location. Additionally, their percentile wage data can provide insight into wage differences depending on one’s experience and education level.    

3. Defend your reason for a Raise   

While it might be easy for you to recognize why you deserve a higher salary, for the hiring manager, this is not always obvious to them. Thus, one of the best ways to prove why you believe you deserve a higher salary is by having strong reasons warranting increased compensation. According to Indeed, these talking points can include:   

  • Years of Experience  
  • Previous Achievements  
  • Certificates of in-demand Skills   

Opening the salary negotiation conversation by mentioning your credentials can set the groundwork for helping the hiring manager see why you deserve a salary more aligned to your skills. An example is: “Based on having ten plus years of experience in project management and having successfully led teams of over 200 people; I believe that a higher rate might be more commensurate with my experience.” This proves why you are credible and opens the conversation to discussing salary.   

4. Be gracious    

As starting salary negotiations might signify that you are reaching the end of your job search, first show your gratitude for the offer you are about to be given. With the cost of a new hire averaging $4,129, the company has already used a lot of its resources to bring you to the salary negotiation stage. Therefore, this is not the time to come off as demanding to your potential co-worker. Instead, show your gratitude for this opportunity and your time before entering the conversation on salary.   

This tactic might not only help you in the salary negotiation stage but will help you build a level of shared understanding between you and the recruiter.   

5. Provide a range   

When deciding how much one should ask for, remember that the company might negotiate for a lower rate. Therefore, stay flexible in negotiations by providing a possible range. Indeed recommends making the top rate more than your ideal salary when providing a range. Their reasoning is that for companies that what to settle for a lower rate, you will still receive compensation within your desired range.    

For those unsure of what they should be asking for, additional factors to consider are the inflation rate and the average annual salary increase of 3%, as they contribute to the expected cost of living.   

6. Be Prepared with a Counteroffer   

Unfortunately, you should be prepared in case the company denies your request. In this case, be ready to come back with a counteroffer, which doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary. Instead, you might want to ask for:    

  • Ability to Work from Home  
  • Improved Benefits Package    
  • Education Benefits    
  • Work Transportation Reimbursement   

As many individuals seek a work-life balance, try not to let the hindrance of pay keep you from gaining a job that suits your lifestyle.    

7. Be Honest about Job-Related Expenses    

For those moving or who need to set up a home office, be honest about the accrued expenses you might experience in starting the job. For example, another counteroffer to consider is asking for start-up cost reimbursement if the company denies your request for an increased salary.  

8. Ask Wisely   

While this tip is closely related to tip four of being gracious, being wise in how you ask is another crucial step towards success. For instance, instead of using the phrase “I believe I deserve to be paid….”, try “I believe that $70,000- $80,000 is more commensurate with my experience.” In a situation like this, you want to choose your words wisely when discussing pay.  

9. Practice    

Practicing is one of the best ways to be prepared and confident for entering the negotiation room. Regarding what to practice, you can go over how you want to ask for a higher salary and your reasons for deserving a higher rate. In addition to practicing what you want to ask, be prepared for any questions the hiring manager might ask you.    

Rehearsing with a friend, family member, or in front of the mirror is an excellent way of practicing. You will get honest feedback about improving and monitoring your facial expressions to appear genuine but confident.   

10. Stay True to Your Self    

The job search process is complex and requires a significant commitment to being successful. Therefore, stay true to yourself, and don’t be afraid to deny an offer if it doesn’t meet your needs. Staying firm in your wants will lead you to a job where you feel valued and will leave you happier, motivated, and proud of your work.   


While negotiating for a higher salary can take a few doses of courage, having the skills to be successful will help you get the compensation you want.   

For more advice on succeeding in your job search, please check out our previous blog posts on acing your online interview, resume writing tips, and optimizing your LinkedIn profile. 

Good luck in your salary negotiation!