Indeed Offers Tips on Negotiating Your Salary

Written By: Jennifer Herrity

Updated February 16, 2023

Published January 22, 2021


When an employer offers you a job, they often present you with a compensation package in writing or in person that includes a proposed salary. If you believe the proposed salary doesn’t align with your experience, skill set, career level and education, you may negotiate for more money. Knowing how to negotiate a salary offer is a valuable skill that can help ensure you’re paid fairly for the work you do. In this article, we discuss a few salary negotiation strategies that can help you lock in the compensation package you deserve.

13 salary negotiation strategies

Negotiating a salary can be a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t have a firm grasp on the compensation package that a potential employer is willing to pay. Here are a few strategies that could help you get the salary you desire:

  1. Research the national average salary

Knowing the national average salary for a particular job can help support a more successful negotiation. It can provide you with a good baseline for your salary request. You can even use it as a justification. To determine the national average salary for the position you’re applying for, you can use “Indeed Salaries”. This online tool uses salaries listed from present and past job postings on Indeed. If you want to get a free, personalized salary range based on your experience, industry and location, you can use Indeed’s salary calculator.

  1. Compare salaries

Compare the salary the hiring manager offers you to the data from your research. Once you get an offer, they’ll likely provide you with the compensation package and salary they’d like to start you out at. Make sure to compare their salary offer to the industry standard. This gives you a sense of how much more you can ask for.

If the salary offered is below the industry standard, you’ll have solid data to support your argument for more money. If the hiring manager’s offer is more than the industry standard, it could be an indication that your research was a bit off or that you’re worth more than you think.

  1. Pitch to justify your desired salary

Prepare a pitch to justify your desired salary based on your research. If you’re offered a salary below the industry standard, make that your primary focus.

You may also point toward your background, experience or a unique perspective you have in order to increase your chance at higher pay. Try saying something like, “I’m coming from a company that operated in a more competitive market, and I think this experience is valuable,” or “I believe my experience in this industry is valuable enough to warrant a higher starting salary.” However, if they are firm on their offer, either accept it if you can live with it, or consider applying to another position.

  1. Adjust your salary

Adjust your salary based on the schedule, company culture and location. If you’ll be working at an inconvenient location, your schedule is a bit tough or the employer asks you to travel for work, the job may be worthwhile if they increase their salary offer. Likewise, if you have an easy commute, flexible hours and the company treats you well, it may be worth it for you to accept offers that are a bit under the industry standard. Take these personal preferences and elements into account when considering the pay you want.

If you are relocating, calculate the cost of temporary housing, moving expenses and travel or airfare. You can either ask the employer for a relocation package or a signing bonus. Also, make sure to take the geographic location and cost of living into account when assessing your worth. For example, a job in San Francisco, which has one of the highest costs of living in the U.S., may pay more than that same job in Las Vegas, which is a less expensive city to live in.

  1. Prepare to deal with different kinds of negotiators

Prepare yourself for negotiating with both hard-style and soft-style negotiators. A “hard-style” negotiator is firm and likely to say “no” to everything. A “soft-style” negotiator is very agreeable and will try to work with you.

If you’re negotiating with a hard-style negotiator, calmly state your reasons to justify the amount you’re asking for. Make sure to keep your tone positive, even if the negotiator counters your argument.

If you’re negotiating with a soft-style negotiator, focus on what’s best for you, not on getting the negotiator to like you. Negotiating a salary offer with a soft-style negotiator can be a bit challenging, especially if you already know each other. For instance, the negotiator may be your boss and you’re negotiating a salary increase. You may prioritize your relationship with your boss instead of focusing on getting the salary you deserve.

  1. Decide on your salary range

Effective salary negotiation requires you to know both your target amount and the lowest amount you’re willing to accept. First, negotiate for your desired salary. If the employer cannot meet it, negotiate the least amount you would settle for. If the employer still cannot meet the lowest salary you can accept, you may need to stop negotiating.

Make sure to maintain the value of your worth. Review the average salaries in your location and field, and consider what unique experiences or skills you can bring to the company that increases your worth.

  1. Consider other negotiable benefits

When negotiating for your salary, consider any trade-offs that you might settle for. For instance, you might be willing to consider a slightly lower pay for increased benefits or perks. Ask for a breakdown of the full compensation package, including whether you’ll receive a company phone, vacation or paid time off or medical and life insurance. Once you have this information, make sure to include increases to these benefits as part of your counteroffer. Keep in mind that sometimes asking for non-monetary compensation can give more leverage when you make a counteroffer.

  1. Delay salary negotiations for as long as possible

If possible, hold off on discussing salary until after the employer has offered you the position. Wait for them to bring it up. Of course, the process doesn’t always work this way. It’s a little more random, so you have to be prepared with information on how to deal with every situation.

