Determining how much you’re worth
With so many people currently seeking employment, a big question on many minds is how to decide what your job skills are worth. What salary are you willing to accept?
Your first task is to research: research, research, research. If you have a friend at the company, ask them how pay works there, and if they know anything about the position that you’re trying for. Some companies have tables of top, medium, and low pay for each title. This information can come in really handy when negotiating.
Especially look at new employee salary, if available. Keep in mind that their idea of proficiency may not be yours, just saying that you’re proficient in French doesn’t make it so in their eyes.
Call HR and get the name and full list of responsibilities for the position that you’re interviewing for. You can use this information to find a benchmark position online — essentially the commonly used title for what you’ll be doing. This will allow you to do accurate salary research.
Through various sources online you should be able to find salary ranges for different positions. If women’s and men’s pay information is available, use the men’s, even if you’re a woman! Unfortunately, it’s likely to be higher; in this way you can ensure that your negotiations are as fair as you can make them.
Take into account that location is a big factor in pay rate. What’s the cost of living at the job location? If possible, get average pay rates there and figure out what the salary range for your position is in that area, if you can’t find the specific numbers on that.
Often, employers like to ask about your salary requirements in advance. They can use this factor to weed out expensive employees or to offer you less, if you were previously underpaid. Instead of giving them this leverage, whenever possible, avoid giving any information. State that it’s negotiable, based upon job responsibilities.
If it’s impossible to avoid completely, give the range that you’ve come up with from your research. And when in negotiations, start at the top of that range, because you know the company is likely to want to start at the bottom.
Research has shown that women are less likely to negotiate for a higher salary than men are. It is believed that this is a factor that leads to lower pay for women. Women, take this into consideration: you are expected to negotiate. It is not unseemly to do so, in a polite and professional manner.
Do ensure that you go in knowing exactly what you’re willing to accept. Otherwise, you may feel pressured into accepting an offer that you’re not really willing to live with.
If the salary you’re offered is far below the range that you expected, verify that the list of responsibilities you used is correct. Verify the position title.
Keep your tone polite, even if you believe they are being unreasonable. Remember, everyone is a contact, in the business world. The last thing you want to do is burn a bridge.
Written by Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW - Visit the website to hire executive resume writer Erin Kennedy, CERW, CPRW
Erin is an internationally renowned certified resume writer specializing in professional and executive level resumes and career services.