Tip #10: Be Specific with Salary Requirements | 28 Days of Salary Negotiation

The recommendations on disclosing salary specifics, like other salary negotiation advice, is somewhat all over the map.

I've seen advice saying you should give a very precise number, like $72,350, to indicate that you've done the math on exactly what you need to make. Which is apparently supposed to mean that you are somehow more deserving of that amount of money? I, frankly, do not follow this logic. From my perspective, this is unnecessary. Instead, actually do the math on what you'd like your ideal salary to be, and then give yourself a cushion assuming that you will be negotiating. 

The same is true for advice that advocates for giving a salary range. If you say, "I'd like to earn between $80 and $100k," most employers will jump right to the $80k, or even something below that, as their next number. Instead, again, use that calculated number along with some cushion to start the conversation. 

The worst that happens is that your number is pretty far off from what they were envisioning. Don't worry, they will certainly communicate that if it's the case. Keep in mind, if they want to hire you, they will engage in a little back and forth.

READY TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR UPCOMING PROMOTION OR SALARY NEGOTIATION?  CONTACT US TODAY  TO GET STARTED!

READY TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR UPCOMING PROMOTION OR SALARY NEGOTIATION? CONTACT US TODAY TO GET STARTED!

Here's how this scenario could better play out: 

Employer: What are your salary requirements?
You: Given what I could bring to this position, I would expect my annual salary to be $115,000, assuming a standard benefits package. 
Employer: WOW, that's more than $20,000 more than what we would expect to pay for this position. Maybe this isn't the right move for you.
You: That's really helpful information to know. Let's talk about total compensation. There could be some flexibility in this number with a better understanding of the total compensation package, including insurance, 401k contributions, vacation time, flex time, etc. 

And so on...

See how this can work? You're staying on the offense by giving a specific (but not ridiculously precise) number that you can communicate with confidence, that also gives you some room to maneuver. If the employer balks in response, you have a confident reply that keeps the negotiation happening. 

After all, there might be some benefits that actually would cause you reduce your actual take-home pay requirements. Let's say you like 50 minutes away from work, but would be able to work remotely 2-3 days per week. That benefit has value - it's up to you to determine how much value it has. That's why negotiation processes are so important, and rarely look exactly the same for two people.