Many people have trouble when it comes to negotiating salary. A few key tips can make a big difference in your bottom line.

Some people find the phase of salary negotiation to be awkward and difficult. Particularly when economic times are hard or you are looking for your first job in the field, you might not know how to go about negotiating your salary. Salary negotiation isn’t rocket science and it doesn’t have to be stressful. With a few simple tips you can nudge your salary in the right direction the next time you get a job offer.

Be Specific About Results

You should highlight your past results in any negotiation on salary. However, it is important that you be specific about what you have achieved in the past. Nothing is more specific than numbers. Don’t say that you increased sales. Say that you increased sales by 20 percent in a number of different departments. Don’t say that you were productive. Say that you created over 100 more documents than other people in your department. Specific numbers show that your results aren’t just something you trot out to get more pay. It shows that your results are very real and verifiable.

Don’t Ask

It’s best to let your potential employer make the first move regarding salary. If you must ask about how much you will be paid make sure that you do this after you have secured the job. This puts you in a far better negotiating position as you have proof that the company wants you on board.


As in any other endeavor, having the right attitude is a crucial component of success. You can get the right attitude through a visualization exercise where you strongly visualize having the job and making the amount of money that you desire. While this isn’t a form of magic it may give you an added dose of confidence that makes all the difference. Externally you can express excitement about the job to the hiring team. This will show them that it’s not “just a job” for you . Companies will be more inclined to pay more for someone who is more invested in the job than just trying to get a steady paycheck.

Do Your Homework

Researching salaries in the field is important, especially if you have never held a position in the industry before. Looking around and seeing what people working in your position make at different levels of experience will give you a solid idea of what to ask for when you begin negotiating, as well as what to accept as an offer.

Dress for Success

While looking like a million bucks won’t get you a million bucks, it will exude an aura of success. Remember that nothing invites prosperity more than prosperity. Get a new suit and a fresh haircut when looking for a job and make sure that your personal appearance is always in top form when you are in negotiations. This sends the message to the company that you would like the job, but you don’t need it.

Accept Alternatives to Cash

Remember that compensation is more than just money in the bank. Health insurance, paid time off, expense accounts, profit sharing, stock options, signing bonuses and regular raises for performance are just some of the things that can offset a lower salary. Take the entire package into account when negotiating and making your decision.

Know When to Walk Away

Part of being an effective negotiator is knowing when to leave the table. Unless you are particularly desperate for a job you’ll need to know when to walk away from the table. Never settle for less than what you think you are worth. This can lower your salary expectations for the long term.

Showcase References

Get a portfolio of references for salary negotiations. These don’t necessarily have to be from former employers. They can also be from colleagues or professors from college. Anyone who is familiar with the quality of your work and past performance can make a powerful argument that you are worth every penny you’re asking for. The praise of others necessarily means much more than the praise that you heap on yourself, no matter how objective you are being.

Prepare for Objections

Just like writing a persuasive essay, you should be ready for any objections that your potential employers may have to your salary request. Think carefully about any reasons that your future boss may not want to pay you what you think you are worth. Then come up with counterarguments in advance.

Getting What You Want

Every salary negotiation is different. There are, however, some guidelines that you can bear in mind that will put you in a better negotiating position. Getting the job is only half the battle. The other half of the battle is negotiating a salary that makes the job worth your while.