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4 Winning Salary Negotiation Strategies Everyone wants to get paid more. Often, that means learning how to win at salary negotiation.

By Ken Sundheim

This story originally appeared on Personal Branding Blog


Everyone wants to get paid more. Often, that means learning how to win at salary negotiation.

It pays to be savvy at salary negotiation. Depending on experience level, a job seeker who can effectively negotiate salary will make roughly $100 to $500 more weekly than their counterparts.

Related: The Do's and Don'ts of Working With Recruiters

Below, you'll find four winning salary negotiation strategies that will help you increase pay, further your career and advance at work.

1. Forget about salary negotiation

It sounds ironic. However, the best way to be able to negotiate a higher salary is to not think about salary until it comes time to.

First, focus on giving the employer what they want: a qualified, upbeat job candidate who answers questions thoroughly and is responsive and cooperative. The more a company sees value in you, the more they will be receptive to your requests. Candidates who are overly concerned with how much they are going to be offered from the get-go usually don't get the job.

Their attitude makes them come across as rigid, less likable, and out of sync with the company's core values.

2. Shift the focus from past pay to future potential

Many companies will use your past salaries as a benchmark for what you should be paid. It's only natural. Although there are laws in certain locations which prevent an employer from asking, those regulations are few and far between.

Related: How to Write a Persuasive Email

Regardless, there are tactics you can use to have the hiring manager focus more on what you can do now and in the future as opposed to judging you based on your past pay. Take their mind out of the past and put it in the future. (In fact, the only statute currently on the books covering all public and private sector employers is for New York City.)

Our recruiters recommended that you cite the salary of other jobs you are currently interviewing for and what you expect to be making in six months.

3. Be polite

Negotiation does not have to be confrontational. One of the worst things that a candidate can do to bolster the case is to demand a higher salary rather than politely request it.

Sometimes the most effective way to find out if the firm you're interviewing with has wiggle room with salary is to ask politely but assertively. Assertive communication is delivered in a firm, smoothly flowing, well-modulated voice. It is a voice that conveys sincerity and the willingness to work towards a win-win solution.

Remember, when you want to persuade, it's best to dial up friendliness and make a case that puts the interviewer in control rather than forcing the individual to do bend.

4. Don't get emotional -- get creative

What if the offer is lower than expected or what if you are not able to negotiate salary, but want the job?

Salary negotiation doesn't have to only be about salary. Instead, widen your options and use your imagination. One tactic is to ask for the ability to renegotiate after a certain time period of being with the firm.

Just because you can't negotiate your salary now, doesn't mean that you can't negotiate the ability to renegotiate your contract in six months (and have that be part of the job offer).

Related: Selling Yourself in an Interview Without 'Selling'

With salary, it's more than just a "yes" or "no." Rather, it's the individual who is able to remain level-headed and creative who comes out ahead in the end. Stay in control of your emotions. Don't react immediately, giving you time to think calmly and clearly.

In the end

Focus on interviewing well. Focus on negotiating the job offer second. The more a company wants to hire you, the more salary negotiation leverage you have.

Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement Sales and Marketing Recruiters, a sales and marketing recruiting firm specializing in staffing business development and marketing professionals around the U.S. Ken has been published in Forbes, Chicago Tribune, AOL, Business Insider,,, Huffington Post and many others. He has also appeared on MTV, Fox Business News and spoken at some of the country's leading business schools on HR, job search and recruitment.

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