How To Negotiate A Salary?

Banner Default Image

Salary is a fundamental factor in determining your interest in accepting a job offer. Salary negotiations should be postponed until you're offered the job. Let your potential employer decide whether you're the right candidate, and then proceed to salary negotiations. Here's how you can sway the negotiations in your favour.

Ask for what you deserve

Do not undervalue yourself and understand that all employers expect you to do some negotiation. The biggest aspect in determining whether or not you get a higher salary is based solely on whether you ask. Every employer is willing to negotiate salary, but many employees never even try. Therefore for a start, you have to ask.

Negotiate based on market value

Successful negotiation is based on preparation and patience. Always anticipate what you may need to know when you next speak with any potential employer. Market value is a key component in salary negotiation. Research your value, particularly the value of your qualifications, talent and experience in the employment marketplace. Locate sources that inform you what companies pay for the job you’re considering or being offered. Once you have obtained this information, it will provide you with a better understanding on how to calculate the potential value of your personal skills and background such as education, experience, certifications and overall job competence. This will greatly assist you while negotiating for a healthy salary.

What makes you unique?

You have to consider what makes you unique and valuable. Compare your skills and experience against others in the same industry and assess key factors that validate why you’re a cut above the rest. Focus on your strengths that are exceptional and express your unique style, talent and ability to perform and exceed expectations. This is a vital strategy to differentiate yourself from other candidates and demonstrate why you deserve the salary you are seeking.

Negotiate passively

Never tell the employer what is your preferred salary. Once you have you provided the salary you are seeking first, this could end all potential negotiation. Therefore, always allow the employer to make an offer first. If the company asks for a number on the application, leave it blank. When the company verbally asks you what your preferred salary is, you say, "I will consider any reasonable offer." This is a polite stalling method until you are fully informed on all roles and responsibilities. This is to get to the company to be the first party to make an offer. Once the offer is made, there are two feasible options.

In the event that the offer is above your minimum expectations, it is a perfect scenario so take the job.

Alternatively if it is below your minimum, inform them and wait for a counteroffer. This is where market research and evaluation of your skills and experience will come in handy. Know what final offer you will accept and what number will be a turning factor to accept the job. For negotiation purposes, it is always advisable to determine a number that will exceed your expectations and a baseline number that you will settle for. This would be your salary range to set against your counteroffer. Having these numbers at your fingertips will significantly assist you to be prepared to make your counteroffer and decide should you decline or accept the employer’s final offer.

Alternative options

Do not hesitate to ask about the full compensation package to assess what areas to consider for your counteroffer. Politely request for a breakdown (in writing preferably) of the full compensation package including costs of offered benefits such as medical, dental, statutory deductions and such. A full compensation package may include not only your salary, but other benefits including vacation/paid time off, company laptop, phone, medical, dental, wellness and life insurance. Once you have received and evaluated this information, you can include increases to these benefits as a part of your counteroffer. In certain scenarios requesting for non-monetary compensation can give you more leverage when making your counteroffer. It is advantageous to counter the offer with a well-researched response based on your knowledge about the market, the company, the role and yourself.


It is common for employers to reject your first request for a higher offer, however do not allow this to deter you. Being persistent will assist your ability to negotiate for an improved offer. Take time to explain how the company will benefit from hiring you and justify your proposed salary. While being persistent also remember to be realistic and reasonable when negotiating your salary. It is not advisable to ask for a salary that is above the market worth unless you have a concrete reason to do so.

Understanding these essentials and knowing the strategy to negotiate your way to a successful end result requires research and preparation. While this may be personal to you, understand that it's an impersonal matter for the company that most likely prefers your integration to the role immediately for the best value they can get you. Candidates that negotiate tend to be viewed as high-performers by employers. Negotiating your salary at the early stage of your employment with the company will always be beneficial as you will comprehend what is expected of you in order for you to earn further salary increases later on.