Salary Negotiation

What do you say when asked about pay?

Deciding how to handle salary questions in interviews and in cover letters is one of the more complex issues in your job search. There are several traditional hints to make the process easier:

  • Try not to name a salary figure when asked but instead refer to the benefits you hope to gain from the job, the learning experience it will provide and the opportunities for growth.
  • Refer to the research you have done (and you HAVE done research, right?**) to prepare for this interview and state that you are confident the company will offer a competitive salary in the range for that position.

How do I calculate my worth?

Figuring out "what you're worth" is a difficult issue in your job search. Experience, type of hiring employer, geographic location, and the current economy are some of the factors that effect the salary you may be offered.

Knowing what typical employers in your field pay is a helpful way to start. You can research that information in several ways:

  • By reading the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Department of Labor to get general statistics
  • By reading books on your career field from the Career Library
  • By viewing current job postings in your geographic area
  • By networking with people in your profession including researching websites of professional organizations

If you are curious about calculating your worth in your field, try this Salary Calculator website.

If you are an adult with lots of work experience or are changing careers, the best resource for information is from Jack Chapman's How to Make $1000 a Minute Salary Negotiations.

There are many other "tips" to help you handle this issue. See the links below.

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