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Negotiating a Better Job Offer

Negotiating a Better Job Offer

Negotiating a new job offer can be nerve wracking. But, like all components of a successful job search, a little homework and thought to the process ahead of time will yield outstanding results.

When interviewing, being empathetic can turn almost any situation to your advantage. Using your goals and history as a starting point will inevitably make you less successful. Instead, learn what your target audience wants and cite skills of greatest interest to them.

You must know a realistic pay range for the job title you are pursuing. Research both the typical range for the position and your likely placement within that range.

This may require talking with people in jobs like yours or using online salary surveys to find out salary norms in your field. You can also scan the job openings posted at job sites to gather salary information.

Salary range is determined primarily by the type of occupation and overall market availability. High school teachers have a different pay scale than computer programmers. Plus, if colleges are graduating more accounting students than they were ten years ago, the pay range for accounting jobs will likely decrease.

Placement within a salary range is typically determined by the following:

  • Years of experience. Candidates with more relevant experience fall higher in the range.
  • Education. Certifications and degrees often automatically place you higher in the range.
  • Your current pay. Employers will often match what you’re currently making, even if others in their company with equivalent experience or education are making slightly less.
  • Your potential contribution. Employers will allow you to negotiate to the top of the range if they are convinced they really need you.


Know what others are asking. A realistic pay range is often your best tool when negotiating salaries. Find out what others in your field with comparable assets are making with an online salary calculator.