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Some career experts advise job seekers to refrain from disclosing their salary expectations for a new position. Conventional wisdom says that if you (the job seeker) name a figure first, this will only hurt you. So, if your salary expectation is on the low end of the range this will push your final, negotiated new salary down. Conversely, if your salary expectation is on the high end of the range this could prematurely knock you out of contention early in the process. So, many advise "Just don't say anything. Let the hiring manager be the first to name a figure."

But this approach can be problematic. Some hiring managers insist that you be up front regarding salary requirements. Hence, your relationship with them can become adversarial if you are not forthcoming. Companies have good reason for asking you to disclose salary expectations. If they go through the process of telephone interviews, video interviews, in person interviews, flight tickets, hotel accommodations, scheduling their own company executives to meet with you, eliminating other qualified candidates because they are more interested in you - then, at the conclusion of the process discover that they cannot afford you - regardless of how good and qualified you may be, in the end you have only wasted your time as well as their resources. Being coy about salary expectations will only hurt your chances. Companies cannot react to something they don't know. So be up front, don't waste their time.

So, how should you handle yourself? First, do your homework. Before you walk into your first interview for a job be informed about what a company will likely pay for the position at hand.

For example, visit the internet salary sites (www.salaryexpert.com, www.salary.com, www.payscale.com) so that when you are pressed by a company to provide a salary range you can provide one that is based on your research. Also, if you are going to put a figure on the table, be certain that the low end of the range is a number you are willing to accept. Second, practice negotiating. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. If you are not satisfied with the initial offer, don't just walk away. Rather, make a good faith counter offer that reveals you are willing to work hard and go after what you want. Third, depending on the level of the position there can be several bargaining chips to go along with your salary: bonus, signing bonus, commission, early compensation review, profit sharing, stock options, relocation package, education reimbursement, telecommuting, vacation time. If the company is unable to budge on base salary because it will disrupt the scales of equity among your potential colleagues, a combination of base salary and one, two, or several of the above may bring resolution and the ability to move forward.

 

 
     
 
     
 
 
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