Show Me the Money! Salary Negotiation Tips

You submitted a sweet résumé, crushed your interview and you landed the job! Now it is time for the dreaded salary conversation.  Few people, and even fewer women, choose to negotiate their initial salary offer, but negotiation doesn’t have to be tricky or scary.  Here are a few tips that will put you in a good position to negotiate.

  1. Educate yourself with salary information. Spend time researching the average salary ranges for similar positions, in the industry, location and organization you are planning to work at. Websites such as,,, and can be good resources to get a jump start on your salary search process
  2. Know yourself. Now that you know the average salaries for positions, and you know the job that you will be performing, you need to be able to communicate how your strengths and experiences make you an asset to the organization. Your personal differentiators in combination with salary data can be used as leverage to start a negotiation conversation.
  3. Choose your salary range. It is a good idea to give a salary range when beginning the conversation of expected salary, especially if this conversation happens prior to the job offer phase. When listing your salary range however, be realistic about what you would be willing to accept. For example, if you say $35,000-$50,000, employers are likely going to put the initial offer at $35,000. If you wouldn’t do the job for less than $40,000, start your range there.
  4. Consider the full compensation. Salary is very important, but so are other things such as health insurance, parking fees, and 401K plans. When looking at an offer from an organization, don’t just consider your take home pay, but look at what other factors your compensation and benefits do or don’t cover as these expenses can quickly add up.
  5. Be professional in negotiations. Too often, people hesitate to negotiate because a worry that if you negotiate, the employer will rescind the offer. As long as you are professional and pleasant during the process, it is unlikely an employer would be offended or pull an offer.
  6. Practice your skills. Negotiations can be nerve racking, so practice with friends or a family member to test out your skills. This practice will improve your persuasion skills and confidence with negotiation hopefully pay off!


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By Erin Jouliot
Erin Jouliot Careers for the Common Good (CCG) Graduate Assistant Erin Jouliot