Job hunting is not an easy endeavor, regardless of how skilled or qualified you are. Finding a company and position that is just right for you can take longer than you anticipate. However, once you have that call to come in for an interview, be ready to make the most of it. Salary negotiation is one part of the interview process that most people falter. How you handle these proceedings determines everything. No matter how unnerving this conversation can be, you can find ways to make it go your way. Interviewing with an experienced hiring manager makes it easy to lose your footing when working out the salary details, meaning you may end up with a lower pay than you anticipated. How can you avoid that from happening?

Know Your Worth

If a company is to shell out a certain amount for your salary and benefits, you better be worth it. Before you sit in front of a hiring manager, know the value of your skills. Your worth may depend on a number of aspects such as the industry, position, and location. You may find that IT professionals in certain parts of the country earn better than others. For instance, doctors in large cities have higher pay than those in remote regions. Gather information from recruiters in the industry and learn of any exceptions that apply to that particular sector. Heading to a job offer with such information gives you an edge. However, for fresh graduates, establishing and providing your worth may be a bit of a problem. In such an instance, sell your enthusiasm for the job, your zeal, and other traits to entice employers.

List Your Achievements

Your employer should see your worth the way you do. Ordinarily, your résumé will spell out your qualifications, but you can do better and highlight your potential on a separate one-page summary. This sheet can include all significant projects or campaigns that were under your supervision, any team you have worked with, and any implementations in your previous workplace can showcase your value. A hiring manager should be able to see your potential benefits for the company if you were to be part of the team.

Anchor on the Higher Side

When asking about the salary information of a particular position, you will most likely come up with a range. Even with the numerous variables affecting salaries, the market maintains a certain scope. Choose the number at the top of the range so that you can have a bit of room to work with during your salary negotiation. When citing a figure, give an exact one so that the hiring manager sees you have done some research when asking for a certain salary.

Don’t Disclose Current Salary

When working out the details of your pay, an employer will want to know how much you earn currently. The point of this information is to screen candidates. One issue with telling a potential employer about your salary history is that the figure can be too high, thus scaring the hiring manager or too low, undermining your position. An employer may be willing to pay a good amount of money, but because you lowball your offer, money is left on the table. Bid your time until you can get a figure first with your job offer.

Don’t Speak First

Broaching the subject of salary with a potential employer first can be counterproductive. Throwing in a figure before your prospective employer does so will take away any leverage you may have had. The point of waiting for the other person to speak first is to gauge what they are thinking. You can tell how serious a hiring manager is about employing you by the way he or she handles the negotiation. A manager who has already decided that the company needs your skills will tend to be more flexible and offer a good deal.

Don’t Settle for the First Offer

Never fall into the trap of accepting the first salary offer that an employer sets unless it is exactly what you want, which is highly improbable. A hiring manager will try to get your offer as low as possible. The point of a pay negotiation is to get the money you believe your skills demand. Taking the first offer on the table is not much of a negotiation. There is always room to drive the figure higher, so don’t be in a rush to accept what the employer is offering.

Consider the Benefits Too

Your compensation is not just about your monthly salary but also concerns benefits. Your benefits package contributes a great deal to your income, so you have to give it the attention it deserves during negotiations. Various components come into play when discussing benefits, and they include:

  • Paid holidays
  • Certification reimbursement
  • Medical and dental coverage
  • Disability and life insurance
  • Health club or fitness membership
  • Company car
  • Stock grants
  • Travel per diem

Of course, the type of compensation you ask for will depend on the responsibilities of your position and the enterprise. Some companies may have corporate housing for their workers but others may not. Get information about the different benefits that your potential employer is willing to cover. Prioritizing your benefits is advisable because it will give you a point of reference when discussing with a hiring manager.

Handling Yourself

Having the relevant information can ready you for a pay negotiation, but there is more you can do to increase your advantage. First, practice what you will say. For most people, especially if it’s the first job, getting through that conversation may not be easy. Knowing what to say reduces some of that anxiety. Rehearse properly before that day. You have to be firm when asking for a particular salary package from a prospective employer. It is less daunting to state your case and stick to it when you have data backing you up. However, be cautious not to come off as pushy.

A salary negotiation may be a frightening talk to have with your new boss, but it is necessary. Know a few dos and don’ts that will guide you when working out your compensation. Confidence goes a long way when convincing an employer to pay a certain amount but be sure you are worth the asking price.