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Compensation: Salary Negotiations - What You
Need to Know
By Robert Mandelberg
Salary negotiations are a lot like the game show Deal or No Deal,
except of course for the 26 models and Howie Mandel. When you're
presented with an offer, you have two choices: You can either accept
it, or reject it and gamble for a better payout.
Negotiations of any kind require a certain degree of skill to be
successful. And since compensation negotiations are probably not
something you do very often, you are at a disadvantage right off the
bat. To make matters worse, the hiring manager is usually quite
experienced in this area. She has probably taken courses with titles
like How to Make Potential Employees Weep During Salary Negotiations
(Parts I and II) and Benefits? Don't Make Me Laugh!
The only way you stand a chance in a salary/compensation negotiation is
to be prepared. It is a common misconception that companies want to pay
the lowest wages possible. This is simply not the case. While it is
true that employers want to reduce labor costs, many of them understand
that it is actually more expensive to hire someone at a bargain
basement salary, spend months training him, and then have to go through
the same process all over again six months later when this employee
resigns because he found a better paying job.
Employers realize that it is much more cost effective in the long run
to pay a fair salary and keep workers happy. In fact, human resources
departments conduct compensation studies to be sure they are offering
How will you know if the offer is fair? By doing research ahead of
time. Friends or contacts in the field are great sources for salary
information. And there are websites that publish compensation ranges
for a wide variety of positions based upon industry, level of
experience, and geographic location. Some sites are free; others charge
Once you ascertain the salary range for your target position, you will
be prepared to enter into a meaningful compensation discussion. While
employers may not want to start you at the very top of the range, you
certainly don't want to start at the very bottom. In an open and honest
dialogue, there is usually a happy medium that will satisfy both sides.
So next time you are faced with a salary negotiation, do your
research and you can turn Deal or No Deal into The Price is Right.
Robert Mandelberg founded The Creative Edge Resume Service in 1987.
Since that time, he has helped thousands of clients reach their career
goals. Rob is a published author, a Certified Professional Resume
Writer (CPRW), and a Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP).
You can sign up for Rob's free weekly job-search tips
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