If the employer asks you to name your salary requirement in a resume or cover letter, do so. It may be the criteria used to narrow down qualified candidates. Follow the employer’s directions to make sure your resume gets shortlisted. Specify a reasonable range, such as $45,000 to $55,000 a year, depending on the position’s responsibilities.

If the hiring manager brings up salary before you’re prepared to discuss it, you can sidestep the question. You can say something like, “Before we get into that, I’d like to know more about the role.” You can then ask them about the responsibilities of the position.

  1. Let the hiring manager make an initial offer

If the hiring manager offers you the position, let them name a figure first to make sure you don’t give a salary figure that is too low or too high. If the hiring manager asks you what your desired salary is, you can counter in several ways, such as:

  • Asking what the typical salary range is for employees in the company with that position
  • Asking what the company’s budget is for the role
  • Saying you’ll accept any reasonable offer
  • Saying that they’re better informed to estimate how much you’re worth to the company than you are

Once you receive the salary offer, make a counteroffer by asking for your ideal amount. Hiring managers expect a negotiation, so their initial offer usually includes some room for them to move up. For example, if your desired salary is $55,000 a year but the initial offer is $45,000, then you can reasonably ask for $50,000. The hiring manager is not going to move up to $55,000 on their own. You have to be prepared to ask for it.

You should also provide a few reasons for why you feel you deserve more. Highlight your strengths, detailing how your experience and skills will benefit the company’s bottom line. Also, be straightforward. If you want more money, then ask for it. Instead of saying something like, “Well, I just purchased a new house, so my expenses are really high,” say, “I need a higher salary” or “I need more than that.”

  1. Disclose your previous job’s salary

Disclosing the salary you received at your previous position could be a useful salary negotiation tool, especially if your previous employer gave you a higher compensation than the compensation that’s being offered by the employer you’re considering at present. You can say, “In my previous position, I made about $50,000 per year. I understand that the offer is for $45,000, but I’d like to consider salary offers around $50,000 and above.”

  1. Discuss current job offers from other companies

Disclose information about other job offers that promise a higher salary. Make sure to discuss this information in a positive tone, and emphasize your desire to work for the company. For example, you can say, “Another web design agency offered me $60,000 per year to redesign several SaaS websites, but your company’s passionate employees and welcoming environment are keeping me from accepting that offer. Is there any flexibility you can provide in terms of salary?”

  1. Choose an appropriate time

Negotiations about salary are more likely to be successful during certain times of the day, days of the week and stages of the hiring process. If possible, schedule your negotiation during one of these optimal times so you and the hiring manager are best prepared.

You can meet in the early afternoon, which is usually more suitable for scheduling, as the hiring manager has likely settled into their workday and had time to prepare for your meeting. You can also meet in the second half of the week, as the hiring manager is more likely to be completing important work.

You can also ask for a higher salary at certain stages in your career, such as after obtaining professional certifications, completing advanced education and training or adding leadership responsibilities to your job duties. If you’re currently employed, you can ask your employer for a salary increase if you’ve earned workplace recognition or achievements, reached a company anniversary or have proof that you helped the company meet its goal. If you’re a new employee, discuss the accomplishments and experiences you mentioned during the interview process in terms of salary value at their company.

  1. Be confident

Negotiate with confidence. After you’ve done your research, you know that the salary you’re asking for is reasonable. If the hiring manager can’t meet the amount you ask for, then you may need to pass on the job. However, make sure not to issue ultimatums. For instance, instead of saying, “This is my last offer”, say, “I need at least $45,000 to make the change in jobs work for me.”


Indeed Gives 10 Resume Writing Tips To Help You Land a Position

Employers use resumes throughout the hiring process to learn more about applicants and whether they might be a good fit. Your resume should be easy to read, summarize your accomplishments and skills, and highlight relevant experience. In this article, we offer 10 tips to help you write a great resume.

Resume writing tips

While there are a few commonly used resume styles, your resume should reflect your unique education, experience and relevant skills. You might consider having multiple versions of your resume tailored to the jobs you’re applying for. Here are a few key resume writing tips that will help you organize and design your resume.

1. Look for keywords in the job posting

The best place to start when preparing to write a resume is to carefully read the job postings that interest you. As you apply for different jobs, you should study each job description for keywords that show what the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate. Include those keywords in your resume where relevant.

For example, if you’re applying for a job as a medical billing coder, an employer might list keywords like “coding,” “claims submission,” “compliance” or “AR management” in the job description. Pay particular attention to anything listed in the sections labeled “Requirements” or “Qualifications.” If you have the skills that employers are looking for, you can add these same terms to your resume in the experience or skills sections.

