Learn the proper ways to negotiate your salary, according to career experts, HR professionals, and many more.
Here are their insights:
One of the most typical -and most important- negotiations people will ever face is negotiating for a salary increase.
So I teased out all of the best information from my time studying under Yale’s very own negotiation expert, Barry Nalebuff, and came up with a step-by-step guide on how to negotiate for a raise.
Step zero: negotiation preparation
To be successful in negotiating, think carefully about what’s really important to you. Maybe it’s money, but maybe it’s actually responsibilities, maybe it’s a title, maybe it’s the ability to get more experience so you can use that to make it to the next level.
It’s hard to get your employer to give you what you want if you yourself don’t know what to ask for. So, think carefully about this.
Prepare your persuasive motive
You’re a seller. You’re selling the idea of why your employer should give you a raise. It is not really a problem to reveal your motives for selling. However, depending on the reason you give, your employer will be persuaded into a positive or negative reaction.
Consider using Simon Sinek’s Start with Why to persuade your employer using a mission or goal you’re working towards:
Your Employer: “If I gave you a raise, what would you do with the additional money?” [i.e. Why do you want a raise.]
You: “As a kid, I pretty much kept to myself because I always felt like no one truly understood me. Anytime I would watch movies or TV I’d make believe I lived in that world for a bit–I identified with these people and even though I was alone, I was never lonely! People do things on-screen that we are too afraid to do in real life, they share themselves with the world–they are truly brave. I want to reach those people and inspire them to be braver in their real lives–that is why I’ve committed such a large part of my life to be an actor and storyteller in addition to working here. With the additional money, I would be able to move closer to my goal.”
You don’t want to find yourself in a position where you’re worried that if you say a salary that’s too low, they’ll say yes right away, or if you say a price that’s too high, you’ve started a fire.
- Research the company and the industry.
- Find what’s acceptable to ask for and what’s not (if you’re asking for more than just a raise).
- Position yourself to be allocentric: Learn more about the position that your employer’s in as well as your employer’s interests so you can understand and appreciate them when the actual negotiation starts. Make your best assessment of your employer’s BATNA. (In other words, make your best assessment of the most that your employer is willing to pay you.)
Think of negotiation in phases
The three phases are listed in the bullet summary above. Right now, we’re still in phase one.
Determine your BATNA
What is the least you’re willing to accept from your employer?
Prepare for several scenarios
As the old saying goes, ”If you wish for peace, prepare for war.”
Prepare for these situations: (1) Your employer agrees immediately to your offer. (2) Your employer counter-offers. (3) Your employer starts a fire.
Get ready to leverage your lead time
If you’ve stuck with me so far, know that this is my favorite part of this strategy.
According to negotiation expert Herb Cohen, most people will wait until a week before their boss gives out salary increases to tell their boss that they expect something (and the boss has probably already put the numbers in).
They are forgetting that the key is your boss and always will be. It’s about making your boss look good and feel good.
So, instead, they should have gotten a commitment from their boss by playing the long game:
Step One: Expand the pie as a first resort. You go to your boss six months before he’s scheduled to give out salary increases and say:
You: “Look, I really am trying to get a raise. What are the things I have to do in the next six months that would get me an increase in compensation?”
Then, the boss will tell you.
Step Two: Prime their expectation level. Three months later you go to your boss again and say: “How am I doing along the way of getting that compensation increase?”
Step Three: Close the deal. One month before the scheduled salary increases you check in with your boss one last time. Then, on the day of the salary increase, you’ve already gotten it because you’ve affected the expectation level of your boss and the boss knows. It’s like the boss has promised it to you and you’ve both committed to this process over an extended period of time, so you get it.
However, this doesn’t guarantee that your raise will be as big as you might expect or want it to be. That’s why in phase two I’ll go over how to initiate and properly handle the actual negotiation itself.
Negotiating a raise
Leverage various sources of power
During the process of leveraging your lead time, you should prepare various sources of power as you approach the salary increase date.
The power of the printed word: When information is in print, it leads us to believe that the information is set in stone and cannot be negotiated.
For example, if your boss printed a packet and said, “Here it is, from the rule book. Rule six in our company is…,” then out of respect for the printed word you are likely to accept it and forget that the information in that rulebook was, at one point, discussed and negotiated over.
So, see if you can print information of your own to show to your boss that will help you be more persuasive.
The power of competition: In other words, if the other side knows you have options and that they’re not the only buyer/seller, they will overestimate your power in the negotiation because you have alternatives to their deal (leading them to underestimate their own power in the negotiation). Try to give yourself alternatives to the deal you want with your employer.
Know your approach
You should approach your boss in a way that will get them to invest in the negotiation. Here are some sample approaches to consider:
The relentlessly pleasant negotiation style: A style of negotiation where you are “soft in style, hard in substance”. You have to be relentless in terms of going after what you want (a fair deal) but will have a higher success rate by negotiating in a friendly, cooperative, and collaborative way.
The liking (by association) negotiation style: One way that “liking” works are that we buy more from those we like. In this case, we want your boss to buy into the idea of giving you a raise.
Since you have more power in the negotiation the more you get the other side to invest, by being more likable they will like the idea of doing a deal with you more than if you lie, show a lack of integrity, talk too much, contradict them, or act judgemental.
The low-key pose of calculated incompetence negotiation style: Make sure you don’t appear to be the smartest person in the room. Never let people know how bright you are or what you’ve accomplished; they should ultimately be able to figure this out after the negotiation is over and after you’ve told them what a great deal they got.
Make your boss feel smart. By playing dumb and inarticulate in the negotiation, you get the other side more invested and involved in the process. Train yourself to say:
You: “I don’t know. I don’t understand. Can you explain that to me again?”
Then, you want to ask your boss for help.
You: “Look, you’ve been doing this for years. Could you like help me?”
Get them talking, get them doing, get them involved in the process.
Have the champagne ready
At the last meeting with your boss one month before the scheduled salary increase, it’s good to have a bottle of champagne very evident and glasses sometimes at the end of the table.
That way, your boss knows that there’s a major time element, he must finish up negotiations with you on this deal. You could even bring a card that says “congratulations” and write a note inside congratulating your boss on his good choice.
Be allocentric and expand the pie as a first resort
You were allocentric and expanded the pie when you looked out for the interests of your boss by asking, “What are the things I have to do in the next six months that would get me an increase in compensation?”
