Nail your next salary negotiation with these 3 tips

There are a few big pitfalls when it comes to talking compensation, but don’t fret—Monster hit Facebook Live with indispensable salary advice from career expert Vicki Salemi.

Nail your next salary negotiation with these 3 tips

Is there any phase of the job search people dread as much as salary negotiation? It’s no surprise why: In a single moment, you could price yourself out of the job or doom a dream offer with a lowball salary you too readily accepted.

Have we freaked you out yet? Don’t stress too much—Monster hit Facebook Live with our resident career expert Vicki Salemi, who dispensed salary advice that could turn even the most negotiation-averse into Samuel L. Jackson-level sweet talkers.

Missed it? You can still catch it here (or check it out below). But in the meantime, we’ve got a few key takeaways.

Do your homework

Salary negotiation can take place during a few key points of the job search: At the beginning, when a recruiter or hiring manager is gauging your appropriateness for the role, and near the end, after an offer has been presented to you.

But the real work begins before that, when you’re preparing yourself for salary-related questions. “Get a number in your mind that you know you feel comfortable with,” says Salemi. “Know what you’re worth. This can mean going online, talking to a mentor, talking to professional organizations, former bosses, former colleagues. Then when an employer presents you with a job offer, you’ll know where you gauge and what you’re expecting, versus what they’re potentially giving you.”

Don’t overprice yourself

If you’ve ever filled out an application online, you’re probably familiar with the field that says “expected salary” and gives you a space to select a range or fill in what you think you’re worth.

It’s important not to get tripped up here, particularly by pricing yourself too highly, potentially putting yourself out of the running. Often, says Salemi, a recruiter’s first step is to weed out any candidates who might be overqualified in terms of salary. But there’s a way around that problem—albeit a slightly counterintuitive one.

“Select the lowest end of the range, because you will still be considered for that job,” says Salemi. “When you actually have conversations with the recruiter, that’s when you can get into more meaningful discussions about salary. But you don’t want to disqualify yourself right out of the gate.”

Don’t shy away from negotiation

The most important negotiation advice, however, is also the simplest: Always, always negotiate. Even if your target employer offers you a compensation package beyond your wildest dreams, surpassing your estimated worth as an employee by thousands of dollars and an entire tax bracket, there’s no reason you shouldn’t ask for more.

“They don’t know that it’s beyond your expectations,” says Salemi. “You have absolutely nothing to lose—because there’s nothing at stake here, you’ve already gotten what you wanted. The employers are expecting it to happen. They’re anticipating it. And they’re more surprised when you don’t than when you do.”

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Yes, negotiating your salary is uncomfortable, especially when you're not used to the back-and-forth process. But it's a crucial part of your job offer, and it pays—literally—to get it right. But salary is just one of the things to negotiate. Could you use some help learning how to secure a comprehensive job offer? Join Monster today. As a member, you'll get negotiation advice, interview insights, and other useful job search tips sent directly to your inbox. Don't walk into a job offer ready to sign until you know everything that's on the table—as well as how to ask for what isn't being immediately offered.