#1 SALARY NEGOTIATION MISTAKE

This post is going to get to the point fast so that you can STOP making the number one mistake that is costing you thousands of dollars in every salary negotiation.  This mistake most frequently occurs during the first phone call well before a job offer is extended. After reading this blog post you will be in the know and be on your way to 10%+ salary bumps.

Let us walk through two real life scenarios. In the scenarios assume the term recruiter stands for both recruiter and hiring manager.

SCENARIO 1: HOW NOT TO EARN YOUR WORTH

Recruiter: I am very impressed by your experience and I think you are a great fit for this position. I would like to move you to the next stage of the interview process.

You: That is great news. Thank you!

Recruiter: You are welcome. What is your current salary?

You: Well, I am currently making $Y and I do not want to take a pay cut.

Recruiter: I have great news for you, this position actually starts at $Y + 3% (given as a single number). How does that sound?

You: That sounds great. (On the surface, you say thanks and appear to be pleased with the salary amount, but you are really thinking ONLY 3% more than I’m making now! AGGGH)

Have you had the above experience? If you have do not worry because the conversation in the next scenario is going to make sure you never have the experience again!

SCENARIO 2: HOW TO EARN YOUR WORTH

Recruiter: I am very impressed by your experience and I think you are a great fit for this position. I would like to move you to the next stage of the interview process.

You: That is great news. Thank you!

Recruiter: You are welcome. What is your current salary?

You: I’d rather not discuss salary at this point as I am more interested in making sure I am the best fit for this position and discuss salary later in the process.

Recruiter: I understand, but I need to make sure the available salary is a match for you and the company.

You: Ok. Well, I’m looking for a range of $Y to $1.10Y (this gives you a range of 10%; but the key is that the lower end $Y is a minimum of 10% above your current salary). Then you say, ‘at this point I am most concerned with gaining a better understanding of the position and making sure my skills can add instant value to the company in the role’.

Next, the recruiter will provide a response that tells you that your number is too high or that your salary requirements are ok, which may mean you left some money on the table.

Response when your salary range is too high for the position

Recruiter: That is more than is budgeted for this position, the highest salary for this position is $Y, does that work for you?

This response is trying to get you to accept a lower salary. Ultimately, it is up to you whether to accept, counter, or politely decline the offer. 

OR THE RECRUITER WILL SAY...

Recruiter: That is above the range for this position, do you have any flexibility because I know you are a great candidate for this position and I know the hiring manager is going to love your resume.

This response places you in a tough position because the recruiter did not provide a range and now you have to offer a salary amount on your own and you may offer a salary less than the recruiter can pay you. When this occurs always make the recruiter tell you what they can offer.  Do not leave money on the table. Insist that the recruiter provide the salary amount and then decide to accept, counter, or politely decline the offer.

In both cases my recommendation is to accept the salary offer if it is 10% or greater than your current salary. If not, I recommend that you counter to a number that is 10% larger than your current salary or politely decline.

Response when your salary range fits the range for the position

Recruiter: That is fantastic news; this position actually pays ($Y + 3%).

This may seem crazy to you, but it happens all the time. A recruiter will always offer a number equal to or slightly larger than the lower end of your range.  This is why your range MUST start a minimum of 10% above your current salary.

There you have it this one post will help you earn thousands and thousands of dollars more over the lifetime of your career. Do yourself a favor and bookmark this article and share this salary negotiation gold nugget with your friends and family.  It is time to stop leaving money on the table.

If you want to learn two more of my top salary negotiation tips:

  1. How to research and know your market worth based on your experience
  2. When, how, and why to counter a job offer

Then you need my Negotiation Ninja eBook that will provide a 1000% ROI the next time you are negotiating your salary.