Finding a job is a lot of work. If you don’t have a job yet it is really a full-time job. If you’re looking for a change it can be even more difficult to negotiate working while searching. But, once you do get into the negotiation phase of a job offer it’s important to know what to do to ensure that you walk away with an offer and the pay you need.

Make Them Like You

People like to work with personalities that they like. Try to be likable even though you’re nervous. If people like you, and they can get the money to hire you, they will. As long as it’s possible, the like factor goes a really long way.

Get Close to the Negotiator

When you know who will be working the offer negotiation, get to know them as well as you can. Whether that’s research, asking questions, or stalking them online it doesn’t matter. You need to understand the personality that you’re working with in the negotiation and they need to like you too.

Appreciate Their Limitations

No matter how badly someone wants you to take the job, if they don’t have the budget for your needs then they won’t be able to offer you the position. You may feel as if they’re lowballing you, but in reality that might just be what their real budget is and it may be impossible for them to offer you what you want.

Let Them Know You Deserve More

While you’re negotiating, you can show them why you deserve more by showing them real numbers of what you’ve done for any place else you’ve worked. When you can show stats, figures, and dollars you can easily prove you deserve what you’re asking for.

Tell Them You Will Take the Right Offer

Sometimes when a job offer is in the negotiating stage, after you’ve acted like you have many other offers and proven that you deserve even more than you’re asking for, they’ll get nervous that you won’t even take the offer after they’ve worked hard to create it. Reassure them that if you get what you want you’ll take the job. Remind them why you want to work with them as opposed to anyone else.

Don’t Discount Yourself

It’s very important that you don’t get too excited about any one position and discount yourself unrealistically. If you’ve overpriced due to the economy or are over their real budget for hiring you, can negotiate other factors like longer lunches, mileage or more personal time instead – as long as you can afford to.

Tell Them What You Want Upfront

Don’t keep adding on more things with each conversation. Instead, look at their offer, then provide the top numbers of what you want to take the job – including compensation and other benefits. That way you don’t waste their time by adding on things later.

Consider the Opportunities Other Than Pay

Many jobs now offer stock options, personal time, work-at-home opportunities and more as part of the compensation package. Think of those too during your negotiations.

Remember that negotiating the job and the pay are really two separate issues, and that pay (while important) isn’t the only important factor when you’re looking for a job. After all, you’ll have to be there every day and actually need to like the work you do in addition to the pay. Be upfront about what you want and stick to your guns, and you’ll walk away with what you want.

How to Negotiate Job Offers and Pay Scales
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