Salary negotiation is a tricky, but necessary, part of the job application process.  Seasoned veterans of the professional world find it challenging, but if you are a graduate fresh out of university or new on the job scene, it’s even more daunting.

With no idea where to start, many young workers or those new to the workforce don’t feel equipped to handle the difficult conversation. Either that, or their inexperience leaves them wondering about reasonable rates within the sector.

Here are some hints and tips to ensure you enter salary negotiations with the necessary knowledge and skills. Hopefully, you’ll feel confident to pursue the salary you deserve both successfully and professionally.

Do your research.

You need to have a good understanding of the worth of your skill level. Start by investigating the average salary rate for your target job, company, industry, and location.  Your findings will allow you to discuss your salary expectations in realistic terms with the employer.

Not doing so will either leave you agreeing to a rate below market value, or asking for way too much.

You may like to consider using the following methods to research salary

  • Ask for guidance from your network.
  • Use salary surveys
  • Use job advertisements from similar jobs in similar areas.

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Establish want you want.

Once you’ve done your research, you can establish your goal pay range. Your figure should be based on a realistic salary range based on the data you’ve collated from doing your homework.

Having a target salary in mind will give you a benchmark in the negotiation.

Go into your salary negotiation with a figure slightly higher than the minimum amount you’d accept; that’ll give you wiggle room.

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Negotiate AFTER the offer.

Unless you’re asked, only start talking about salary after you’ve been offered the job. Typically, salary negotiations take place right after an offer has been made, so if you jump in too soon you risk looking money, rather than job oriented.

Make a business case.

Salary negotiations should never be personal. When you begin to give an employer reasons why your earnings should be higher, make a business case to justify your request.

If this is your first job, you probably won’t have much factual evidence on your CV to qualify your worth. In this scenario, sell yourself much as you did in your interview.

Talk about your transferable skills, technical knowledge, internships, and voluntary work. All these things are valuable to an employer.

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Think beyond salary.

When an employer sets out its compensation package, it’s rarely based on salary alone. Don’t forget to look outside the box.  Look at the broader scope of what’s on offer.

Perks like flexible working, incentives, learning subsidies, and extra holiday days can also be part of the negotiation process. In fact, these benefits are often easier for an employer to be flexible about.

Take your time to think about what is important to you-these things may benefit you more in the long run.

Compromise and be patient.

You could state the best researched, most business focussed case in the world and your salary negotiation could still not go your way.

Should this happen, try not to react negatively. Take some time to prove your worth in the role. Then, at an appropriate time, you could ask again. This time, you’ll have some tangible data to back up your request.  If after this discussion, the answer is still no, it’s up to you. Perhaps it’s time to weigh up your options and look for a different opportunity that better meets your salary expectations.

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Are you looking for your next tech, digital or data role? Do you need help sorting out your CV or preparing for your job interview? We have masses of hints, tips and advice right here on the Employee Advice pages of our blog.

Why not have a browse through our articles to see how we can help!

About the author: I manage the recruitment for a range of digital roles for my clients on both a retained and contingency basis. I specialise in senior and confidential appointments, always giving a first class representation of a client’s employer brand.

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