Over a quarter of respondents to PayScale’s survey who had never negotiated salary said they’d held back because they were uncomfortable discussing salary. Another way to say that is that they’re scared to ask for more. If you feel the same, you’re in good company. But just because the thought of negotiating gives you the heebie-jeebies doesn’t mean you have to accept whatever number the hiring manager lobs your way.
To get paid what you deserve, try these salary negotiation tricks:
1. Use a Precise Number
Of course, the first step in any successful salary negotiation is to do your research. PayScale’s Salary Survey gives you a salary range based on responses from thousands of people with your qualifications, experience, and job title.
But if you’re pressed to give a number, don’t provide a range. Research shows that giving a precise number, e.g. $52,000, is more persuasive than giving a round number or a range.
Why? Because it makes you look more informed. The idea is that hiring managers will assume you’ve done your research if you’re more precise. In any case, as long as the number is within the range that’s acceptable and appropriate, it’s worth a try.
2. Speak Strategically
Of course, you might be wondering if it’s better to give a number at all. Shouldn’t you make the hiring manager throw out the first figure?
There are two schools of thought on this. One is that by making them name their price, you’ll find out the real budget for the job. The other is that by going first, you set the tone for the negotiation.
In the end, the most important thing might be to make a decision and be ready to change up your strategy on the fly. The only wrong answer is not to prepare. (Just remember that no matter what, your salary history is your business and no one else’s.)
3. Negotiate By Email
When it comes to salary negotiation, “it’s better to do in person or over the phone,” says Alison Doyle, Job Search Expert at The Balance. “It’s easier to not get yourself locked into a numbers game.”
However, Doyle says that it can work to negotiate via email “if you phrase it carefully.” She recommends stating that you’re very interested in the position, and then asking if there’s any flexibility in the compensation package.
If that appeals to you, she offers a sample salary negotiation email template to get you started.
Tell Us What You Think
What are your best salary negotiation tricks? We want to hear from you. Tell us your tips in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.