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The Job Search: Salary Negotiation Know-How

July 2010 (SmartPros) Negotiating salary for a new position can be challenging even when the economy is booming, but these discussions are especially tricky today as businesses try to rebound from an unprecedented recession.

If you are currently a job seeker, consider the following tips:

Don’t put the cart before the horse. First and foremost, be careful not to get ahead of yourself by listing your salary expectations on your resume. Unless this information is specifically requested in the job posting, hold off on providing your desired salary range until you’ve secured an interview and the employer has shown serious interest in hiring you. (It’s also typically to your advantage to let the hiring manager throw out the first number.)
Know your market value. The best negotiators are well-informed negotiators. If you’re offered a job, review compensation standards for your position and geographic area.

Consult publications such as Robert Half’s 2010 Salary Guide for accounting and finance professionals and online Salary Center ( The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics is another excellent resource.

Research the firm. Find out if the would-be employer is likely in a position to negotiate. If the company recently conducted layoffs, for instance, your bargaining power may be limited. Learn about the organization’s current financial standing by reviewing the firm’s most recent annual report. Some candidates also consult, a website that sells detailed reports on companies and the people who lead them.

Consider all the factors. When the compensation topic does come up and there’s an offer on the table, remember that an attractive health benefits package, retirement-savings plan or bonus opportunities can offset a lower salary. This is especially true if the job comes with stronger, more clearly defined advancement opportunities than you currently have. In addition, perks that allow for greater work/life balance are well worth considering, too. Flextime or telecommuting options, extra vacation days, a more manageable schedule, no travel requirements and a shorter commute may not fatten your wallet, but they can improve your quality of life.
Accountemps is the world’s first and largest temporary staffing service specializing in the placement of accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The company has more than 360 offices throughout North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services at

2010 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.

Source: Robert Half

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