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Closing the deal: it's OK to negotiate salary with a potential employer.

It's hardly surprising that some jobseekers, when faced with a coveted job offer, fear negotiating for a higher salary. Most think that doing so could damage their relationship with a new employer or recruiter. But, if you're in this category, you may be doing yourself a great disservice by not speaking up. It doesn't hurt to ask, especially if you cover the following bases.

Conduct research

Be sure to enter negotiations with the most up-to-date information about the typical rate of pay for your industry and job title by reviewing compensation surveys and resources such as Robert Half's salary calculator for the accounting and finance fields. Consider asking past colleagues or contacts in your professional network for their insight as well. And don't forget to consider your geographic region--it plays a significant role in determining pay levels.

Show them your value

Be prepared to demonstrate your own return on investment to the potential employer. Provide quantitative examples of your contributions to previous employers. For instance, maybe your quick identification of a payroll problem saved your company thousands of pounds. Results such as this help to put you in a stronger negotiating position.

Look beyond salary

You've heard it before: money isn't everything. If an employer is unable to meet your request for additional compensation, consider asking for other benefits. What would make the difference for you? The opportunity to work flexibly? The employer's support for a professional qualification or additional training? More annual leave? More and more firms are willing to provide such things to secure the best talent, especially when they can't offer the desired level of pay.

Say 'no' when you need to

If an offer is lower than you think it should be, point it out politely and then counter with your desired salary. If the employer can't or won't move, it's up to you to decide whether or not you can accept the terms. This will depend on your need for immediate employment, as well as how excited you are about the particular opportunity. (Note: if you're desperate to leave your current job, don't tip your hand, as it will weaken your position in negotiations.)

Get it in writing

Once you agree to the terms, ask that a letter be drawn up, outlining the specifics of the offer: salary, benefits, the position's title and key responsibilities, plus any special arrangements that resulted specifically from the negotiations. Having everything in writing should prevent any misunderstandings later.

And remember: few salary negotiations are swayed positively by overly aggressive tactics. Regardless of how the negotiations play out, remain professional and courteous at all times. While you may not get what you ask for, you can still walk away with a potential employer's respect--and, in the long run, that may prove far more valuable to you and your career than a larger pay slip right now.

To benchmark your salary or new offer visit Robert Half's new salary calculator tool at

Job search clinic sponsored by Robert Half

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Title Annotation:CIMA MY JOBS
Author:Half, Robert
Publication:Financial Management (UK)
Date:Jul 1, 2013
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