Common Salary Negotiation Pitfalls

Salary negotiation is one of the most difficult parts of the job hunting process, especially for those interviewing for entry-level positions or their first full-time position. With the proper research and preparation, you can avoid these common negotiation pitfalls.

Lack of Preparedness

Make sure you are ready for the negotiation. Come prepared with research, including your own salary range. If you have never negotiated compensation before, it is wise to practice on your own, with a friend, or even through taking a free online course. If you are blindsided by the negotiation and are ill-prepared, you may end up taking a lower salary than you intend to. There are many websites out there (such as that can help you with research.

Accepting the Initial Offer

When a company makes an offer, they anticipate a counter-offer. As such, the majority of salary offers are slightly lower than an employer’s maximum. Be prepared with a strategy for a counter-offer – do not feel that you must accept the first offer. In most cases, a counter-offer does not represent an ultimatum for the employer. If they cannot increase their salary offer, they will probably not retract the job offer.

Negotiating Base Salary Only

Finally, when negotiating, keep in mind that base salary is only one component of a job offer package. While an employer might not be able to increase their base salary offer, they may be more flexible with vacation days, bonuses, stock options, and more. Make sure your research covers these areas and be prepared to lay out your ideal compensation package.

Even if it is your first time negotiating, avoiding these common pitfalls will ensure your negotiation ends in a favorable manner for both you and the employer.

Scroll to Top