Any tips on negotiating salary in a new job?

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Posted 10/5/2012 by JustTami in NSBR Board


PeaNut 192,472
February 2005
Posts: 3,670
Layouts: 0
Loc: By the pool

Posted: 10/5/2012 8:50:49 AM
I was offered a job yesterday and will be meeting with HR today to find out salary, benefits, sign papers etc. I have been a stay-at-home mom on and off for 12 years and when I did have a job I worked for the school district where you couldn't negotiate salary.
Anyway, I am overqualified for this job and feel I shouldn't start at the bottom of the pay scale but I don't know how to go about negotiating a higher salary.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!


PeaNut 13,004
March 2001
Posts: 1,783
Layouts: 46
Loc: USA

Posted: 10/5/2012 9:23:44 AM
Research what the salary range for job you are being offered is, and specifically the range for various levels of experience. And what the skill sets are. The fact that you are over-qualified is not a reason to give you a higher salary. In fact my experience has been, it's a reason not to give you the job because they can get someone cheaper with the same non-existence skills. HOWEVER, if you research the skill set needed, you can sell your skills that are on point. For instance, if attention to detail and organization are part of the skill set of the job, all of your volunteer work organizing the soccer team's fun day activities are relevant. You managed hundreds of unpaid volunteers and pulled off a successful event and even made a profit! The important thing is you need to back up your reason on why you should have a high salary with valid experience that is on point to the job and useful to the person making the decision. Good luck!


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PeaNut 100,403
August 2003
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Loc: San Jose, Calif

Posted: 10/5/2012 9:44:14 AM
I would find out what the pay scale is for that position and unfortunately being over qualified isn't necessary a ticket to more pay.

Whatever they offer you can say well I was expecting $X and go higher than what you would like..then when you negotiate down and they hopefully up you can settle somewhat close to what you want. If they ask you what you are expecting, you can turn it back and ask what is the pay range for that position.

You also need to factor in other benefits such as medical, dental, vision plans, vacation and sick pay plus {gasp} any retirement they might offer although in this day and age anything over a 401k plan is hard to find.

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PeaNut 24,564
November 2001
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Posted: 10/5/2012 9:45:17 AM
If you are unhappy with the offer, then I would just ask something like "is that as high as the salary can go?". And read the body language, tone, etc as well as you can. If they say yes, then ask about how promotions and salary increases happen and when.

Also realize that if there are other benefits, that should be taken into account as your total "cost" to them. Plus they have to consider what you will be making based on what others in the same position are making. They don't want to drive up their labor costs too much with a new hire.

I know at our company we make an offer and you either take it or you don't. There is no negotiation. We know what the position is worth for us and we know what your skills/education/etc are based on your resume and your interview. And we usually ask in the beginning about what range of salary you need to be in. The worst thing I see is people undershoot and then try to negotiate at offer time. I had one who said her range was mid-40ks in her original cover letter but then came back to negotiate for $60k at offer time. She wasn't hired.

I agree that being overqualified is not something that will currently get your more pay. And often times it is a barrier that keeps you from getting a job.

Doxie Pea Mom

PeaNut 52,841
October 2002
Posts: 33,484
Layouts: 25

Posted: 10/5/2012 9:53:22 AM
Definitely look at the whole package, not just the pay check. One job that I went to, they were not able to offer me a higher salary but I did negotiate an extra week of paid vacation. Huge benefit to me and the value of the extra week was almost equivalent to the salary I was hoping to get!! If you negotiate any extra benefits, make sure you get them in writing and hold on to whatever they give you as long as you work there or until your benefits catch up with your years of service.

Make sure you look at other benefits and how much they will cost you like health and dental insurance. These are not necessarily benefits that you can negotiate but they are definitely of value. You might find that you will save money by being able to drop other coverage and pick up their coverage for example. That is as good as an increase in pay.

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PeaNut 192,472
February 2005
Posts: 3,670
Layouts: 0
Loc: By the pool

Posted: 10/5/2012 12:19:49 PM
Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions. I have researched the pay range and I am taking into account the benefit package (which from my research sounds very good). Thanks again for all the information, it is very helpful.
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