21 Salary Errors to Avoid
- Engaging in wishful thinking - believing you are worth a lot more than you are currently being paid but having no credible evidence of what you really should be paid.
- Approaching the job search as an exercise in being clever and manipulative rather than being clear, correct, and competent in communicating your value to others.
- Failing to research salary options and comparables and thus having few supports to justify your worth.
- Failing to compile a list of specific accomplishments, including anecdotal one- to three-minute performance stories, that provide evidence of your value to employers.
- Revealing salary expectations on the resume or in a letter.
- Prematurely answering the question "What are your salary requirements?" before being offered the job.
- Raising the salary question rather than waiting for the employer to do so.
- Failing to ask questions about the company, job, and previous occupants of the position.
- Asking "Is this offer negotiable?"
- Quickly accepting the first offer, believing that's what the position is really worth and that an employer might be offended if one tries to negotiate.
- Accepting the offer on the spot.
- Accepting the offer primarily because of compensation.
- Trying to negotiate compensation during the first interview.
- Forgetting to calculate the value of benefits and thus only focusing on the gross salary figure.
- Trying to negotiate a specific salary figure rather than talking about a salary range.
- Negotiating over the telephone or by e-mail.
- Talking too much and listening too little.
- Focusing on your needs rather than the employer's needs.
- Trying to play "hardball."
- Expressing a negative attitude toward the employer's offer.
SOURCE: Adapted from Military Transition to Civilian Success (Impact Publications, 2006), pages 381-382. All rights reserved.