2. Review resume examples for your industry

When crafting your resume, you might study examples of resumes from your industry for inspiration and best practices. While there are many ways you can use resume samples there are three main takeaways you should look for:

  • Make it simple and easy to read. Resume samples are simple and straightforward. This is because employers have a minimal amount of time to review your resume, so readability is key. This also means selecting a professional, clean font.

  • Make it brief. You’ll notice that each section of the resume sample is short and to the point, including the summary and experience descriptions. Including only the most key and relevant information means employers can consume more information about you, and more quickly understand your fitness for the role.

  • Include numbers. You might also notice that there are often metrics included in the experience section of resume samples. This is because employers are highly responsive to measurable proven value. Numbers allow them to better understand the value you may bring to the position. For example, one bullet point under the experience description for an administrative assistant reads, “Executed processing of vendor contracts and implemented a standardized process, reducing contract discrepancies by 90%.”

When using resume samples, you should keep in mind that these are not meant to be copied exactly. While you should avoid using them as a template, samples are useful as examples of high-quality resumes in your industry and job title.

3. Use a professional font

Because employers have only a short time to review your resume, it should be as clear and as easy to read as possible. You should use a basic, clean font like Arial or Times New Roman. Keep your font size between 10 and 12 points. Selecting a clear, readable font will help make your resume appear more professional.

You should also make sure to reduce or eliminate any extraneous whitespace. Too much blank space might make your resume seem sparse, distracting the audience and possibly raising a red flag. By reducing extra white space, you make it easier for the resume reader to focus only on the content of your resume instead of the white spaces. You can reduce white space by increasing your font size to 12 points and possibly adding optional sections like “Skills or “Awards and Achievements.”

4. Include only relevant information and put it first

While you might have extensive work or educational experience, it’s important to keep your resume as brief as possible without leaving out key information. Hiring managers don’t spend a lot of time reading each resume. Research has shown that hiring managers tend to spend only 6 seconds per resume. If your resume includes old or irrelevant information, such as jobs held over 10 years ago or minor degrees and achievements, it may distract from key information.

Try to include only work experience, achievements, education and skills most relevant to the employer. You can find the most relevant attributes by closely reading the job posting. You should prioritize important information higher on your resume to draw attention to key skills and achievements.

5. Use active language

Your resume should be written using active language without extraneous words. This means using power words, such as “achieved,” “earned,” “completed” or “accomplished.” If your resume is too long or seems hard to read, you might consider making sentences shorter or ideas more concise.

For example, you may have a job description that reads:

“During my time at Freedom Inc., I ran multiple team-based projects and helped each team member with various tasks associated with each project.”

This example could be shortened and strengthened in the following way:

“Led multiple team-based projects and effectively coordinated group tasks.”

The revised version communicates the same ideas about your accomplishments while reducing the number of words and including more active language.

6. Call attention to important achievements

Instead of listing your job duties under the experience section, select your top three or four most important achievements in each role you’ve held. Where possible, include numbers that measure your success for that particular goal or achievement.

You might also consider including a separate “Achievements” or “Skills” section to specifically highlight relevant achievements in your education, career, volunteer work or other experiences.

7. Only include subheadings and sections you need

Whether you’re using a resume template or creating your own, you may find there are some recommended sections you do not need.

For example, you may need a resume summary or a resume objective, but you should not include both. If you are just graduating from college or high school and have not yet held a professional position, do not include an empty work history section. Instead, you might replace the experience section with relevant coursework, academic achievements and other experiences like internships or extracurricular projects.

You may also find it useful to combine sections if you are having trouble filling a section with more than two bullet points.

8. Choose appropriate margins

Typically you should use a one-inch margin size on all sides of your resume with single spaces between the lines. If you have too much white space, you might consider making your lines spaced by 1.15 or 1.5. You can also increase your margins if you find it difficult to fill your resume, but they should stay below two inches.

9. Proofread and edit

Before sending your resume, you should undergo several rounds of proofreading to ensure there are no spelling or grammar errors. While there are several proofreading programs and tools you can use, it is also helpful to ask trusted friends or colleagues to review your resume. It is helpful for an objective third party to look at your resume as an employer might to find ways you can correct or improve it.

10. Decide whether you need a unique resume for different jobs

Before applying, you should ask yourself, “Have I made it as easy as possible for this employer to see that I’m qualified?”. If you’re applying for a job that has unique requirements, you may need another version of your resume to fully demonstrate your qualifications. Decide on a case-by-case basis which resume to use.

Your resume is often the first step to getting an interview with an employer. Make sure you include the most relevant information on your resume, organize it to highlight the most important information and carefully review for errors. Once your resume is polished and finalized, it should help you get more callbacks, interviews, and job offers.