Video Chat: Negotiating Your Worth

A follow-up on some of the most popular questions asked during Ladders spreecast on negotiation.

A big thank you to everyone who attended our interactive video chat on Negotiating Your Worth. I had a great time and I hope you did too!  Click on the following links to view the entire spreecast and to obtain a copy of a presentation I created on the topic for Ladders’ Job Central event. Below are some of the questions I fielded and links to more information on the topics.

As always, you can learn more about the job search and find out about our upcoming spreecasts by following me at  @JobSearchAmanda  on Twitter and liking my  Facebook page. Now on to the questions!

Ladders job search expert Amanda AugustineI just got an offer today, but I want more than was initially offered – how do I start negotiating salary?

Use resources like, PayScale  and our competitive analysis tool,  Ladders Scout  to determine the average compensation range for the role you’re vying for, taking into account the location, industry, and company size. Then you can confidently say, “Based on my research, this role typically pays between $55,000 and $68,000. I’m looking for a number closer to the $60,000 mark. Is this open for negotiation?” 

What do I put in the salary requirement section of an online application?

If you’re allowed to enter a non-numeric answer, type in “negotiable” or “open to negotiation.” If you must enter a numeric value for your salary requirements, donotput in “0.” Recruiters know that entering 0 is the same as dodging the question and you risk the chance of being weeded out of the application pile. Instead, identify the average compensation range for the role you’re interested in and choose a number towards the lower end of your range. Remember, this is just a starting off number for negotiations.

The goal is to get your foot through the door for an interview so that you can find out if it’s the right position for you. If the job is a good fit and the company wants to offer you the role, then you are in a good position to negotiate for a large compensation plan.

What do I do when they ask for salary requirements?

The first rule of salary negotiation is to avoid discussing numbers until the company has extended an offer. This is when you have the most power to negotiate. But as any job seeker will tell you, this is no simple feat. Recruiters typically try to pull this information out of you as early as the initial phone screen, if they didn’t already request your salary requirements as part of the application process.

Here are a couple phrases you can use (courtesy of  Jack Chapman, author of the book  How to Make $1000 a Minute ) to deflect questions about your salary requirements:

  • I’m sure we can come to a good salary agreement if I’m the right person for the job, so let’s first agree on whether I am.
  • I have some idea of the market, but for a moment let’s start with your range. What do you have budgeted for the position?

You can try to deflect the questions upfront once, maybe twice, but if the recruiter is insistent, you’ll need to be prepared with some figures. Click on the following link for more information on responding to salary requirement inquiries.