Eleven Things NOT To Do When Negotiating!

The following salary tips are exclusive for the experienced candidate. Career Center counselors do not recommend this approach for the entry level candidate.

  1. DO NOT aim low.

    Start by doing your homework; research the going rate for professionals at your level in your field. Check out salary data or ask a recruiter.

  2. DO NOT rely on spontaneous brilliance - prepare!

    Preparation will allow you to be confident and calm during negotiations.

  3. DO NOT state your position first.

    Don't be the first to mention money. If an interviewer presses you to disclose your salary history or asks you what you hope to make, redirect the question by asking, "What is the salary range for the job?"

  4. DO NOT speak until you have listened.

    Preparation and willingness to hear and understand what the other side's needs are makes an individual a good negotiator.

  5. DO NOT be reluctant to ask for what you want (within reason).

    Remember, if you don't ask for it, you won't get it.

  6. DO NOT assume you already know what the other party wants.

    Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised and the interviewer will name a figure higher than you expected. Keep calm and proceed to negotiate for a figure 10%-20% higher.

  7. DO NOT be reluctant to use "what if" scenarios.

    There's more to compensation than just a paycheck and most things in a package can be negotiated. A good benefits package can be worth 20-40% of your salary. You can negotiate an incremental salary increase based on performance, more vacation time, or a faster career track.

  8. DO NOT make snap decisions on points you have not anticipated.

    Before you open your mouth, know what you want and what compromises you'd be willing to make. As a good poker player would, set your own internal strategy and guidelines and don't cave!

  9. DO NOT be reluctant to ask for time to reflect on the discussions.

    When an offer is given, let the employer know that you are going to take it into consideration for 4-5 days to make the right decision.

  10. DO NOT rely on an unwritten agreement.

    Until you have an offer (letter of hire) in writing, you have nothing. A verbal offer can be withdrawn - it happens all the time. Once you have the offer in writing, notify your current employer. The letter of hire should include: your title, start date, and compensation package.

  11. DO NOT ask the other party to draft the agreement.

    If it is not a customary practice for the company to provide you with a letter of hire, it is important for you to draft one and provide it to your future employer. If this is a problem for them, beware, this is a red flag!