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Know Your Worth

10 Dos & Don'ts of Salary Negotiation

Posted by Amy Elisa Jackson

Last Updated Sep 23, 2021
|5 min read

Should I tell them my salary range? Do I want too much? Am I undervalued? Will the recruiter try to lowball me? Do my colleagues earn more than me?

These are the questions that may be running through your mind when you think about negotiating your salary for a new job. However, there’s no need to rack your brain for answers to these questions. Glassdoor is here to help.

Here are the dos and dont’s of salary negotiations. Bookmark this page.


1. Do be confident.

As part of the Glassdoor surveys, employed men and women were asked how confident they were about receiving a pay raise or cost-of-living increase. Almost always, men have shown greater confidence than women that they will get the increase. In fact, data shows men have been consistently about 6 percent more confident than women over the last seven years.

However, confidence might be one key to closing the gender pay gap. Glassdoor’s recent gender pay gap report shows that there is an unadjusted pay gap between men and women of 24.1%, meaning women earn about $0.76 for every $1 a man earns. However, when we control for variables such as age, education, experience, occupation, industry, location, year, specific company and job title, the adjusted gender pay gap shrinks to 5.4%. Armed with a healthy dose of confidence, you can get the salary you deserve.

2. Do ask for advice.

"Advice-seeking is a powerful way to have influence without authority," says Adam Grant, a professor at Wharton School of Business and the author of Give and Take. "If you’re worried about manipulation, I have some good news: it doesn’t work if it’s not authentic. In the best case scenario, the contact will take the initiative to advocate for you directly. Failing that, you’ll gain some valuable advice about who to approach and how to make your case, as well as some possible history on precedents for negotiating in your role."

3. Do be willing to negotiate, but not in the conventional way.

"[This] requires no hardball negotiating and keeps your integrity intact," insists Grant. If you are deciding between two companies and offers, be honest. "All you need to do is share the terms of the competing offer, and say, 'I’d rather come here. Is there anything you can do to make this an easier decision for me?' More often than not, the answer is yes."

offer analyzer glassdoor

4. Do take notes.

"Take notes during negotiations," advises the LDS Employment Resource Services. "Notes will help all parties recall what has already been discussed or decided. Be sure to get all offers in writing." Then, make sure to, "Paraphrase to ensure understanding. Restate in your own words what the other person has said to make sure you understand correctly."

5. Do follow up.

"A thank you note is an important follow-up after a face-to-face [meeting]," says career expert and writer Eileen Meyer. " In addition to being a polite acknowledgment to those who met with you (whether your manager or an HR team member), a thank you note also gives you one more opportunity to remind them what a stellar [employee] they have in you."


1. Don't be unprepared.

"At some point, nearly every employer will ask what salary range you're looking for and this could happen as soon as their very first phone call to you," says Alison Green, author of How to Get a Job: Secrets of a Hiring Manager.  You want to be prepared for this in advance, because if you're caught off-guard, you risk low-balling yourself or otherwise saying something that will harm you in negotiations later. Be sure to do your homework ahead of time so that you're ready with an answer when the question comes up."

2. Don't lie.

"Job seekers sometimes claim that they're currently earning more than they really are, figuring that will help them get a higher offer from a new employer. But this can backfire because plenty of employers verify salary history, either by asking to see a recent pay stub or W-2, or by checking with the previous employer directly," insists Green. "And even worse, it's common to do this after you've already accepted a job offer, which means that you risk having the offer pulled over the lie, even after you've already accepted it and resigned your previous job."

3. Don't rush in your conversation.

"In response to an offer, restate the offer, sit quietly, and silently count to 10. Allow everyone time to consider. This technique may also prompt the employer to justify the offer, which could continue the negotiation process, or it could lead to a better offer," advises LDS ERS. "When a final offer is extended, if it is not enough, thank the employer, provide a power statement that emphasizes your value, and ask for time to consider the offer."

4. Don't be stubborn.

"Be confident in what you’re requesting, but understand that a negotiation is just that—a conversation, not a dictation. Listen to what the other side has to say and take it into consideration when offering up numbers," says career expert and experienced hiring manager Heather Huhman. "Money is a sensitive subject for most people, but you should never let a company have full control over your worth. Be both knowledgeable and understanding when discussing a salary negotiation. If the negotiation didn’t fall in your favor, always factor in how much joy the position will bring you—because money isn’t everything."

5. Don't over-apologize.

"Over-apologizing is a major turnoff and makes you appear anxious, fearful, and unsure," insists Huhman. "When you make small mistakes or express an opinion, don’t say sorry. That’s not to say you should ignore personal accountability. Certain situations do indeed warrant an apology." However, don't go overboard in negotiations.

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