Begin the negotiation process by asking if the job offer is negotiable. If you have a previously established line of communication with your contact through the phone, give her/him a call to ask how much flexibility the company has to discuss salary. Once you have determined that it can be adjusted through negotiations, do your homework. Have a good, sound reason for negotiating.

Conduct research to benchmark a salary range that matches your position. To do this, research salaries for professionals with a similar:

  • Position
  • Level of Experience
  • Level of Education
  • Location (Country, State, City)
  • Company Size

Benefits can account for 30-40% of your base salary.

Below are some of the resources that will help you establish an appropriate salary range

  • CCO Post-Graduation Data: The CCO generates annual reports on salaries of Purdue graduates.
  • NACE Salary Survey: The National Association of Colleges and Employers produces quarterly surveys of entry-level salary. You can use the NACE Salary Calculator to establish a salary range based on occupation, education, and location.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics: The BLS produces salary data on a state, regional, and national level.
  • LinkedIn Salary Search Tool: See a detailed breakdown of salaries by job title and location.

Salary negotiation is tricky. Asking for a higher salary without alienating the employer is a delicate issue and deserves ample preparation. The goal of negotiating is to come to an agreement that feels fair to both parties.

NOTE: It is important to remember that negotiations could end with you getting everything you want, some of what you want, nothing of what you want, or even a withdrawal of the offer. If an offer is altered to meet your requests, be prepared to accept it soon after your negotiations are completed.

During your negotiation, express to the employer the areas you wish to negotiate and explain why you are asking for an increase in salary. Perhaps you feel that some of your work experience was not considered in determining your salary offer, or your salary offer does not compare favorably with other offers you have received. If the organization cannot offer a higher salary, perhaps an additional vacation, a signing bonus, or relocation expenses could be added or increased as an alternative. When negotiating salary, be sure to use your research and benchmark salary range you found in order to help strengthen your position.

REMEMBER: Consider the needs of the organization, the current market and how you can approach the employer in a confident, assured manner. If you implement these tips, you will be well on your way to a successful negotiation!