What Are Your Skills Really Worth?

 In Interviewing, Job Search Strategy

Many people feel that they can’t negotiate because it’s an employer’s market.  Others don’t feel comfortable with negotiation because they are not sure how much they can actually command in the marketplace.

Here are some questions related to salary negotiation that you need to be able to answer before you are ready to enter into the negotiation process.

  1. How can you research salary information for your industry, your position, and your experience level?Job hunters will get a ballpark figure of what they can expect in terms of salary if they do their research on sites like salary.com. Also, it is a good idea to look for salary surveys done by professional associations linked to your field.
  2. How can you research what other people get paid?Glassdoor.com is a good place to start when searching for this type of information. Employees from many companies post such information on this site.
  3. What factors are important to consider when evaluating your own worth?After reviewing several job postings for your field, you will have a good idea of what types of skills and experience employers are looking for. If you have 90% to 100% of what employers are asking for, you are in a strong position to negotiate for salary that is at the top of the salary range. You have to know where you stand with your skill level before you are in a position to negotiate.

Of course you also have to know what the market will bear. Your current or previous salary may not be a good indicator of what the going rate is now. That’s why salary research is critical.

If you can find the information, it also is useful to know where the employer that you are applying to stands relative to other employers in your field. For example, some employers want to be known as great employers, so they are generous with salary and benefits. Other employers are average when it comes to compensation, and still others are at the low end of the totem pole. Being armed with this type of information can guide you when you are negotiating salary so that you know what to push for.

Cheryl Palmer is a career expert who has regularly been quoted in The Ladders, the Wall Street Journal, CBS MoneyWatch, and CNN Money.  She is a career coach, resume writer, and LinkedIn expert.  Download 5 Master Strategies to Land a Job Through Social Media at www.calltocareer.com.

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