Negotiate a higher salary by avoiding these five mistakes

Getting a new job offer is a very exciting time, but an offer is just the beginning of what can be tedious and long negotiations.

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Many new job seekers can get so carried away in the excitement of landing a new job that they completely forget to take a careful look at the offer. Negotiating the salary is something that many job seekers either fail to do or do incorrectly.

I can certainly relate when it comes to job offer jitters. In one of my first “real” jobs after college, I excitedly accepted a job without even knowing how much the salary was. Needless to say, that was a big no-no.

Whether you’re new to the workforce, or a seasoned vet, avoid these mistakes during salary negotiations so you can make more money.

1. Not negotiating a salary at all

The biggest mistake people make is actually not negotiating a salary at all. According to a survey by, 18% of job applicants don’t negotiate at all.

Most are hesitant to do so or just fearful that asking for more will make them look bad. But the interesting thing is that hiring managers almost always expect a candidate to negotiate. No matter where you are in your career, you always have room to ask for more, and hiring managers almost always have extra leeway to accommodate those requests.

2. Undervaluing your strengths and experience

When candidates do negotiate, one common mistake they make is not asking for enough. They undervalue their strengths and experience.

If you’re the perfect candidate for the job, you have a lot of bargaining power. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve. It’s much harder to do so after you’ve already accepted the position.

3. Asking for too much

On the flip side, it’s possible to ask for too much. Too many candidates over-ask, in the hopes that the hiring manager will offer even more.

But the truth is that most managers have a budget to work with. A desired salary slightly above their budget is fine but if it’s too much over, they might take it as a sign that they can’t afford you and just move on.

4. Forgetting about benefits

When it comes to reviewing job offers, many candidates focus solely on the salary. But an offer package consists of much more than just money.

Don’t forget to consider other benefits, such as health insurance, personal time off and telecommuting options. If you aren’t able to negotiate salary, you might be able to get them to beef up your benefits package.

5. Not doing your research

Last but certainly not least, always do your research. The biggest mistake you can make is to go into salary negotiations without understanding the industry, what other candidates in your position are getting paid and what kind of benefits packages are available.

A quick search online can help you get a better understanding of what an average salary in your field is. While you shouldn’t use this information as a be-all and end-all, it should help guide you in the right direction when negotiating your salary.

This article was written by Connie Mei from MoneyNing and was legally licensed through the DiveMarketplace by Industry Dive. Please direct all licensing questions to

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