That was the equivalent of saying: “Look, at some point, we are gonna be talking about dollars, I know that. And that’s going to be confrontational because you’re always going to want me to accept less and I am always going to want more. But before we get there, let’s talk about what excites you, what motivates you and how I can help make this deal work better for you.”
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t look for ways to expand the pie further by asking questions like this again at the last meeting.
Anchor (high) with a precise bid
If you have the opportunity to make the first offer, a high asking price may help you get more money. This is one of the advantages of going first because the first number people hear serves as an anchor or starting point. So, your boss hearing a high number will pull up his view as to the best price to pay you.
A precise number will get a much better response/counter from your boss than a rough number because, with a precise number, your boss will think that you have some logic behind it, some principle that you’ve given consideration and thought to in your ask.
Instead, if you’re just putting up rough numbers, he thinks you haven’t given great consideration and will respond/counter thinking that maybe you have no idea what you should be paid.
That’s it! With this blueprint, you have a roadmap to negotiate your salary in a way that makes sure you never get the shorter end of the stick. Now, get negotiating!
Stephanie Frieboth, PHR, SHRM-CP, sHRBP, MBA
Career Expert, My Empowered Career, LLC
There is an acute emotional connection between salary, self-worth, and success. Salary is a tangible indicator of success as pay increases with increased accomplishments which feed the self-worth value system we hold close. This is why money is one of the hardest topics for applicants to discuss in the hiring process.
When you receive an offer that is less than you desire, there is an immediate emotional response. Excitement that you received an offer and disappointment that it was not what you expected. The idea of negotiating your salary implies that you are worth more than the offer presented to you and you begin to grapple with a variety of thoughts..
- I am worth more, but how much more?
- What will they think of me if I negotiate?
- Will my new boss think I am demanding?
- Will they rescind the offer?
- Will I be able to perform at a level equal to the salary I ask for?
These 3 tips will demystify salary negotiations so you get what you want without the stress.
Know your opponent and the market
ou are an investigator during the entire hiring process. Learning about compensation and benefits is just as important as the culture and job responsibilities. This full picture shapes how you negotiate your offer.
Use tools such as Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to gather salary insights to define a general range to use as guideposts. Keep in mind some of these sources are self-reported and as you know, pay is based on experience along with a variety of other factors.
Leverage your network before and during the interview process to get the inside scoop on what really happens with career development, pay increases and promotions. These are valuable perspectives to consider in addition to the information you see on the tools listed above.
During your interviews ask questions about the expected salary range, specific benefits they offer (PTO, dental, medical, maternity/paternity leave, EAP), and developmental opportunities. You are building trust with the team along the way which is beneficial when it comes to negotiating the final package.
Write them down in a list under two categories needs and wants, then assign which of those you are willing to negotiate on (e.g. PTO need = 4 weeks, want = 6 weeks, negotiable = willing to accept 4 weeks if the salary is on the higher end of my desired range).
Know your bottom line and value
We all have a bottom line but don’t start there. Having done your homework, there may be something in the compensation package that is not necessary while something else is non-negotiable to you. Refer back to the needs/wants list you were created to respond with a counteroffer.
By this point, you should also be able to define the skills and experience you bring to the role as leverage. Are you a turnkey employee because you already know the industry, you just need to know the new systems and processes? Do you bring unique industry knowledge to the team that they don’t currently have?
Have a strategy (negotiate via email)
Based on what you learned about the company during the interview process and what your bottom line is, build your strategy. Companies expect counteroffers. Use your list of levers to determine what you ask for and how much.
A negotiation is a dance that requires some thought so take your conversation from emotionally charged to logically cultivated by moving it to email. Yes, email! Give yourself space to think and create a counter offer that meets your needs from all angles including salary, bonuses, health insurance, retirement, PTO, and other fringe benefits.
This golden nugget will reduce the stress of having to respond like a ping pong ball in a live conversation and risk saying the wrong thing because you are nervous.
I’ve seen extremely talented individuals leave money and other benefits on the table because they were too afraid to ask. With these tips, you can negotiate like a pro.
Senior Recruitment Advisor, VelvetJobs
Be aware of the market value of your skills and expertise
One major mistake people make when negotiating their salary is being unaware of the market value of their skills and expertise. Knowing your value is crucial in value-based salaries. Being aware of your “market” value allows you to set salary terms that will work well for you and that reflect your contribution to the company.
If you do not know your value, then you might end up underselling yourself during salary negotiation. Do your research on the average salary of the position and go into your interview knowing the different salary ranges of an entry-level or managerial position, depending on what position you are applying for.
Consider is the location of your employer
Geography does matter in location-based salaries. Companies located in commercialized and/or urban areas pay higher than the ones in rural areas. This is because of the difference in the cost of living.
If needed, you can provide your previous salary range
When asked about your current or previous salary, it is your choice whether you would disclose this information or not, although there are different policies on this depending on your state. But if you choose to answer, you don’t necessarily have to give an exact amount, you can give a salary range instead.
Also, be sure to point out any bonuses you may have received in the previous job, and any salary increases due to an increase in responsibilities. Keep in mind that some interviewers might call your previous employer to verify your previous salary, so be as honest as possible.
It is important to be aware of such things as it will be to the detriment of your financial and professional growth. It is crucial to answering salary-related questions smartly. This will determine the pay they’ll be offering you. They usually have a salary range and you should answer and negotiate the offer well in order for you to get the salary ceiling!
Senior Director of Human Resources, LiveCareer
Employees often feel it’s about time to get a raise after being with a company for a while. However, the common mistake is being too general in their request and not backing it up with specific accomplishments.
Back up your request with specific accomplishments
My advice is to go through the projects you’ve been working on during the last year and make a list of things you accomplished during that time. Focus on areas where you exceeded expectations and positively impacted your business. The more specific you are, the better. Don’t simply say, “I was able to improve the user experience on our website.”
Think of measurable results of your efforts and include them in your request. If your website’s usability improved, go to Google Analytics or any other tool and look for metrics that can strengthen your point. Your statement will be much stronger if you frame it like this:
“I improved our website’s user experience by creating high-quality content, which increased our traffic by 30% and reduced our bounce rate by 10%.”
Don’t forget about additional responsibilities you gained after joining the company
Let’s say you managed just one brand when you started and now handle an extra one after your colleague switched the department. Show the value you consistently add to your company and list any additional contributions when talking to your manager.
