Salary Negotiation Tips to Protect Your Interests

Salary negotiation is a topic that comes up pretty frequently in blogs and online forums, but often times the tips and takeaways are forgotten once candidates enter into the interview and job offer stages. But ironically, these are the most important times to keep salary negotiation tips in mind!

To make it easy for you to negotiate the fairest salary and compensation packages, I’ll cut right to the chase—here are top tips to help you:

  • Don’t avoid salary negotiation. It may not be in your personality to bring up salary or compensation, but it is an integral part of your total job offer package, and it could affect your long-term job satisfaction down the road. If you feel that you’re not being fairly treated in the market, you should absolutely bring up salary and compensation. In my years of experience, I have never found a situation where an offer was withdrawn because of negotiation—so don’t be afraid to bring it up!
  • Don’t reference your personal life. Avoid mentioning reasons you may need more money, or involving anything other than your professional background into the salary negotiation process. Asking for a higher salary to pay your bills may be honest, but it’s unprofessional and will only serve to portray you in a negative light. Keep it strictly professional when negotiating your compensation package.
  • Do your homework. It is important to avoid thinking “I deserve more,” and then jumping into salary negotiation. Instead, prepare for negotiation well before that part of the process is even entered. Know what the market is paying for your specific skill set, education and experience—this is critical. Websites like or will give you an idea of the salary range most closely associated with your background, experience and geographic location. It is imperative that you sound professional and educated when entering into salary negotiation—and employers will respect you for it.
  • Think beyond salary. Obviously, salary is an important aspect of your total compensation package. It’s how you pay your bills, after all! But there are other factors that can dramatically affect your job satisfaction and increase your overall compensation—and these factors can also be negotiated. Some examples include: a signing bonus, relocation package, performance-based bonuses, vacation time, higher employer-paid benefits, flexible schedules and more. Look at your total compensation before making a decision to accept the job.
  • Wait (if you can). You have the “upper hand” if you can wait to discuss salary until an employer is emotionally invested in you. Ideally, you have interviewed and have been made an offer as the salary negotiation part of the process begins. But sometimes that just isn’t possible. Some employers will bring up salary from the very beginning—don’t shy away from answering any questions, as it could disqualify you from moving forward in the process. Instead, offer a range. Presenting a range early on does not preclude you from negotiating when you receive the offer.

Keep these tips in mind when you enter into your next job interview or salary negotiation, and you’ll be prepared to aim for the fairest compensation package possible. If you need help finding the right IT position to help you reach your goals, give us a call.