Ah – the question that is on every job seeker’s mind! I understand why this is such a challenging topic—it’s the most important, and can be a dealbreaker for many. So, when asked about your salary requirements, here’s what I recommend you do:
1.) Research extensively.
Websites such as Careerbuilder, Glassdoor, Pay Scale, Indeed, and LinkedIn have salary estimates listed based on position title, length of experience, company size, and general location. They are quite accurate, obtaining their information from job seekers (just like you) who input their salary on the condition of anonymity. They then combine those figures with the latest data, generating an assessment for your review. Doing some research will not only provide you with an approximate amount you should be paid, but it will help you set reasonable expectations in case the salary you were hoping for is substantially more than what is being offered.
2.) Let the recruiter or hiring manager take the lead.
It is important that you allow the hiring manager or recruiter to bring up salary first, not the other way around. When asked what your desired salary is, I recommend flipping the question–asking if they are permitted to share the range they are working with. For example, “My salary is negotiable, depending upon the responsibilities associated with the role. Would you mind sharing the amount that is budgeted for this position?” This will prevent you from selling yourself short and putting it back in their court.
3.) Know that there are other factors to consider.
While everyone becomes hyper focused on the amount they will be paid, do remember that there are other factors to consider. Comprehensive medical benefits, a 401k match, and PTO are each a significant part of your compensation package. A salary offered may be slightly lower than expected, but the company may cover health care premiums 100%, or offer generous PTO. Schedule flexibility, work from home capabilities, volunteer opportunities, etc. should all weigh heavily when making your decision.
4.) Be ready to answer, and honest when you do.
It is important to offer a realistic, and honest range when you do answer. There is usually some wiggle room when it comes to PTO, scheduling flexibility, or even the salary itself, providing you are direct (and fair) when communicating your needs. But never start negotiating until you have a firm offer in hand.
So do your salary research and have realistic expectations. And understand this: To be able to succeed, you need to have a job search plan. This is where I come in!
Whether you are unemployed and searching for a new job or currently employed and wanting something more, my comprehensive training program will provide you with a personalized plan and a step-by-step guide to help you land your dream job. Thousands of job seekers have used my methods, with many negotiating salaries higher than they ever expected.