Surveys regularly show that less than half of people always negotiate their salaries, and even fewer never do.

Furthermore, there’s a massive disparity between men and women when it comes to salary negotiations. According to a survey in the book, Women Don’t Ask by Linda Babcock, only about 7 percent of women report trying to negotiate their first salary, while 57 percent of men said they did.

Both men and women should negotiate for higher pay, but starting the process can be a bit confusing. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Know your worth

If you want the compensation you deserve, it is crucial to know the going rate for the job in your geographic location. You can get a good salary range by searching on websites like Payscale or Glassdoor, or by talking to others in your field who are either working a similar job or have done in the past.

After doing your research and identifying a salary range, start thinking about a figure toward the top. Although you may be tempted to ask for a pay rate that’s in the middle, it’s important to think of yourself as being eligible for top pay. Also, a potential employer will almost always negotiate down. Being satisfied with average pay but asking for top pay gives you wiggle room to end up with a salary you will like.

Engaging in negotiations

When walking into salary negotiation, it’s important to project confidence. So pump yourself up by wearing a new outfit or listening to a mix of your favorite songs on the way in.

According to experts, you should also walk into a salary negotiation with a very specific number in mind; say $18.50 per hour, as opposed to $19. Research has shown you are more likely to get an offer close to your desired amount if you make a very specific request, possibly because it suggests you’ve done your homework. Avoid the other person with a salary range, as this suggests you’re willing to work for less.

Another negotiating tactic is to not accept an initial offer right away. Even if you are given an offer that blows you away, take around 30 seconds to consider the offer and let it hang out there. When someone makes an offer, they feel exposed, and the awkward silence can often lead to the other person improving the offer in some way.

Taking the offer or walking away

During the negotiations, it’s important to keep things cordial and not make threats, such as bringing up other offers or job options. Remember, accepting an offer means you have to work with this person and hurt feelings may be hard to get over.

When contemplating salary negotiations, think of a “walk-away point” that’s too low for you to accept. This might be by using financial need, market value or merely what you have to feel good about the salary you’re taking home. Leaving an offer on the table will never be easy, but it’s crucial to understand when to do it.

At Action Group Staffing, we help job seekers with everything from resume writing to salary negotiations. Please contact us today to learn more about how we can help your career.

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