Be prepared for questions
One part is talking about the positives, but your manager is likely to ask you about your pitfalls as well. It’s a good idea to prepare for tough questions ahead of time. Think of key learnings you gained from that experience and offer ideas on approaching similar challenges in the future.
Whether we’re starting a new job or we’re in for a promotion at our current one, negotiating our salary can be daunting. Some of us are afraid to jeopardize the opportunity and some just find it awkward to ask about it.
But if you have impressive skills and you believe you are more than capable of your job, you could be leaving money on the table. Here are some tips to help you effectively negotiate the salary you want.
Don’t be afraid of the “no”
First of all, the reason why this is called negotiation is that someone said “no.” It’s not a negotiation if your manager also thinks the same way as you do. Remember that the “no” is part of the process, so, don’t lose hope.
Know your worth
To get the pay you deserve, take your time to research the rates for people with your experience and expertise in your specific industry and your geographical area. Having an idea about the average rates for your field before you walk into a salary negotiation will provide you with better chances of getting paid for what you deserve.
Prove your case
Even if you already know the range that represents your value, show them why you are worth investing in. Tell your manager about your accomplishments, awards, or anything that demonstrates the value you could offer the company.
Pick the top of the range
When you do your research for the market worth of people in the same industry as you, you will be presented with a range. While it’s common for us to ask for something in the middle of the range, asking for the top pay is advisable to give you room for adjustment since it’s most likely that your manager would try to negotiate down. By doing this, you will still end up with a salary you’re pleased with.
Time it right
If you are serious about getting the raise, timing is everything. Pick a time when your manager is in a good mood or when you’ve had a good performance.
Practice your salary proposal before the actual negotiation happens
Write down what you want to say and ask a friend to listen to what you’re about to negotiate until you feel comfortable having the conversation.
Be thankful for the opportunity
Whether you negotiated successfully or not, be gracious. Thank them for the opportunity. You don’t want to come across as demanding.
HR and Administration Head for a Montessori School | Mental Health Professional
Know your worth and the market
Take time to research the market in the area in which you are applying. Find comparable jobs and average salary. Look up the financials of the company and dive into any public information available to you.
Knowing the salary range of the position you are applying for is important, but also knowing the salaries of other positions in the company can be helpful in negotiations.
Keep in mind that salary range is not built in stone
While most people think of a salary range as the minimum to a maximum of a salary position, there is still an opportunity to be offered a salary beyond the top.
When an employer asks about an employee’s salary requests, using the information obtained through research as described above, one of the best responses is: “Would $_________ price me out of this position?”
That wording allows you to make it known that you know your worth without coming across as demanding. Often companies that want you will be receptive to discussing a salary outside of the typical pay range for that position.
Think of salary beyond the dollar
A salary is more than just the monthly check you bring home. What benefits are included? Stock companies often have routes for employees to utilize to become shareholders themselves.
Would working from home a couple of days a week make your life easier? If the job involves travel, make sure to negotiate beyond mileage or company vehicle use; i.e., stipend for cell phone or company phone, laptop with internet, travel hours count as work hours, etc.
Vacation time is an important discussion – how many weeks do you get, do you have the option to work remotely to allow you the flexibility to take extended vacations, etc.? Does the company promote a healthy lifestyle?
Some companies offer workout time during the workday; others will pay for gym memberships or sessions with personal trainers. Is tuition reimbursement available?
Is flex time available for this position? If the job is out of daily driving distance, is mostly remote work available or would they pay for you to relocate? Could you bring your dog or child to work if you need/want to? Does the company offer stipends for professional/personal development?
Negotiating with a prospective employer can be challenging. There are a lot of different considerations beyond the dollar amount that a position has to offer. However, it is imperative to remember that no company can provide it all.
Do your homework: figure out the standard benefits of this position or with this company.
Focus on the things you care about and limit your requests so they are feasible for the company. Never give an ultimatum, but instead leave room on the table for some give-and-take from both sides.
University Career Coach, Beyond Discovery Coaching
Negotiating salary is nearly always expected in professional roles now. Here are some tips and ways to advocate for yourself.
Do you research
The top sites I like to use to better understand average salary within markets, industries and companies are:
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
Having multiple sources of data helps you better understand and evaluate trends and themes and provides a basic benchmark for the position and industry you are negotiating in.
Don’t negotiate over email
Many people find negotiating salary awkward or weird and try to use email to avoid some of those feelings. With that, it nearly never works as well as jumping on the phone and actually talking human-to-human with the HR staff.
People hire people, and the best way to personalize the recruitment and hiring process is to have as many touchpoints and interactions with the recruitment team as possible.
It helps you connect more personally with them so when you negotiate they understand more of your backstory/background, skillset, and reasoning for the negotiation.
Have a reason
No one is going to give you more money just because you say give me more money. You need to have good, relevant, and data-driven reasons as to why you believe you are worth more than the initial offer. It could be your familiarity with the company as an intern or perhaps you have a certain professional designation such as a CPA.
Whatever makes you unique and helps you stand out from the crowd, that’s what you use to leverage offers with.
Only negotiate on a job you really want
Going into a negotiation, the employer assumes you have a fundamental interest and intent in taking the position. If you are on the fence about the job or you don’t care for how the company does business, don’t let money drive your decision making process. Trust your gut and find a company and job you like first, then negotiate.
I always advise using a range of $5,000 as a standard negotiation amount. If the job offer is 50K don’t ask for 100k. That is absurd. Be reasonable and understand that sometimes the recruiting manager may not have as much flexibility on a pay as they do on time off or flexible work from home/hybrid arrangements.
Work with them and see if you can find common ground. Trust me, they want to hire you and if they can remove barriers to you saying yes, they will.
President, Knight HR Consulting and Coaching
I recommend the following important tips:
- Don’t accept an offer on the spot.
- Thank them for the offer and let them know how excited you are to be joining the company.
- Let them know that once you receive the offer letter, you will review it and get back to them. Normally you have 3 days to officially accept an offer, but it does depend on what level you are at.
- You should have an idea of what the position pays based on your years of experience, industry, and geographical location.
Usually these are the items that are negotiable – salary, bonus (maybe), weeks of vacation, relocation (if that applies), potentially stock options and title
What you need to understand in order to negotiate any of the above is who you are negotiating with – is it human resources? Or is it the hiring manager?
