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The Do's & Don'ts of Negotiating Salary

April 2014

This month's InnerView Career Q&A question tackles negotiating salary, an aspect of the hiring process that often stumps even the most seasoned professionals!

Q: What are the best approaches to negotiating salary after you get a job offer? I’m afraid of giving a figure I’ll later come to regret, but I also don’t want to ask for too much and jeopardize my chances. How can I find the middle-ground?  –J. McClain, Naperville, IL

A: A job offer sometimes feels like you’ve reached the end of a long (and tiresome!) journey. You’ve been reaching out to people for weeks, possibly months, and sending out numerous resumes and cover letters in addition to interviewing. Once an offer is presented, it can be tempting to take the salary and benefits package you’re given. Before you make a hasty decision, consider the “do’s” and “don’ts” of negotiating your salary to best reflect your worth and contribution to the company.

DO your homework. Research the figures and market rates of your position from reputable sources (e.g. industry associations and/or conversations with others in your field). That way you'll come prepared with a desired salary range that you'll be happy to accept from.


Nurys Harrigan is president of Careers In Nonprofits, the experts in nonprofit staffing and recruiting with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

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