Take a job offer from good to great
As the job market picks up, too many of us may be tempted to accept too little for our next position. Here are some tips for maximizing your next career move.
September 29, 2010 4:34 by Katherine Azmeh
4. Market yourself: enter the negotiations with a clear understanding of what value you bring to the company – experience, specialized training, new ideas for growing their business. Before entering negotiations, ask yourself what you have to offer a potential employer. Write it down and be specific. Then, make sure you communicate those positives in a clear, engaging way.
5. Talking numbers. Assess the employer’s interest level before asking about pay. In general, interested employers will raise the topic of compensation in the course of the interview process. If you are offered a position, before receiving salary information, career experts discourage candidates from giving a bottom line. Job counselors suggest you ask employers what they expect to pay candidates with your qualifications. Use your industry research to suggest the going rates. Be sure to use your past salary as a “bargaining chip,” experts suggest.
6. Get the offer in writing, so you can consider salary and benefits package in a comprehensive way. The terms of employment are not always explicit in the interview process. A written offer will help you examine the job from all angles. “Salary alone was little more than half the monetary picture for me,” explains Chris Bashar, a physics graduate from the US. “When I started to compare the benefits packages of competing offers – insurance and stock options and bonuses – the base salary represented only about sixty percent of the package value.”
7. Interviewing skills are acquired, not inborn. Becoming a strong negotiator comes with practice. Hone your skills by negotiating offers that you might not otherwise consider. Communication skills and interview savvy improve with experience. And who knows, you might just negotiate a “not-so-good-offer” into a winner.
8. Finally, keep your cool. Stay collected and professional throughout the process, despite inner nervousness. Negotiation anxiety declines with practice. The more prepared you are for the process, the easier it will be to remain confident. Remember, employers take their time in finding the right candidate, and you should, too. It’s a win-win situation when both employers and candidates carefully consider the decision to work together.
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