Posted Dec. 27, 2007 - You’ve been job hunting for an eternity, it seems. You’re exhausted and ready to take the first offer that comes your way. After all, you’ve been sending out résumés and interviewing with countless companies. But when it comes to accepting an offer, remember why you decided to switch jobs in the first place. In addition to finding a job that interests you and takes you out of your boring routine, you want to receive a paycheck that reflects your worth.
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If you receive an offer letter and decide the salary isn’t as high as you deserve, don’t be afraid to ask for more money before you accept the job. Fifty-eight percent of hiring managers make a first offer that can be renegotiated, according to a CareerBuilder.com survey.
At the request of a job candidate, a majority of hiring managers will negotiate a new salary. Nearly six-in-ten will increase their offer once, while one-in-ten will increase it two or more times for the right applicant. Only 30 percent of hiring managers consider their first offer final.
Although you might feel awkward negotiating for better pay when you’ve just been offered a job, you’re actually doing yourself a favor. When you ask for a better offer, you tell the employer that you intend to bring valuable skills to your new position.
The following tips can help you negotiate the salary you deserve:
Prove your worth.
Highlight specific accomplishments and results; 34 percent of hiring managers say this is the most convincing way for candidates to negotiate a better offer. Don't just say you managed major accounts, instead name specific clients and quantified results.
Have strong references.
A candidate's references are the first thing nearly one-in-three hiring managers say they consider in salary negotiations. Be sure the former employers and co-workers on your reference list are prepared to give glowing reports of your work. Provide references with a "cheat sheet”— a brief rundown of your projects they're familiar with.
Know the market.
For one-in-ten employers, the best way to get a bump in your offer is knowing average salaries for your position and market. Online salary sites, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and industry Web sites are great places to start. Educate yourself on industry averages and those around your metro area.
Leverage your position with care.
Thirteen percent of hiring managers say showing an offer from another company and a willingness to walk away is an effective way to negotiate. But be careful with this tactic. It has serious potential to backfire and cost you the job completely.
When all else fails, ask for a six-month review.
If the job is everything you've been looking for, but the hiring manager won't budge on salary, don't walk away. Ask if your new employer would be willing to conduct a review six months into your employment — with a possible salary boost contingent on your performance.