Be prepared for tough questions such as ‘if we are unable to provide any additional pay, does that mean you won’t accept the position.’
How will you answer that?
If you are sure you don’t want the job anyway, there’s no need to go down that path. However, if you are truly interested, continue to let them know they are your first choice and that you want to start off on the right foot.
Sometimes, you can ask if the title is negotiable – maybe from a Manager to Director, etc. Or are they willing to give you another week of vacation, a sign-on bonus, or a review with a potential increase in 6 months?
The most important thing is to have your facts! Search sites such as Salary.com, Glassdoor, Indeed.com (sometimes they post salaries for a job). If there is a deal-breaker, let them know. If the person you are dealing with really likes you, he/she will go to bat for you – which is also a reminder to be friendly, confident, and courteous!
Assistant Professor, Maryville University
Keep an inventory of your accomplishments
Preparing for a salary negotiation like a pro is done well in advance of when you are ready to begin conversations around your salary. Get in the habit of keeping a running inventory of your accomplishments—whether you consider them “big wins” or “little wins.”
This should be a regular practice where you set aside a little bit of time every week to reflect upon all of the ways you did your job really well and write it down somewhere. When the time comes, you won’t be scrambling to think of examples and you won’t overlook anything that you might otherwise forget.
All of this data you collect on yourself will help you better articulate all the ways you’ve added value to your current employer if you’re asking for a raise. Alternatively, if you’re negotiating a new job offer, this helps you demonstrate how you plan to bring value to your employer by showcasing prior work and the results.
In many ways, you should consider yourself an investment (like a stock) that employers spend money on. Employers, just like regular investors, want to put their money toward investments that have a good return on investment (ROI). Even more so, they like to see data that speaks to your historical performance over time and demonstrates clearly what kind of ROI they’re getting out of you.
Using your inventory can help you paint a very clear picture of just how valuable of an investment you are to the company and make a strong case toward convincing them to invest more money in you as a long-term value-creator for the company.
CEO, Inheritance Advanced
Negotiating your salary is always a little hectic when you have to convince your department to raise it. At times, some people might hesitate to ask for an increase in their salary, but this is no more difficult. There are many ways you can manage to convince your boss to increase your salary.
Don’t stress out too much about the truth
If you are focusing on your skills, never stretch the conversion explaining your skills. Instead, focus on the benefits and perks of increasing your salary.
Example: Instead of mentioning that salary is not appropriate for your designation, tell them about the range their competitors offer in the market.
Please don’t say it will only help you
Always convince by mentioning the benefits a company will get instead of the advantages you will get on negotiating the salary.
Example: Instead of telling them the salary you require, tell them about the motivation you will have to perform better for them.
Familiarize the company with your skills
Convince them over the skills you have and need for their company/industry. Show them a clear picture of how your skills can benefit them and how important you are for their work.
Example: Prove your skills by giving them a decision for any crucial situation they will face, to make them realize your need and importance to them.
My best three tips when it comes to negotiating your salary are:
Negotiate when you first get hired into the company
Don’t wait until you’ve been working at the company to negotiate. You have more leverage when you’re first getting hired and they expect you to negotiate. You are leaving money (and benefits) on the table. Even negotiating a $5k raise one-time can lead to big rewards.
Get off the annual review cycle
Your review really isn’t a great time to ask for more money. Think about it: your review is a time dedicated to you getting feedback that will help you grow in your role. And you want to ask for more money when you’re able to talk about all the amazing contributions you’ve made.
So instead – find out when the budget is being made and negotiate when money is being discussed! If this coincides with annual review time, ask your manager if you can separate the meetings.
Just because it may look non-negotiable, doesn’t mean it is
There is always something to negotiate for… access to stretch assignments, public acknowledgment (like a press release about your hire), professional development or coaching funds, title, a specific network, even a LinkedIn recommendation!
Here’s the thing: it’s up to you to ask for it. Don’t wait around for it to be offered to you. You’ll be waiting a long time.
Tara Mohr, an expert on women’s leadership and author of Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead, surveyed a 1K+ men and women to find what really holds a lot of women back from applying is not understanding that it’s a game. That “required qualifications” aren’t always the most important thing.
“They didn’t see the hiring process as one where advocacy, relationships, or a creative approach to framing one’s expertise could overcome not having the skills and experiences outlined in the job qualifications.” – Tara Mohr
In less words, women and girls are socialized to follow the rules.
Hiring processes are not all the same. Because the people (and their biases) behind these processes are not all the same. (And this is infuriating because this is why inequity exists – but that’s for a different article).
Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer, Bayt
Understand the total compensation outside of your base salary
In IT, that might include equity, benefits, annual bonus, and other similar perks. This is an important element to salary negotiation because it can either lower or increase your base salary. Total compensation is, in some cases, more valuable than the salary itself.
Understand your skills and their value in today’s market
Some skills have very clear and defined market value, while others do not. I’d advise you not to use websites like Glassdoor/Payscale to search for average salaries because it can be misleading. Networking is the better alternative to learn about what the average professional in your field is paid.
Once you understand all of that, it’s up to you to come up with an offer and aim higher than the average. You can always settle for extra compensation and job perks that will make your life easier, but there’s no need to work for less.
President, Jefferson Frank
During a job interview, you will likely be asked what your salary expectations are. This can be an awkward question to answer – particularly if you’re a recent graduate or young professional – but don’t be intimidated!
It’s an excellent opportunity to negotiate your starting salary and is also a great way to assert yourself and show that you know your worth.
Research for the current market value
When calculating what to ask for, start with your previous salaries for similar roles and consider whether you feel you were paid enough. Do your research and find out what the market value for that role is ahead of the conversation, and think about what you’re prepared to accept, as these two figures can differ for many reasons.
Do this, and you won’t sound like you’re simply plucking a number from the sky, and you can have confidence that what you’re asking for is realistic.
There are plenty of tools and resources online, such as salary reports, surveys, and job adverts for similar roles where salary is mentioned. Most sites allow you to filter by location too, which is handy if you’re moving to a more expensive city.
If you’re after a specific salary, then by all means state it
If there’s a reason you want more than you’re worth, such as a long commute or your current salary, address it. If there’s a project that you’re genuinely interested in working on and can bring value to it, employers can often find a way to try and bridge that gap between what you want and what they have to offer.
If you give a range rather than a definite salary (e.g. $60k-70k), then employers often start negotiations at the lowest end to ensure they get value for money, so keep this in mind and be prepared if you’re going to select a higher range.
