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How to negotiate a job offer

  1. There is always room for negotiation

  2. Prepare yourself well

  3. Know what you are worth

  4. Know what you want

  5. Do not shoot yourself in the foot

  6. There is more than just money

How to negotiate a job offer

One of the most difficult aspects of looking for a new job is negotiating your salary. It is not something you do every day, you want to make a good impression on your new employer while the salary negotiation is purely business and you find it difficult to estimate what you are worth and what you can ask for. Follow these tips from an experienced recruiter to sit at the negotiating table as a pro.

  1. There is always room for negotiation: if your new employer makes you an offer, know that there is always room for negotiation. Do not immediately accept the offer, but make a counter-offer that is 10% higher than what you want. If your employer agrees, lucky you. If not, there is still room to meet each other halfway.

  2. Prepare yourself well: know what the salary indication is for the new position. If this is not mentioned in the vacancy announcement, ask the contact person. If you are invited for a second interview, prepare yourself for a negotiation interview so that you are not taken by surprise.

  3. Know what you are worth: this can be interpreted in two ways 1) what is a market conform salary for this job and 2) what is the value of my skills and experience. For the first you can use a salary comparator while for the second one you look at the added value you have for your new employer.

  4. Know what you want: determine for yourself the minimum you want to earn and prepare arguments why this is the case. That way, you will be less easily caught off guard.

  5. Do not shoot yourself in the foot: sometimes you are asked about your current salary and, based on that, you receive an ‘appropriate offer’ - read: what is the minimum amount for which you want to switch? Know that this is private information and not relevant because the salary can differ enormously per sector, type of organization, size of organization, and region.

  6. There is more than just money: in addition to your salary, you can also negotiate your fringe benefits. For example flexible working hours, extra holidays, travel allowance or a telephone/laptop/company car. This can be worth so much more than extra income.


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