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When you’re searching for a new job, it’s important to keep your professional value in mind, and ensure any position you consider will pay you a fair wage, according to your skills, responsibilities, and overall market value. While it’s acceptable to negotiate salary as an overall practice, if you don’t do it correctly, you may find yourself unhappy with your offer if you don’t make a strong enough case, or even worse, you could have an offer pulled if you’re overly aggressive. Follow these steps to properly negotiate salary during your job search.

Be Transparent From the Beginning

Determine a salary range that you’re comfortable with and communicate it to the hiring manager. This prevents wasting one another’s time with a negotiation if your desired salary is far removed from what the company can offer. Also, communicate your personal motivators that could influence your decision beyond the base salary. This gives the company the opportunity to develop a compensation package. Common motivators include: Flexible schedule, extra paid time off, or telecommuting options. If the company really wants you, but can only afford the lower end of your salary range, they may work to pad your offer with other perks that motivate you – but only if you’ve made them clear.

Provide Objective Evidence

For a successful salary negotiation, you must be ready to prove your case on why you are a worthwhile investment and deserving of more money. Narrow down your most impressive qualifications and accomplishments, then present them in an objective manner that shows why you would be valuable from a monetary standpoint and how you have more to offer than other candidates who would accept a lower payment. When you’re negotiating, you’re selling yourself, so you need to make them excited to want you by highlighting the concrete advantages you would bring.

Think Long-Term

Remember: Salary negotiations are not a competition and shouldn’t be approached in an adversarial manner. It should be a mutually beneficial situation, so avoid being overly aggressive and keep the employer’s perspective in mind. Even if you end up getting what you want, having a “win at all costs” attitude can start your professional relationship off on the wrong foot. Commit to being professional and cordial as you state your case and go back and forth.

Ethan Allen Workforce Solutions can make your job search more successful. Since 1969, we have been helping candidates find available temporary and permanent positions from Hudson Valley employers throughout a range of industries. Register online to start working with Ethan Allen Workforce Solutions.