#Jobseekers: Want to Maximize Your Salary Offer?

It’s a proven fact: To return to work following a layoff, you may have to accept a lower salary than the one you enjoyed in your previous position. However, you may be able to boost your financial point of entry with a few well thought-out strategies:

>>> Take some time to consider any salary offer. Ask for at least 24 to 48 hours. Silence is golden — or it can become so when you let it “hang” there awhile following an initial offer. Don’t rush to fill the quiet void.

>>> Weigh any offer against the company’s expectations of you in the position rather than your personal needs. The company has put itself on the line with its offer. Rest assured they have a cap, but you may have some wiggle room based upon how much value the company perceives you can bring them and what problems of theirs you can help solve.

>>> Prior to any job interview, compare salaries for similar positions. Websites such as Salary.com offer tools for research. Knowing your own worth, and why a company would want to hire you, gives you bargaining power. A salary offer itself is testament to the fact that the company perceives your value.

>>> Write a “counter-offer” letter thanking the company for its offer, recap why they say they want you, and enthusiastically proclaim your desire to join their team provided they reconsider the amount of their offer. Base your counter-offer on the research you have done regarding salaries in this field. Accept the risk involved with this approach and be prepared to walk away if it doesn’t work. 

>>> Know when it’s no longer in your best interest to keep negotiating and then move on to the next opportunity. Usually, if the situation doesn’t feel quite right, it isn’t. You won't be happy working wherever you feel you are the proverbial square peg in a round hole — if you feel you were taken advantage of.

Above all else, celebrate your accomplishment that you got an offer! Although our economy is beginning its recovery, securing employment is still a challenge to many. No matter the size of the salary offer, by receiving one you have received a vote of confidence that an employer values what YOU have to offer.