If you’d like to shoot for a better starting salary than the one you’re offered, you have to be prepared to ask for it. If you handle it like a professional, the worst that can happen is an employer will say no. In fact, a good future boss will perceive you as strong, capable and with good business acumen when you initiate and implement the salary negotiation process well. And often, you’ll emerge even happier than when you went in.

Here are some tips:

Be knowledgeable of salary trends as they pertain to the job.

Get current, realistic data on what comparable positions pay in your geographic area, also taking your education and experience level into account. There are a number of websites that provide such information. You can also consult a career counselor or a professional industry association to learn more.

Build your case.

Don’t just counter a salary offer with a higher number; be ready to explain why you’re worth more.

Consider the whole deal.

Negotiating a salary and negotiating a job offer are not the same thing. Keep in mind the value of perks and benefits, such as more paid time off, flexible work hours, support to continue your education or pay off student loans, better health coverage, and so forth. It may be easier for an employer to give up more ground in areas other than starting salary. Consider what’s most valuable to you to make an offer more attractive.

Practice your presentation.

Ask a trusted friend or mento to practice your negotiation conversation with you. Ideally, choose someone who is business savvy and can coach you in such areas as projecting confidence and fielding unexpected questions. Run through your delivery several times, so you feel as comfortable as possible when the actual time comes.

Know when to say when.

Don’t let salary negotiations drag on too long. Hopefully, you will reach a mutually agreeable offer in a reasonable amount of time. But if not, respectfully withdraw and focus on an opportunity that better meets your expectations. And chalk it up as a great learning experience as you go forward.

Get it in writing.

Once you and your prospective boss have reached an agreement, ask for written documentation. Be sure it covers all the bases, whether you negotiated salary, benefits, bonuses or other details. Make sure the document is signed by both you and your new employer.


Negotiating a job offer is never easy, but the right preparation can yield an awesome return on your investment. For additional assistance, consider working with a career coach from PrideStaff Fresno. We not only place professionals in a variety of fields, but we also coach them through the hiring process from A to Z, including salary negotiations and transitioning into a new role. Think of us as your partner through the life cycle of your career. Reach out to us today to learn more.


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