It can be tough to negotiate salary in the best of circumstances. Even deciding whether to accept a job offer or to negotiate the salary can be a hard decision to make. It's even more difficult to ask for - and get - more money in a down economy.
What can you do make sure you're getting best salary you can? Lee E. Miller, career coach and author of Get More Money on Your Next Job... In Any Economy, shares his tips for getting the best salary and benefits, in a way that's diplomatic and non-threatening to what could be your future employer:
Tips for Getting More Money
1. Focus on the skills you have and the things you can do that are most important to the employer. Making money or saving money is always important when times are tough. So is making your prospective boss look good. Once you have convinced an employer that you are the right candidate they will be more concerned with recruiting you than saving a few dollars by negotiating with you.
2. Serious compensation discussions should be tactfully delayed until the employer is ready to make you an offer. Try to avoid talking about salary, or at least be vague about what it will take to hire you, until the company is ready to make you an offer. At that point, you will have the most bargaining power and the employer will want you to feel good about the offer.
3. Talk with other potential employers even while you are negotiating a job offer. Competition for your services makes you more valuable in the eyes of a prospective employer and greatly increases your ability to negotiate. While your bargaining position obviously is strongest when you actually have another offer, even just talking in an exploratory stage with other employers will significantly increase your leverage.
4. Let the employer know you are excited about the job, because we all want to hire people who really want to work for us. If you are talking to other companies, let the employer know that they are your first choice. But make sure it does not seem like you need the job, because no one wants to hire someone who is desperate. Prospective employers want to hire George Clooney -- not George Costanza.
5. The cardinal rule when seeking more money, especially in a bad economy, is to never threaten or demand. Ask if it would be possible to give you what you want and provide reasons why. It is usually best, and certainly less risky, if you don't make accepting the offer contingent on getting on what you are seeking.
Get More Money on Your Next Job
Get More Money on your Next Job... In Any Economy is full of plenty more solid advice for job seekers, including negotiation strategies, using information data to bolster your candidacy, using recruiters to negotiate, and even walking away from the job offer.