How to Negotiate Your Salary

It’s one of the most nerve-wracking parts of having a job – salary negotiations. Whether you’re starting a new job or due for your review, learning how to negotiate your salary is a tough but necessary part of everyone’s professional path. With a host of new laws and regulations established recently, it’s important that you know your rights going into a salary negotiation, and prepare accordingly (with factual successes) to warrant why you deserve that elusive number. To help you prepare for when this time comes, we sat down with Senior Vice President of Career Group Companies, Emily Levine, to learn more about what insight she shares with candidates when they ask for salary advice.

Tip #1 – Know your worth.

According to Emily, the first step in negotiating a salary is knowing one’s market worth. Have a number in mind, but make sure that number is realistic, and aligns with your current skillset and job responsibilities. There’s a wealth of great resources online you can reference as well: “Candidates should utilize a website like Glassdoor’s Salary Calculator to get a realistic sense of where their experience, technical skills, and education level stand in the market,” Emily explains. Resources such as Payscale also allow you to enter important key data points including location, job title, and salary to see how you stack up against the competition.It’s also helpful to track your growth and create a detailed report of your key accomplishments since your last job or personal review. Besides showing a superior that you’re prepared, having concrete examples to highlight your successes makes it easier to negotiate.

Tip #2 – Bring out the facts.

Whether you’re negotiating a new salary or a raise with your current company, it’s in your best interest to have specific examples that demonstrate why you are deserving of that target number you want. When conducting your research, check websites like ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and LinkedIn for open jobs with your similar experience, responsibilities, and title. Take the listings that have a salary posted, and file them away for your use. This way, when making your case, you can speak to factual examples.

Tip #3 – Provide a range.

Emily also tells candidates to never ask for a specific number, but rather provide a range, which will help to create an open dialogue with your employer. To make these conversations productive, it’s essential to stay realistic – we don’t advise going into the meeting with ultimatums. Often, pending your work product, your current or prospective employer will meet you somewhere in the middle of this range, so make sure you’re satisfied with what you’ve provided them and that it aligns with your market value.

Tip #4 – Disclose only what you have to.

The last piece of advice Emily gives to every candidate is to NEVER disclose your current salary to a prospective employer. Recent laws in certain states prohibit prospective employers from asking about salary history. According to, it is illegal to “[rely] on the salary history information of a job applicant as a ‘factor’ in determining…what salary to offer.” While this doesn’t stop you from voluntarily providing the information yourself, it’s in your best interest to avoid disclosing this during every step of the interview process. Chances are it’ll do more harm than good.

By following these important recruiter tips, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your compensation goals. Above all, remember that every salary negotiation should be an open, honest conversation about your professional worth and what you bring to the team. If you come prepared with realistic expectations and concrete examples, you’ll be great!

Career Group Companies

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Founded in 1981 by Susan Levine, Career Group Companies was created to set a higher standard for recruiting. For over four decades, we’ve partnered with our valued candidates and clients to cultivate perfect career matches for administrative, creative, fashion, events, and executive professionals at top companies nationwide.

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