The Ultimate How To Guide for Salary Negotiation

30 January 2017

Experts agree that employers expect a job candidate to make a case for better pay. So it can't hurt to lobby for yourself. This guide will help you understand when and how to respectfully negotiate a salary increase or better starting pay.

Negotiation is a skill that can be helpful throughout life and perhaps never more important than when reaching an agreement on compensation. The fact is that it isn't easy or pleasant for most people. It involves evaluation of your self-worth and the perception of your worth by others. There will always be a disparity in the valuation that may be difficult to bridge, however, failing to negotiate can mean leaving thousands of dollars on the table and potentially millions over a lifetime. A recent survey by found that:

37% of people always negotiate

44% of people occasionally negotiate

18% of people never negotiate

To ensure success, arm yourself with data and understand the most effective and appropriate times to ask for a raise.


This information will be integral in making your case if you feel you are being offered less than standard pay. Try the salary calculator from the website Educate to Career. This simple to use features allow you to include your level of experience, education, and other relevant factors. Don't forget to consider geographic differences in pay. Metro areas do tend to pay more than rural locales, across all industries. Finally, offers salary and wage information on a large variety of careers and locations.

Starting Pay

Employers aren't averse to offering an increase in pay or a more attractive incentives package to secure great talent. Wait, however, until you have been offered the job. Experts say that asking about salary at the initial interview is not an effective strategy.


"You are strongest when they have offered you the job but not named a figure. Then get in first with a high figure. Otherwise, they will start low, and it will be hard to negotiate upwards." Simon Horton, author of Negotiation Mastery

Employment Reviews

Surprisingly, only 12% of employees use their employment review times to ask for a raise. If you have had a stellar job performance, this is an excellent opportunity to present a case for an increase in salary.

When Assuming New Roles and Responsibilities

With more industries opting for a lean business model, employees are being given new responsibilities within their current position. This may be the least opportune time to ask for a raise. However, it is the perfect time to plant seeds for future harvest. The experts at advise that if you are unable to negotiate a raise at this time, use the opportunity to discuss your expectations. With your supervisor, set goals and develop a timeline for a future pay increase and don't hesitate to ask for that in writing.

Fear; the Great Demotivator?

Don't let fear be an obstacle. It's reported that 48% of employees do not ask for a raise out of fear. It is basic psychology to overcome the fear of rejection. Just weigh the pros and cons and ask "what is the worst that could happen?"

Negotiation is more an art than a science and above all else a skill. Practice your technique. Remember to keep your cool during negotiations, don't become emotional or give ultimatums. Find your boundaries and be flexible without giving in too soon. This will ensure that you are not leaving money on the table.