Though job offers can be hard to come by during the holiday season, you never know when a good one might fall in your lap. And if you are fortunate enough to land an offer in the upcoming weeks, you may want to do one thing before accepting it: negotiate a better deal. With the job market booming and open positions becoming harder for employers to fill, now is actually a great time to speak up about getting more money. In fact, 75% of recruiters have noticed an uptick in salary negotiations from their candidates, according to new data from Jobvite.
Of course, if you are going to negotiate a job offer, you'll want to do so strategically to get the best possible deal. Here's how to pull that off.
1. Do your research
The more salary data you're able to dig up when negotiating a job offer, the greater your chances of success. Before you dive into that discussion, do some research to see what your job title typically commands in your corner of the country (keeping in mind that if you're in a major city, you'll generally earn more than a similarly qualified worker in a smaller, more rural area). If you see that the offer you've been presented with is well below the average for your role and industry, you can use the data you've gathered to make the case for more money. And if you find that the offer is, statistically speaking, pretty generous, you'll know to take a different angle when asking your prospective employer to do better.
2. Talk up your unique skills
Just because there are plenty of jobs out there doesn't mean a company is going to pay you top dollar. If you want a better salary, you'll need to prove to your potential employer that you're worth it. Before having that discussion, make a list of the skills that make you uniquely qualified for the role at hand, as well as a list of the wins you've pulled off at previous jobs. Highlighting a solid track record is a great way to convince someone who already wants to hire you to do just a bit better salary-wise.
3. Focus on the big picture
When you're offered a job, it's natural to want to snag the highest possible salary to go along with it. But remember that your salary is only one piece of your total compensation package, and that there are other factors, like workplace benefits, that play an important role as well. So, rather than fixate on only that earnings figure, take a look at the benefits you're being offered and make sure they're up to snuff. If, for example, you'll be taking a hit on vacation days, you might negotiate for an extra week of paid time off. And if you're not being offered a 401(k) match, you might ask your company to consider one. The specifics of what you fight for will depend on the offer on the table, but the point is to recognize the importance of having solid benefits and not overlook them during that discussion.
Even if you're reasonably happy with the job offer you've been given, it never hurts to try to sweeten the deal. As long as you do so respectfully, you have little to lose and a lot to potentially gain.