VP Strategy & Coaching Services, Intoo USA
Do your homework
Before even beginning the negotiation process, it’s important to understand your comfort level with negotiating. Do you dread buying a new car? It may be because you really dislike haggling/negotiating.
Even if the process isn’t comfortable for you, by doing research, you will gain a better understanding of the demand and value that your skills and experience hold. This will help you become more confident during the negotiation process.
Do not immediately accept the offer
Two things are essential in the negotiation process: time and consideration.
You may be provided with an initial verbal or written offer. Either way, don’t immediately accept and ask that you be given time to evaluate and respond. It’s typically easier to interpret the details of negotiation in writing than trying to decipher a response on the phone.
Either way, it helps to write down your expectations and don’t be quick to respond verbally or in writing. Take time to evaluate the offer and be ready to reiterate the value you’ll bring to the organization to substantiate your negotiation.
How do you figure out what to ask for?
Make sure you understand what the offer includes
What are the benefits? How much time off would you get? Is there a bonus? Profit-sharing? Once you have this information you can compare it to your learnings from pre-interview research to determine whether the offer is acceptable.
Remember that once you provide your salary requirements, you may not push for more. It’s okay to discuss whether other parts of compensation could be adjusted, such as vacation time or professional training.
Most employers do expect you to negotiate, and doing so can be a creative way to achieve your desired total compensation (salary, bonus, benefits, vacation, etc.) even when the base salary may not meet your expectations, so don’t be afraid to pursue your value!
General Manager, Lock Search Group
In a job market that gets more competitive by the day, it can be difficult to muster up the courage to ask for a pay raise for a job that you may feel lucky just to have.
However, it’s important to realize that most companies are open to these discussions and are willing to pay for the value you bring. It all comes down to the way you represent yourself and argue your case.
There are lots of tips out there for negotiating your salary, but the most important of them boil down to the following:
When preparing to negotiate, be frank with yourself about the strengths you bring to the company as well as your weaknesses. Be prepared to address your shortcomings and how you are improving them, or how they’ve actually given you valuable insight that has been useful.
Understand what the established pay range for your position is – that’s not to say that you can’t ask for more than the top, but you have to be realistic about whether or not the work you provide is truly worth more than the top performers in your position.
Show exactly what you’ve brought to the company in the past year by presenting statistics as well as examples of how your contributions have brought something special to the projects you’ve been a part of.
Explain why your current salary isn’t enough. You can share details about your personal financial situation, work-life balance, or goals you’re hoping to achieve with the company’s financial support.
Know the exact amount, or a specific range, of salaries you’re willing to accept and establish that number early on in the conversation. Conventional advice says to never be the first to mention salary, but the fact of the matter is that most companies will offer the lowest reasonable amount with the hopes that you’ll accept it without negotiation, so it’s important to get a jump on the situation.
While being direct is incredibly important when discussing salary, it’s important to remember that managers have their own set of expectations to meet. Be respectful of that fact while stating your case.
Make sure to be positive about your experiences with the company or field, and express gratitude for your position.
Know when to be flexible, and when to stand firm. If your specific salary expectations can’t be met, sometimes you’ll be offered different benefit options such as a better retirement plan, stock options, or more flexible hours. Be open to considering these, as they do factor into the actual compensation you earn.
Negotiating salary will be different at any company and in any field of work. As long as you know your worth, communicate your expectations, and know when to be flexible, you have a great chance of being successful.
Founder & CEO, Bemana Power Recruitment
Here are some tips that will help make your salary negotiations more successful, as well as some example strategies that I’ve seen work particularly well.
Know what you want
When you enter a negotiation without really knowing what you want, more often than not you’ll end up feeling shortchanged. Since your potential employer will likely present you with a figure of their own, knowing what you’re looking for prior to the negotiation could help you stop yourself from settling for a low offer.
As an example of knowing what you want, you could map out your ideal offer, a figure you consider reasonable, and the lowest compensation that you would be willing to happily accept.
Play the game
While it can feel a little awkward, it is important to understand that salary negotiation is not innately hostile and is merely a part of the employment process.
You should feel confident floating numbers back and forth rather than feel any kind of guilt or social pressure. After all, you are working with the employer to land on a compromise that works well for all parties.
Know when to leave the table
Sometimes you simply will not be able to reach an agreement. That is perfectly okay. In fact, it’s part of the process. By settling, you’re not really doing anyone any favors.
You’ll suffer from not having met your ideal salary, and your boss would suffer from an employee who isn’t having their needs met and is likely to change workplaces in the future.
Find creative solutions
Due to internal policy, you might find yourself in situations where an employer is willing to negotiate with you but is unlikely or unable to increase their salary offer. In these circumstances, it may be worth it to negotiate for vacation days, perks, and even a signing bonus.
Let the employer know your previous salary
By providing your previous salary, you are demonstrating the amount that other employers are willing to pay you. There is an expectation, then, that the new employer will pay you more than this rate.
After all, transferring from one workplace to another presents costs to you — such as a loss of any seniority and reputation you held in your previous workplace.
Emphasize that you are interested in the job but cannot accept less than your minimum rate
One of the best strategies is to let the employer know that you are ready to come on board, but only once they meet you within the range that you are willing to accept.
For example, you could say: “While I am interested in this job, I cannot accept less than…” This strategy demonstrates that you are making earnest an attempt to compromise and that the onus is on the employer to meet you where you are.
Establish that you are looking for long-term employment
A lot of candidates find that their salary negotiations are more successful when they emphasize that they are looking for a place to work in the long term. If you build your salary negotiation around this angle, the employer is more likely to seriously consider your requests.
For instance, you could say that: “While I appreciate the amount you’re offering me, I am looking for higher remuneration so that I don’t have to change jobs in the future.
Certified Personnel Consultant | President, Mangrum Career Solutions
Do your research
In my experience, candidates who come prepared with a specific number or salary range are more successful in getting a salary increase. Rather than simply asking for a raise, quoting a realistic amount shows you have done some market analysis and are serious about your request.
Time it right
Many employers have made decisions about salary raises before performance review season, so I wouldn’t suggest waiting until then. Bring it up well before this time, when they’re still in the process of budgeting for the coming year.
Talk about your achievements
I’ve even seen employees preparing ‘brag sheets’ to accompany their salary negotiation requests. It’s a list of your accomplishments at the company – you’re giving them reasons why you deserve a better income.
