Job seekers make several salary negotiation errors, which often result in knocking them out of further consideration or they receive a lower salary than what they could have gotten had they followed a few salary tips.

Several of these errors also may leave a bad impression - you have a poor attitude, you're “difficult,” or you're basically a self-centered job seeker who primarily focuses on salary and benefits rather than on the performance needs of the employer and organization.

The most frequent errors you should avoid include:

  1. Wishful thinking - believe you're worth more than you are worth.
  2. Appear to be a clever and manipulative person playing games.
  3. Neglect to research salary options and comparables.
  4. Fail to communicate accomplishments when talking about money.
  5. Reveal salary expectations on the resume or in a letter.
  6. Answer the question “What are your salary requirements?” before being offered the job.
  7. Raise the salary question before the employer does.
  8. Fail to ask “value” questions about the company and job.
  9. Ask “Is this offer negotiable?”
  10. Quickly accept the first offer without considering options.
  11. Accept the offer on the spot.
  12. Agree to the offer primarily because of compensation.
  13. Try to negotiate compensation during the first interview.
  14. Forget to consider benefits and thus only focus on salary.
  15. Negotiate a salary figure rather than discuss a salary range.
  16. Haggle over the telephone or by email.
  17. Focus on your needs rather than the employer's needs.
  18. Try to play “hardball” by engaging in tough negotiations and mentioning alternative offers, which may or may not be true.
  19. Express a negative attitude toward the employer's offer.
  20. Talk too much and listen too little.


SOURCE: Adapted from Ron Krannich, Ph.D., The Re-Entry Employment and Life Skills Pocket Guide (Manassas Park: Impact Publications), page 44. Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Copying strictly forbidden.