PR Week’s 2008 salary survey debuted this week, and with spring in the air, I thought it would be a good time to discuss salary negotiation. Here are some negotiation tips:
1. Ask the employer to propose a figure first. Noel Smith-Wenkle suggests that you say something like, “I will consider any reasonable offer.”
2. Pause. Be comfortable with the silence.
3. If the salary is lower than the average from surveys, point this out. Furthermore, explain what sets you apart from average entry-level practitioners. Think about the “Made to Stick” book we’re reading. What is your core message? This should be your reason for deserving a higher salary, not that you have a mountain of student loans to repay. According to Quintessential Careers, you should focus on your value to the organization, not why you need the money.
4. Ask for a few days to consider the offer. This will give you space to think clearly about the offer and whether you believe it is fair. You may do some additional research and propose a counteroffer with a rationale for why it is appropriate.
5. If you decide to accept an offer that is lower than what you believe is fair, request to be reviewed for a raise after six months of employment. Ask the employer for the criteria that would be used to determine whether the raise would be granted. If possible, negotiate the size of the raise if your performance meets a particular level.
6. Get everything in writing.
Do you have salary negotiation tips that have worked for you?