Your job search has finally paid off. After all the networking events, resume re-dos and mock and real interviews, you finally got an offer for the job you wanted. So now what? Do you dare negotiate?
"You should always negotiate a higher salary," says Vanessa Jackson, assistant director of career services at The Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago. Jackson adds, "Hiring managers expect this so they do not offer the highest salary in their range."
Be polite. "Say 'Thank you very much for this opportunity. I am so excited to join your company.' Then move into the negotiation," adds Shannon Delecki, assistant director of career services at The Art Institute of Michigan.
But before you ever get that offer, make sure you've done your research, caution Jackson and Delecki. "Know the average salaries for the position and for the market," says Delecki.
And this isn't a time to be modest about your potential value to the company. "Tell the company why you are worth more than you are being offered. Show them how you will contribute to the company's profits and help their bottom line," advises Delecki.
How much should you ask for? Jackson recommends anywhere from $3,000-$5,000 above the company's offer. After thanking your future employer, you should say something like: "but I'm hoping to negotiate a salary closer to $XX."
There are times that companies may not be able to budge on the dollar amount. This could be an opportunity to negotiate other benefits like vacation time.
And those extra benefits don't end there. Companies sometimes pick up the tab for day care, can offer flex time and even allow employees to work from home on certain days to defray commuting costs.