It’s natural to feel intimidated by your boss, but ensuring you’re paid what you deserve will help you both financially and psychologically. Remind yourself about the hard work you have put in, and don’t just give up after the first ‘no.’
A successful negotiation actually involves convincing them after they won’t agree with your terms! It could either end with your employer agreeing to pay a lower amount than you suggested, but still an improvement from your original salary.
In some cases, employers may offer extra benefits rather than a pay increase, so consider those if they’re worth accepting.
HR manager, ResumeLab
Self-worth price tag
Okay, it may seem improper to put a price tag on…you. But, you need a number set in your mind for your negotiation. First, check your qualifications against what’s required for the job.
Next, look up the position on Glassdoor to see what other people are making who are doing the same job. Then, add a couple of thousand to that. Always increase the amount a bit so that when they go down, you’re in the sweet spot of what you wanted.
Make a list of your greatest achievements and relevant skills
Practice saying these amazing things about you, until you believe that you’re worth that raise. You can prove you deserve it if you prove your value and that you’ll bring a return on their investment. In HR, we are much more inclined to agree to a pay increase when a person can give data on improvements they’ve made.
This: “I increased sales by 20% in Q2.”
Not this: “I’ve really increased sales.”
Have an optimistic mindset
Be positive and friendly in your negotiation. This is not a fight. This is a conversation in which you present reasons you are a great asset who will bring in more financial returns for the company.
This will inspire them to agree to your proposal for a higher salary. Practice a lot and imagine a positive outcome. Hear them say YES in your mind.
HR Manager, My Perfect Resume
Knowledge is key
his saying perfectly applies when it’s time to negotiate your salary. Before accepting any offer, do some research on the industry you are applying to and factor in your level, geographic area, and commute expense. It’s also important to find out how much professionals in similar industries and roles make.
Once you have a clear understanding of how much your salary should be and why it will be easier to come up with a fair and realistic number for both you and your employer.
Ask for more time if you need it
If you haven’t done your research before you’re asked about your salary expectations, it’s best if you don’t answer the question right away.
Let your employer know that you would like to take some time to think about it and that you will get back to them as soon as you come up with a number. This way, you have time to do your research and come up with a fair number.
CEO and Director, Pulse Recruitment
Use evidence-based information
The best way to negotiate your salary is to use evidence-based information that you have gathered from the market. When you position this information, it’s important to be tactful and reiterate that “this role and company is my first choice because of XY and Z, but the market has been consistently telling me that the correct base salary for this role is $……”
A more in-depth example answer that you can use is:
“I have arrived at this number from open conversations, and it hasn’t just been one source but multiple sources that have said this. I’m certainly not looking to price myself out of the discussion but want to make sure that I’m getting a fair market rate based on my experience and skill set, which I’ve gathered based on what the market has told me..”
Career Expert, Zety
Show a winning attitude and results at work
Asking for a raise “just because” and “out of the blue” might not always pan out. Most companies will not award you for simply showing up at the office. They’ll expect you to show extra engagement and have an impact on company growth.
Showing a winning attitude and meaningful results at work are the best ways to start the “getting a raise” conversation. Getting clear on your goals and actions to get a raise would be crucial here.
Request a planning session with your manager to discuss actions you can take to achieve specific goals, i.e., “I will do this and this in X time to get an X raise in salary (bonuses or other benefits).”
If a solid plan is set out, the employee is clear on what to expect, while managers are usually happy to reward hard work and motivate employees to use their full potential.
HR Business Partner, Zety
Back it up with a blend of your skills and experience
Salary negotiation can be challenging. For one, you wouldn’t want to get passed over just because the employer can’t afford someone that expensive. On the other hand, if you don’t negotiate at all, you may leave a lot of money on the table.
A good rule of thumb is to ask for a reasonable increase while proving you deserve it with your unique blend of skills and experience.
In most cases, you can ask for 8-15% more than you were initially offered without risking getting rejected. To do it effectively, you need to know how to spotlight your value proposition to the employer.
Ask yourself questions like, ‘Did I work on projects that helped save money or time for my previous company?’, ‘Did I meet or better yet exceed my targets regularly?’, ‘What are my most significant accomplishments in the last three-six months that could be incredibly valuable for the new employer?‘.
Once you have robust metrics on what you’ll bring to the table, use them when negotiating a higher salary with the employer to improve your chances of success.
Founder, Breaking Into Wall Street
Don’t give hard and fast answers to the big salary question
One of the most dreaded questions that makes any prospective employee sweat is, “What are your salary expectations?” If you give too high of a number, you may immediately ruin your chances of getting hired, and low-balling yourself can mean getting paid far below your value.
If you’re aiming for a well-established role with a measurable average salary, do some online research and find the position’s average salary. Now, it’s time to build your range.
If the job in question sees typical salaries of $80K to $90K, think about what you feel comfortable with. During negotiation, I’d try to negotiate somewhere in the $85K to $100K range, and feel out the employer’s stance.
If the hiring manager puts the ball in your court when asking about salary, try this answer:
“From what I’ve heard, people in this role make from $85K to $100K annually. Is that correct?”
This keeps the negotiation flowing, shows you’re flexible and puts the ball back in their court without committing too strongly to a number that may ruin your chances of getting hired.
Keep the negotiations short
Research and know your worth to keep negotiations short and sweet. If you negotiate your salary to death with endless offers and counteroffers, you may start a new job giving the impression you’re difficult to work with.
Negotiating for a raise can feel like an uncomfortable proposition for many women. Some don’t want to rock the boat at a job they love and many don’t know how to go about broaching the topic.
Here are some valuable – and proven – tips for women to use when asking for more money:
- Be straightforward with your ask — give them the number you are seeking.
- Show excitement! Make it clear that you’re excited to be part of the company.
- Talk about where you’ve contributed but also acknowledge where you’ve been focused on improving
- Prove your value in numbers and how they match to the company KPIs. Tie it to your salary (e.g., you generated X in monthly sales revenue, which exceeds your own annual salary)
- Talk about your growth and the skills you’ve acquired along the way that put you at a different level from where you started.
- Don’t give market comps or discuss other offers in the first conversation. Those can be brought up later.
- Don’t drag out the process or make it the topic of every interaction.
- Acknowledge the landscape your company is in, particularly coming out of the pandemic. You don’t want to be tone-deaf to market conditions, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get what you deserve.
