Salary negotiations can make a person uncomfortable. Be aware that salary negotiation is a standard part of the hiring process. A salary negotiation isn't about demanding more money--it's a discussion both sides hope will have a positive outcome. Many organizations (especially big companies) expect you to negotiate, so they factor that in to their offer.
Don't talk about salary until you've been offered the position. Try to avoid salary discussions during the interview stage. You have more leverage after an offer has been made. View Career Spots Video: "The Salary Question."
Salary is only one part of your compensation package. Other possible benefits include vacation, sick time, health insurance, dental coverage, life and disability insurance, retirement options, tuition assistance, day care, and parking. These benefits are sometimes a part of your compensation package and may affect the salary offer. Occasionally you can negotiate some of these benefits.
Be Prepared by Doing Your Homework
In order to effectively negotiate a fair salary, you need to know what a realstic salary range is for someone:
- in the type of position you've been offered
- with your qualification/skills
- in what geographic location
- with your amount of experience
To research typical salary ranges:
- Network: Ask your contacts in the industry what the salary range is for someone in a similar position. Network with alumni through Radford University Alumni Association and through HireAHighlander under the "Mentor" section. View Career Spots Videos: "Build Your Network," "Importance of Networking,"
- Career Services: make an appointment with a career counselor for assistance.
- Use online salary calculator: Try salary.com or NACE Salary Calculator.
- Do research about the organization. Learn all you can about the history of the company, and their current status.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: A publication of the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics that includes information about the nature of work, working conditions, training and education, earnings and job outlook for hundreds of different occupations.
- Overview of BLS Statistics on Pay and Benefits: Instructions on how to search nationally by geographic region, and the ability to break down some occupations by sex and age.
- Virginia Labor Market Information: Virginia occupational data.
- NACE Salary Calculator Center: Free estimates for job seekers.
- Federal Salaries: Pay & Leave: Federal employees pay and benefit tables; if your locallity is not specificially listed, use Rest of U.S.