How to Negotiate a Job Offer: 8 Salary Negotiation Tips

Sep 8, 2023 2 min read

You applied for a job. Received a call back. Participated in three rounds of interviews. And now, the company wants to offer you a job. Congratulations! 

Before you sign the initial offer letter, make sure the compensation is up to par and in line with what you were expecting.

8 Salary Negotiation Tips

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that two-thirds of all U.S. workers are dissatisfied with how much they are paid. There are steps you can take to ensure you’re making a salary you deserve. Here’s how to negotiate a salary offer:

1. Do Your Research Upfront

It’s important to go into your interview with a hopeful, but realistic, salary in mind. Websites like Glassdoor, Buffer and PayScale offer salary calculators that factor in your title, years of experience, location and more — then provide you with a target salary range. With that range in mind, reach out to your network to get a feel for the market, both at the prospective company and elsewhere. 

2. Know Your Value

Be prepared to justify why you deserve a higher salary. Things to consider may include:

  • Where you live. For remote roles, the cost of living in your geographic location might vary widely from the company’s home office location. 
  • How long you’ve been in the industry. If the job description requires three to five years of experience and you meet the higher requirement, it could warrant a higher salary.
  • Level of education. Relevant bachelor’s, master’s, PhD or specialized degree programs can impact your compensation depending on the role or industry.
  • Skills that align with the job description. Be sure to highlight any specific areas of expertise you have that were mentioned in the job description. Your ability to hit the ground running in the new role could garner you a higher salary.
  • Results you’ve achieved in previous roles. Keep a list of talking points with concrete examples of goals you’ve met, the revenue you’ve helped drive or awards you earned. If possible, use actual numbers.

3. Determine Your Final Offer

When you buy a car, you probably have a final offer in mind, a number you won’t go over. Use the same principle when negotiating your salary. After doing your research and talking to your network, determine the absolute lowest offer you’re willing to accept — and stick with it. Don't be afraid to walk away from a job offer if the employer can't meet your minimum salary requirement or offer additional benefits that make it worth your while.

4. Be Confident and Positive

You’ve established your ideal salary and your lowest offer. Now’s the time to be confident and enthusiastic in your experience and decision — and the company’s interest in you. Remember: The company chose to interview you from a pool of many applicants, and they want to offer you a job. Lean on that knowledge whenever you need a boost of confidence during the salary negotiation process.

5. Choose Your Words Carefully

Avoid vague language and instead be direct during salary discussions. Think of the difference between asking for “more” compared to asking for “$5,000 more.” Also: Never say “sorry.” You know what you’re worth; don’t apologize for it.

6. Don’t Share Your Current Salary

It’s a common practice for potential employers to ask what you currently make. Don’t fall for it, even if they catch you off guard. Providing a number effectively limits you. 

If you say you make $50,000, your future HR manager likely won’t offer you $70,000 — even if that’s a reasonable amount for your experience and the position. (In some states, employers are prohibited from asking salary history.)

7. Ask for More Than Your Goal — Before They Share a Number

Generally, salary negotiation requires compromise on both sides. Provide a salary number slightly higher than what you expect; if the employer comes back under, you’re still on target. Giving your desired salary first helps you control the negotiating.

8. Consider Other Benefits

If you’ve hit the salary ceiling, start negotiating benefits. A higher commission rate, more vacation days, a bigger bonus, education reimbursement, remote workdays, flexible scheduling and childcare costs can help offset a smaller offer than you hoped.

Is More Money in Your Future?

After successfully negotiating your salary and receiving a well-deserved pay increase, make sure you put those extra funds to good use. Contact your Farm Bureau agent for advice on planning for your future

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.