Negotiation Tips

Now that you've been offered the job, get ready for a polite game of cat and mouse. The next step after a successful interview is usually a verbal offer. When and if you receive a verbal offer, be appreciative and thankful. You don't have to provide your potential employers with an answer right away but you can show you are interested by saying "thank you very much, I look forward to receiving the offer letter and reading through the details."

 

Read the Small Print


Make absolutely sure that you read through everything and have all of your questions answered before you put your signature on a contract or written offer. Make sure everything you have been promised in conversation is also in writing in the contract. That includes benefits, commission plans, training (for example certification or further professional training) or holidays entitlement. Don't take anything for granted. Always get it in writing!  

Don't say yes to an offer right away. Be enthusiastic and appreciative when you get the job offer, but ask for at least 24 hours to respond. This gives you time to get over your initial joy at being selected. If you feel the salary is insufficient, express your concern to the employer when asking for time to consider the offer. You'll find out right away whether the salary quoted is set in stone or is flexible.

 

Salary Negotiation


When questioned about desired salary, the best response is one that returns the employer's ball back into his court: You can say, "what kind of salary range are you working with?" or "I'd like to make as much as other employees with my qualifications." or "What is a typical salary for this position?" Another strategy is to avoid a specific figure and name a salary range instead. Say: "I was thinking of a salary in the $60,000 to $70,000 range."  

Do not disclose past salary. Once your past salary is on the table, your negotiating edge goes out the window.  By not disclosing exactly what your current salary is or exactly what it would take to get you to leave your current job, you'll force a potential employer to make its best offer.   

Having multiple job offers puts you in a strong position so it is always a good idea to let potential employers know that you have other offers on the table. Be prepared to tell them what other companies are willing to offer and what kind of job/ industry it is.

 

Benefits & Perks


Don't forget the value of benefits and perks when negotiating a salary. Sometimes the salary offered may seem low. But benefits and perks can add up to 40% to your basic salary. Some benefits are fixed, but others are negotiable such as stock options, car packages, medical, bonuses, employee discounts, training, holiday time and sick leave.  

Make your salary discussion a friendly experience. Be amicable when discussing salary. You should make the employer feel that you are on the same side and working together to find a package that would satisfy everyone.  

 

Accepting the Job Offer


Once you have accepted a job offer and salary level, be sure to get the final job offer in writing.

 

Declining a Job Offer


If you decide not to accept the offer, make sure you leave on the best of terms. Treat every offer seriously and graciously. You can never tell who you may be doing business with in the future so don't burn any bridges. Also be prepared to answer this question: What would make you change your mind? If you are prepared to re-open negotiations, have a salary in mind. If the company is simply not for you, have an inoffensive answer ready.

Remember, negotiation is not about winning! The ultimate goal is to have both the employer and the employee happy with the salary and the overall package. If one party feels they are being exploited or undervalued, then there will most likely be underlying resentment during that working relationship.

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