Get Paid What You’re Worth: 5 Tips to Negotiate a Higher Salary

by Connie Mei · 2 comments

Congratulations! After searching for what seems like a lifetime, you’re about to finalize your first job after graduating. Or maybe you finally landed the job of your dreams.

You couldn’t be more excited…until you get the official offer letter. The salary is lower than what you expected. Do you accept the offer as is, or do you take the risk and negotiate?

Not being paid what you’re worth is one of the most common complaints in the workforce today. It’s also one of the biggest reasons why people leave their jobs. But even so, many employees don’t negotiate their salaries and, instead, take the salary offer as is.

Whether you’re getting ready to negotiate a raise or deciding on a job offer, it’s important to understand what you’re worth as an employee.

By doing your homework and being prepared, you can make sure you get paid what you deserve. Here are 5 tips to negotiate a better paying salary.

1. Do the Research

Before you start negotiating, you absolutely must do your homework. The worst thing you can do is be misinformed and give a desired salary way below the industry standard.

A quick search online, using sites like or, will give you a better understanding of the average salary for someone in your position. Some job posting sites also list salaries, so research a similar position and see how much they’re getting paid.

You should also take your years of experience, and how much you know about the industry, into consideration when negotiating.

2. List Out Why You’re Unique

When you’re preparing to negotiate your salary, you have to make to sure you have a substantial argument for your desired salary (beyond just what you need to get paid to buy stuff you need).

Potential employers don’t care what salary you need to pay the bills, or what your career aspirations are, they want to know what you can do for them. What do you bring to the table that’s unique and why should they pay you a higher price than someone else?

Be prepared with a list of all your accomplishments and highlights of what you’ve achieved. You want to show your potential employer that you’re a huge asset and worth the investment they’re putting into you.

3. Highlight Specific Skills

If you have additional skills, make sure you highlight them. Skills, such as a high proficiency in various computer programs, technical certifications, and fluency in another language, make you very valuable to an employer.

So you should be compensated for that value. If something sets you apart from another candidate, you should leverage it to your advantage while negotiating your salary.

Even things like influential contacts, or valuable connections, can help you get paid a higher price.

4. Confidently Give a Desired Range

If you’re asked to give a desired salary, give it with confidence. You may initially want to hold off as long as possible, in order to show your employer that you’re the perfect person for the job, regardless of salary.

However, when doling out the numbers, do it with confidence. Don’t stutter and be specific — at least with a specific figure. If you believe you are worth the money, then so will everyone else.

Don’t be afraid to aim a little higher too, so you leave a bit of wiggle room for your new boss. Your goal is to make it a win-win for both parties.

This gives you more flexibility when it’s time to finalize the numbers. Just make sure you’re comfortable with the desired range you provide.

5. Don’t Forget About Benefits & Perks

When you’re thinking about your salary, think beyond the money. Consider your compensation package as a whole. Benefits, such as full health insurance and paid vacations, can add a significant amount of value to your offer.

You should also consider perks of the job as a whole, such as work-life balance and your commute. While you can’t necessarily put a monetary value on those things, they certainly can affect how much you enjoy your job.

While it can feel awkward to negotiate your salary, it’s part of business and most employers expect you to. So don’t miss out on money that you rightfully deserve.

Before you accept that job offer, make sure you know what you’re worth. Negotiations can be tough but you almost always gain something in the end.

Have you ever negotiated a raise? What tips did you use, and how did your employer respond?

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  • Jordan says:

    Thanks for the tips. It’s always strange having to sit down and ask for more money! But turning it around and asking for perks instead is a great idea – if I can’t get the money, maybe some vacation days instead? Great article!

  • Gwen says:

    I was offered a position as a lateral move within my company. I attempted to negotiate my salary, but was unsuccessful. I took a different strategy and negotiated that the company cover 100% of my parking expense at the new location. It helped that they wanted me in the new role and I prepared a justification for paying the costs related to taking on the new job.

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