February 16, 2012
How to get paid what you want
Whether you’re looking for a new job or are a recent graduate, you might be so thrilled to get a job offer — any offer — that you settle for less than you should. Here are five strategies to get paid what you really want:
Tip 1: Don’t provide salary history. Keep your salary information to yourself as long as possible because it can be used against you in the negotiation process. Instead, write “open” or “negotiable.”
Tip 2: Never discuss your salary requirements. If an interviewer asks what salary you want or what you made at your last job, simply redirect the question by asking about the salary range of the job you’re interviewing for. Say that you don’t know what would be acceptable until you fully understand the job requirements, benefits and potential for advancement.
Tip 3: Don’t negotiate during an interview. If you’re given a verbal offer, always ask for a complete offer in writing (including benefits) so you can evaluate it thoroughly. Let the interviewer know that you’re very interested in the job and will consider any offer they make.
Tip 4: Ask questions about an offer. Once you receive a written offer, ask whether the company can be flexible. Remember that first offer is typically a low one. You might be able to get more pay, more vacation days or a higher level of expense reimbursements if you negotiate.
Tip 5: Make a counter-offer. Let the company know you want the job but would be much happier with X amount of additional annual salary or hourly pay. Remember: They offered you the position because they consider you the best candidate. Most companies are willing to shell out a little more money or perks to get the right person for the job.
Laura Adams, host of the “Money Girl” podcast on QuickandDirtyTips.com, is the author of “Money Girl’s Smart Moves to Deal With Your Debt” (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2010)