- If you don’t get what you want, shop around.
- Come back to your company and allow them to match or exceed your offer- assuming you still want to stay.
Director of Talent Delivery & Head of Marketing, 180 Engineering
Doing the research
When you’re negotiating your salary, you always want to be in a position where you are able to speak with conviction and use direct claims. This means that it is important to be prepared ahead of time. Do your research by looking up how much someone in your position is typically paid.
You can do this by using job search engines such as Indeed, Monster, and countless other sites to search the average salary for people with your level of experience in your area. If these figures help your case, jot them down and memorize them ahead of your meeting.
It is also important to research your own performance. Gather any achievements that you’ve earned during your professional career and round them up into a single sheet that you can memorize.
One tip here is to arrive at the negotiation with specific figures or examples ready to go. For instance, if you’ve helped a company achieve a specific goal, spearheaded a project, or earned company money or a commission, use these facts to build your case.
Once you’ve learned about the value of your peers and your own value, it’s time to start the negotiation.
Presenting your case
During the negotiation, operate as someone who knows how valuable they are and is able to prove it. Calmly yet assertively present examples of your successes when requesting your ideal salary.
Make sure to frame the salary that you are requesting as merely a fraction of the money that you will be able to help the company make. For example, if you previously landed a client for a different workplace or were recognized in some way, point to this as an example of what you’re offering.
It is important for your employer to feel like you are worth the salary that you are requesting.
As such, always frame your case through this lens. You could say, for example, that your experience and achievements mean that you are worth a certain amount to the company. You should then state that the salary you’re requesting is derived from this figure.
Ultimately, it is most important that your ideal salary does not feel like a random number you’ve pulled out of the sky. It should feel instead like a calculated estimation of your worth.
Employers are far less likely to pass on what they perceive as a valuable asset for their workplace. By following this strategy, you will be far more successful in your salary negotiations.
CEO and Founder, Virtual Team Building
Understand the levers available to you
A key to negotiating your salary is understanding the different levers available to you. For example, you can “stack your asks” which would mean asking your boss for an increase in your base pay, as well as benefits like more vacation days, internet stipends, and more.
The effect of the multiple asks is that you anchor the negotiation higher, and so even if you don’t get everything you ask for, you will likely get more than you otherwise would have.
At our company, one employee asked for a $15,000 increase in pay, five additional vacation days, and the introduction of a performance-based bonus structure. This employee is valuable to the organization — as a business owner, I am motivated to keep her happy and working with us for the long term. However, I also have cost considerations for our overall budget and team. In the end, I turned down the request for vacation days and bonus structure but gave the employee the full pay increase. This salary bump was 3x what I had initially planned at $5000.
Here is a short list of asks to consider:
- Base pay increases
- More vacation days
- Higher retirement fund matches
- Massage credits
- Four day work week
- Flexible work hours
- Work from home option
- Childcare reimbursement
One warning or notice on this multiple-ask approach: there is a subtle line between asking for more and asking for too much.
If your ask is too far beyond the organization’s capability, then it may not seem worth it for them to formulate a meaningful response which will stall your negotiation efforts.
Be prepared to be flexible
Money is important but consider the complete package. Are there any other perks that you may be entitled to? And if not, ask about the frequency of salary increases.
This lets the employer know that you are willing to be fair but you are aware of your own worth, which could encourage them to meet your request, especially if you quantify your successes in terms of savings, increased productivity and overall contribution to the business.
Always leave the salary expectation question empty on application forms
Never mention a specific salary level in your cover letters. This will help you get past the paper screening stage without anyone thinking your anticipated salary is too much for them to consider.
President and Co-founder, Carson | Kolb
Have a good reason to back up your number
One important factor is to know your desired salary and have a reason to back up your number. Is it 10% more than the previous job you had? Is this role bigger than the last role you had? Are you bringing new or much-desired expertise to the role that is going to bring tremendous value?
Think about how negotiations will affect the relationship
Seek a middle ground that satisfies all involved. Companies often demand parity in benefits; instead, focus on increased salary; or consider other ways to accept a lower salary but an added value, such as more vacation or company stock. This way, you’re in it together for the success of the company, not just yourself.
Be sure to negotiate with the right person
Third, avoid asking questions you are uncertain of the answer, and be sure to negotiate your salary with the correct person. You don’t want to bring up your salary too soon. First, seek to understand the entire scope of the role. Then be sure you’re negotiating with someone who can approve what is discussed. It may be their budget, but it’s your money at stake.
Keep your negotiation rational
No one wants to work with the person who rakes them over the coals. Focus on an amiable figure and if necessary, ask for a performance review in six months with set goals to achieve by then to prove that you’re worth those added dollars and how that investment is going to benefit the company in terms of growth.
All-in-all, salary negotiations are important to you and to the company, so do your research. Find out what the average person in this type of role makes in the area where the company resides and then show how your expertise is going to contribute to the growth of the company.
Founder, Develop Her
Ground yourself in data
The most important thing you can do to negotiate your salary is ground yourself in data. When doing this, there are two important pieces of data you need:
This is information on how much you should get paid – salary data. I don’t just get data from one source. In fact, I use four strategies with multiple sources each to paint a comprehensive picture of exactly how much I should make. I use a) salary guides 2) salary calculators 3) salary databases and 4) my secret weapons.
I then compile all these sources to determine my market value and use this to guide salary conversations instead of my emotions. When you ground yourself in comprehensive data upfront, you set yourself up for success.
This is often overlooked in the negotiation process, but incredibly powerful if used correctly. Leverage data is information you learn and gather about specific problems you solve or value you add for a company that enables you to lock in an offer and even negotiate for a premium salary.
For example, if you learn in the process of interviewing that you have a unique skill set that other candidates don’t have or that is hard to find, that means you have leverage.
If you turn down the job, then there are not a lot of candidates behind you that can fill the role. This means you have the opportunity to ask for a premium because the employer knows that if you turn the offer down then they are going to have a hard time finding other people to fill the role.
Other areas of leverage are when you drive specific value for the company or solve a problem that costs the company money. In other words, making the company $ or saving them $ spells $ for you! Leverage data is all around you, you just have to be looking for it!
I use the two together to lock-in premium comp packages when I negotiate. In fact, I negotiated a base offer up $50K from what they initially offered just by using the two pieces of data above. It changed my life!
