3 Tips for Negotiating a Higher Starting Salary


3 Tips For Negotiating A Higher Starting Salary

While you may not be looking for a new job at the moment, chances are, you will be at some point in the future. These days, people don’t tend to stay with a single employer for a full career like they did in decades past, so I thought I’d provide some tips on increasing your starting salary with a new employer when that time comes. Focusing on the starting salary over other negotiable forms of compensation and benefits is important because it sets the baseline for all future pay increases, bonus percentages, FICA tax payments annually, and many other facets of total take-home pay. With that in mind, consider these tips when discussing salary with a new employer:

  • Know Your Leverage: What I’ve found is that in general, if a company really wants to hire you, they will do what it takes to get you in the door. They’ve already gone to the lengths of interviewing you, convincing their bosses to approve the offer, and declined other candidates. Another important fact is that often times, the hiring manager may want you badly enough that they’ll convince HR, or whoever is negotiating the salary, to just get it done. You probably have time on your side as well, if you’re currently employed. You can just keep working at your current workplace and take as long as you need to negotiate the right deal, but the new employer is probably already short one employee and trying to fill the spot as quickly as possible. This is leverage that you hold over the negotiation.
  • Hit Them With Hard Data: In order to show that you’re not being unreasonable and that you’re trying to land a “win-win” deal, show them why you have the salary demands you proposed. You could find out what other people in the field make through either friends or family, or if that is awkward, there are online resources that will reveal that information. In some cases, there are HR or industry surveys of salaries and career data, or there’s even glassdoor.com which aggregates anonymous employee data where workers share their salaries online in exchange for the ability to see what other people in their fields are making.
  • Be Polite, but Firm in Your Requirements: You need to be professional and polite in your dealings so they don’t get the impression that you’ll be tough to work with, but at the same time, if your points are well laid out and reasonable, who could fault you? If anything, it may show that you have initiative and may be a future leader at the company rather than a shy, submissive new hire.


Darwin is an engineer and MBA who takes an "evolutionary" approach to finance, writing about adapting to evolving financial management, tax, investing and savings opportunities. Making more money and saving more money is an adaptive process - join the evolution! He blogs at Darwin's Money and ETF Base. Follow him on Twitter @ Everyday Finance.

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