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How do you ask for a higher starting salary?

The salary is one of the most — if not the most crucial aspect of an individual’s employment. It determines how a person earns a living, thus impacting their lives and future. 

It’s vital to get the salary that you deserve. As such, negotiation for a job offer is the key. When applying for a job, you must know how to negotiate. The ultimate goal is to ensure that HR will meet your salary expectation.

But when it comes to negotiation, the most challenging part is to ask for a higher salary. Chances are, you’ve gone through all the stages of your application. During the job offer, you aren’t satisfied with the salary offer. That’s when you need to negotiate. So before accepting the job offer,  ask some key questions, then be sure to discern and decide.

Unfortunately, people apply for a job every three years on average. During that period, they only negotiate at least once or twice. It implies that most people aren’t good at salary negotiations. They are even hesitant to ask the HR personnel to increase the salary offer.

Fret not, as we’ve rounded up some expert negotiation tips for a job offer. That said, here’s how to ask for a higher salary:

1. Know your worth — your market value

It makes sense to know your worth as an employee. Do your homework before applying for a job to know your market value. The goal is to identify the salary range you deserve based on your knowledge and skills, employment experiences, and educational background. Once you determine your market value, you’ll be more confident in asking for a higher salary.

The CEO & Co-Founder of Moonchaser, David Patterson-Cole, believes that the employees are a company’s most valuable assets. He said that “employees are almost always on the front line, ensuring day-to-day operations. Without them, a company will cease to exist. Hence, they deserve to get the best of what a company has to offer.”

2. Prove why you deserve your requested salary

When determining your market value, you must have considered a handful of factors. These include your industry experiences, field of specialization, and talents.

So when negotiating with the recruiter for a higher salary, you should be able to prove to them why you deserve this. The goal is to let them understand your worth as an employee.

First off, ace your interview and assessments to justify your knowledge and skills. Also, prepare all your paperwork, such as your proof of employment and eligibility certification. Plus, present your payslip to show how much you were earning before and why you should receive a much higher salary this time.

3. Strive to be likable and leverage your likability

Setting a good impression can make a difference in your job application. Understand that recruiters do not only consider your knowledge, skills, and talents. They also assess your character to see if you’re fit for the job. If you sound polite, warm, and professional, you’ll probably be more likable to them.

Once you’ve established your likability, it will no longer be hard for you to negotiate during the job offer. There will be less friction between you and the recruiter as you have already established your relationships. As such, you can go ahead and ask for a higher salary.

Aaron Gray, the Managing Partner at No-BS Marketplace, always underscores the power of likability. He said that “you can use this to your advantage. You can leverage this to connect with people and prompt them to take action.” 

In fact, they use this likability factor in their SEO strategies, whether in their guest posts, editorial links, or sponsored content. They believe that when readers ‘like’ what they read, they’ll probably respond to your calls-to-action (CTAs) or click the links.

4. Have proper timing

In most cases, HR personnel asks for the applicants’ salary expectations during the initial interview. Know, however, that this isn’t the right time to directly ask for a higher salary. In fact, you shouldn’t bring up this crucial topic during the screening process. The best time to negotiate is during the actual job offer after you’ve passed everything.

The Senior Vice President at altLINE Sobanco, Jim Pendergast, believes that timing is everything. While providing invoice factoring services, they have noticed how important it is to have proper timing. For this reason, their company ensures that SMEs get appropriate financing before their clients’ customers pay their bills. 

Asked if proper timing applies to a job offer negotiation, Jim Pendergast said, “there is a perfect time for everything, whether in business or employment.”

5. Focus on the whole deal, not the salary alone

When looking for a job, most applicants focus on the salary alone. Their ultimate goal is to get higher compensation. However, there’s more to it than meets the eye. 

Apparently, there is a difference between negotiating a job offer and negotiating a salary offer. It isn’t about how much you can earn; it’s about what you can bring to the table. 

If the HR personnel see your worth and value, you’ll most likely get hired. And if fortunate enough, you’ll practically get what you deserve. If not, you can always negotiate. However, focus on the whole deal — not just the salary. 

By looking at your employment’s holistic aspects, you’ll be able to showcase your potential and justify your requested salary.

6. Come in completely prepared 

When applying for a job, preparation is the key. You have to prepare for a handful of things, from the professional outfit to wear down to the best answers to potential questions. 

Your preparation should also include practicing your negotiation skills for the job offer. This way, you’ll be able to do the needful when asking for a higher salary.

The Founder & CEO at GoReminders, Jonathan Zacks, stressed that “it’s better to be always prepared than sorry.” Hence, they have developed tools for automated reminders, schedules, and confirmations. That way, their clients’ customers can always prepare for their appointments.

7. Be ready to accept or walk away

When negotiating for a higher salary, it’s vital to be emotionally and mentally prepared for the possible outcome. The HR will either increase the salary or stick to the decision. You have two routes: either accept the offer or decline it. No matter the outcome, you must handle the final decision professionally and gracefully.

Harness the Power of Negotiation

There is no denying the power of negotiation when asking for what you deserve. And this applies to negotiating a job offer. 

So when asking for a higher salary, consider the valuable negotiation tips recommended above, from knowing your worth to wearing the HR shoes to being ready to accept or walk away. 

As a valued employee, understand that you have the right to just compensation. Ultimately, asking for and getting the salary you deserve will impact your employment, career, and life!