CEO, The Stock Dork
There is no hard and fast script that you could use to convince the HR of a company to offer you higher pay, but there are a couple of things that you can do to tip the odds in your favor.
Be confident with what you are asking for
Always remember, there’s a thin line between being confident and being arrogant. Confidence will get you an increment; arrogance will lead you out the door. You need to be confident when asking for a higher pay structure. You need to first believe that you deserve what you’re asking for. If you don’t believe what you’re saying, chances are, you’ll not get what you want.
Mentally prepare yourself to negotiate
It’s not like you ask for a 70% increase, and you’re going to get a complete 70% increase. Loosen things up a bit. Be willing to accept a lesser increase than the one you’ve proposed.
Do not compare yourself with someone else in the same organization
Always remember, comparisons can be tricky. You might justify being better in one aspect, but there will always be some other aspect where you lag, so you might not want to go down that road.
Do not mention personal needs
It’s essential to keep the negotiation professional without involving any personal matter. Everyone faces hardships, but the only thing that you are likely to get from revealing personal problems or needs is sympathy, not a raise. If anything, it could hurt your position as it may lead the employer to think you might have trouble balancing a personal and professional life in the future.
Don’t talk about a range
Do not mention a range between two numbers while negotiating your salary. For instance, do not ask for something “between $60k-$70k” Always ask for an exact figure.
Owner and Founder, Smart Money Bro
Your value is your leverage. When I advise and mentor people, one of the first questions I ask them is, “what value are you bringing”? If you don’t bring value, then you have no position of power when negotiating your salary. And if you have no position of power, then you are negotiating from a position of weakness.
Be willing to walk away
This one is tough, but if you bring value then you have options. And if you have options, then you have the power and ability to not accept the job. Again, the ability to walk away from the job offer is a tremendous amount of leverage.
There is a certain level of preparation involved in being at the point where you can “walk away”. No matter where you are in your career, you should be preparing for the day when you have the options to be able to walk away from salary negotiation if you want to.
Prepare by developing a powerful list of justifications for your salary request
Study median salaries, study average salaries, study local or regional pay rates, common pay increases, and know the pay trends in your industry. Come to the table prepared with information and data.
I’m not saying come off like a know-it-all. I am saying have a basis and a justification for your requests. And be able to articulate your reasoning, if you decide to do so. Again, do not present a “case”.. Be humble, but prepared.
Don’t be afraid to “ASK”
Value your skills, value your knowledge, value your expertise, and don’t be shy about asking for the salary you believe you deserve. A closed mouth never gets fed.
Be sure that your “ask” is in person, if possible. I realize we are in an era of “zoom” and “google meets”, but the most effective negotiations typically take place in person. It’s much more difficult for someone to turn you down in person than it is on a computer, an email, or a phone call.
If it’s impossible for you to negotiate in person, try to do so over a face-to-face zoom meeting. Most times the interviewer will ask if it’s ok for them to get back to you later regarding your request.
Let your potential employer suggest the first offer
Part of your leverage is the fact that you haven’t revealed all of your cards yet. In other words, ask what is the salary and let them make the offer. Ask them if that salary is negotiable. If they say yes, then you can make an “ask”.
For example: If you want $100K per year and the employer is prepared to give you $140K per year, and you go first by saying you want $100K per year, then you potentially just lost $40K. This is why it’s important to allow the potential employer to tell you what the salary is for the position before you say what you want. This is critical.
Once you get the job, be sure to outperform your salary. In other words, you are always working towards the leverage you need for your next salary negotiation!
Content Writer, Orderhive
Negotiations, in general, tend to make most of us slightly uncomfortable. And when you’re negotiating how much you should get paid, you tend to play your importance down.
This is one of the biggest reasons why people are underpaid- they’re simply not comfortable talking about how vital their contribution will be to the organization.. We’ll look at how to tackle this.
Don’t be arrogant, but don’t underplay either
While it’s understandable that you want to showcase your humility and sincerity in front of the interviewer, overdoing it may make them feel like you aren’t confident enough about yourself.
When you’re offered an amount that is lower than your expectations, speak candidly about what you think you bring to the table. Making a passionate case for yourself doesn’t amount to arrogance.
It’s important that both parties stay at the table
Keep in mind that you’re in a middle of a negotiation, not an argument. Your goal should be to make sure that both of your reach a middle ground. This means that you have to be prepared to cede some ground as well. If either of the two of you refuses to simply move an inch, the negotiations are likely to fail.
Eager, but not needy
We’ve all had interviews where we just couldn’t wait to be selected and join the company. It could be because the company was so good, or because you were in a bit of a financial mess.
Irrespective of the reasons, we often let it slip during our interviews just how badly we want to get started there. While eagerness can be your ally during an interview because it shows you’re passionate about the job, overdoing it may come across as being needy.
A negotiation only works when both parties have equal leverage.
They benefit from your skills and you get paid for them. The moment one of the parties shows that they need the deal more than the other, they lose leverage and are likely to negotiate badly.
Hence, it’s imperative to always speak from a position of comfort, a project that you’ve applied for job because you are attracted to the role, not that you need it.
Place equal importance on negotiating benefits
With millions of people still out of work and companies closely monitoring every dollar spent, it’s a tricky time to enter into salary negotiations, particularly if you’re a non-essential employee who doesn’t have the same leverage as others deemed essential.
Also, keep in mind that the salary range may be fixed for your position and there may be little wiggle room in the company’s budget.
Rather than getting stalled in fruitless negotiations where a monetary increase isn’t possible, consider some other non-salary benefits that could still make a job offer attractive, particularly if you’re working remotely amid the pandemic.
Some examples include compensation for purchasing items to build out your home office, reimbursement for child care, additional paid time off, professional development funds to learn new skills, increased healthcare benefits, or even a monthly allowance for food and meal delivery.
This can often go over better than asking for a sizable salary—and you may even end up coming out ahead.
Education Ambassador, ScoreSense
Review your job goals and point out what you’ve done towards them
If you have been in your same position for over a year and been overlooked for promotion or pay rise, it may be time for you to proactively seek them out.
Before you start to negotiate a pay rise review your job description and goals for the year. You will need to highlight areas where you have not just done a good job but have exceeded expectations by implementing new systems, saving money, or have applied cost-saving strategies.
When negotiating your salary you should not only highlight your achievements outside your job description but also flag any courses or continued education you have completed relevant to your field.