Salary Negotiation 101: How to Know (and Ask For) the Salary You Deserve

Salary Negotiation 101: How to Know and Ask For Your Salary Worth

Salary Negotiation 101: How to Know (and Ask For) the Salary You Deserve

Salary negotiation is a difficult task for everyone. That goes for whether you’re just starting out in your career or are hoping to increase your current salary. Negotiating your salary may seem daunting, but the truth is, you already negotiate and pitch yourself on a daily basis.

Discussing money and actual numbers can be stressful. A study found only 42% of young professionals negotiated their last job offer—meaning the majority settled for subpar compensation packages instead of initiating a conversation. However, with the proper information and the right mindset, you will be in an ideal position to secure the salary you deserve.

Know your worth

First and foremost, know your monetary value to a company (and the job market) before going in with a set number. Entering with an unrealistic number (too high, or even too low) shows you are not prepared for the conversation and aren’t convinced of your value. This can be a turnoff to a future or current employer.

In addition to Hired’s own salary calculator, consult these other tools to learn the going rate for roles like yours: 

If you are a jobseeker on Hired, remember the CX Team is by your side to help set tailored salary expectations based on your skills and our market data.

Approach each conversation with confidence, and never sell yourself short. As seen in Hired’s 2022 report on wage inequality, expectation gaps are strongly correlated with wage gaps—so knowing your worth is a non-negotiable.  

Articulate your value

Next, emphasize and reiterate the value you bring to the table. Whether you’re just starting out in your career or hoping for a raise in your current role, it’s important to speak the employer’s language and clearly communicate the value you will bring to the business.  

Ask yourself: What in-demand skills differentiate me from other candidates? How does my past experience uniquely position me for success? And finally, what data can help me advocate for a higher salary?

For example, does the job description outline a role that seems below your level of experience? Suggest increasing the position’s seniority and pay accordingly. Are you exceeding all goals as a current employee? 

Reflect on your role and accomplishments at the company. How do they contribute to the core business? How do they contribute to revenue (gained or saved), the team, or the company as a whole? Are there metrics to demonstrate these contributions and results?

Book time with your manager to discuss how your efforts contribute to the company’s broader success and clearly cite data to build an effective case.

Determine your deal-breakers  

Before entering a negotiation, make a mental note of your “must-haves”—whether those include remote work, flexible hours, 401(k) matching, family health insurance, professional development opportunities, or a set minimum salary. While these goals might not be shared with employers outright, they’ll help you stay focused on the factors that matter most to you. 

Tip: Jobseekers on Hired can include deal-breakers in the “Preferences” section of their profile to let employers know what they do (or don’t) want in a role. One jobseeker on Hired said this section “really helped crystallize the searching I’ve been doing the past 5 months and what my preferences are.” Plus, the more complete your Hired profile, the better the matches will be.

Be confident

  1. Do your research
  2. Know your worth
  3. Hone in on your negotiating skills (however awkward or stilted practicing feels)

You will feel infinitely more confident going into the salary negotiation conversation. Remember, it is absolutely okay to bring notes to double-check all your points of value, market rate, and any other metrics to validate your desired number. You may only get one shot, so make sure your strategy is outlined and well-practiced beforehand. If you’re on Hired, reach out to your assigned CX Team member for extra help with interview and negotiation practice.

Want more help landing a new role? Sign up and complete your free profile on Hired to let employers find you!

Want in-depth salary negotiation guidance? Download this comprehensive guide!