By Jay Markunas
Tuesday during lunch I will be speaking at The Amplify Career Fair in Austin. I’m going to be speaking on the topic of salary negotiation. One of the comments I generally get is “I don’t even have my resume updated. Why in the world would I want to think about salary negotiation?!?” But, you need to be prepared at all times for the dreaded “how much money were you looking to make?” question.
I recently worked with a new client who had a phone interview. In this phone interview, the employer asked his salary requirements — this was before he spoke to me. If I had to grade his response, I’d give it a “B-“. It wasn’t a bad response by any means, but it wasn’t the best response.
His response was a broad range. There are better ways to handle this question….ways to get an “A+”. We teach those skills in our Job Search Boot Camp program. Not only how to answer the salary question, but how to negotiate for 10%-30% more money. Obviously, knowing your financial needs and thresholds are first and foremost. Knowing the salary range for the position is necessary to succeed.
The Big Daddy of Salary Sites
There are a number of online tools that will help you research salary ranges. Most companies will be in line with that range although some will pay far less and some will pay abundantly more. The Grandaddy of all salary sites is Salary.com. This site allows you to put in the job title and zip code, and returns a report showing the minimum salary, median salary, and maximum salary for that job title in the entered zip code. Salary.com solicits input from companies and employees working in those job titles and compiles the data.
Much like buying a car or home (and much more important), you are able to negotiate better once you are armed with information.