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What is your desired salary?

June 3, 2009

Ever penned your Desired Salary on a post-it note, napkin or scrap piece of paper?


Money is a Difficult Subject to Discuss, but do you want to Leave Money on the Table?


Money is never an easy topic to discuss. Most of us don't know what our parents earned, what our siblings earn, or what our best friends earn.  Money is just NOT discussed easily!


Yet, when you are in a job search Money is ALWAYS discussed.


The more comfortable you become with this topic, the more money you will be able to negotiate. You don't want to "undersell" yourself; yet you don't want to be screened out over a few dollars a month!


Let's start with the application. All applications ask for your current salary and desired salary. They don't really MEAN desired salary.  Instead, they want to know what you will accept if you are offered a position with their company.


Most employers haven't decided on the exact amount they will pay for a position. They do have a range in mind, but it depends on how well you interview!


For your current salary - list your salary and put two plus (+) signs next to the total.  The plus signs indicate your bonuses, benefits and other perks you need to discuss.


For your desired salary, never put a specific amount. Instead, put the word "negotiable."  Remember, your offer depends on how well you interview (audition)!


If you are asked during an interview, "What will it take for us to hire you?" you answer, "My current base salary is ________, plus my bonuses and benefits. I'm very confident I would be successful at your job and extremely interested in working for you. I don't want to take a step back and I'm sure your offer will be more than fair!" Often that is answer enough. After all, you need to compare the benefit packages including costs, deductions, matching percentage for their 401K benefit, etc. You also want to let the employer know that you need to look at the "entire package."


Make sure you wrote down your exact base salary. You can't increase that number because many companies do background checks that will include verifying your salary. In addition, many companies ask for a copy of your W-2 form from the prior year.


The way to increase the offer you receive is to do the following:


1.       Make sure you quote accurate numbers.


2.      Ace the interview and your offer WILL increase.


3.      When you interview - don't FACT FIND, put everything on the table that you will bring to this position.


4.      Show your confidence in doing this job and let the interviewer know you are interested.


It is important that MONEY becomes a topic that you are very comfortable discussing!