Business Miscellaneous

How to Negotiate a Salary Like a Pro [3+ Battle-Tested Tips]

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Here’s the thing:

If you downplay your salary expectations like more than half of US workers, you’ll shoot yourself in the foot.


Because if you fail to negotiate your salary when you accept a job offer, you might as well throw a mind-boggling $600,000 in lifetime salary off Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster in space.

If that’s not enough to make you act, what is?

Good news⁠—

You’re about to see three dragon-slaying strategies to negotiate a starting salary like a pro.

Strap in.

How Much More to Ask for When Negotiating a Salary?

There’s money on the table. You just need to ask for it, and it’ll be yours.


First, you need to arm yourself with data to back up your request. Otherwise, you will feel everything but comfy when the hiring manager pushes back and questions your request.



First, check tools like Glassdoor and to see what people in your position and with your experience make. 

You may also want to rip through job offers on major boards like Indeed and LinkedIn and see how much a role similar to yours could pay before you even apply.

Next, consider reaching out to a few recruiters and/or hiring managers you’re touch with on LinkedIn. Ask them for a salary range to further support your data.

As a cherry on top, talk to peers, friends, and family. It might give you the extra edge.

Once you have a data-backed salary range in mind, you’ll be able to negotiate your salary from a position of strength.

Make an Inventory of Your Contributions

You’ve made it to the juicy part. 

Grab a coffee and some cookies because you’re about to give yourself your due.

All set? 

First of all, decide what you’ll bring to the table based on your performance in previous roles and the skills you put on your resume. It’ll make your salary-negotiation case Hulk-level strong.

Here are some questions to help you:

  • How much time and money did you save in your previous companies? (if you have trouble figuring out the exact figure, estimate.)
  • How many new hires did you train and get up to speed?
  • Did you spearhead any projects that led to revenue increase, time savings or otherwise benefited the company in a quantifiable way?
  • Did you intro any processes or practices on the company- or department-wide scale that helped streamline things?
  • What extra responsibilities did you take that show you went above and beyond in your prior roles?

Once you have facts and figures about your accomplishments, it’ll 10x your chances of getting a killer starting salary.

Make a Move

So far so good.

You know how much to ask for when negotiating a salary, and you know it’s OK to want one. 

You also did some digging and made a list of wins that’d make Tim Cook blush.

Now—how do you make the ask in a job interview?

First, make sure you don’t jump the gun. Wait until after the hiring manager gets to the salary subject. 

Otherwise, you’ll look greedy and make the impression you only care about the compensation. 

When the hiring manager does breach the subject and ask you, What are your salary expectations? ask them first to give you a salary range.

It’ll show if both your salary ranges overlap and if you have something to work with. If that’s the case, aim for a salary figure between the mid- and high points.

Lastly, pull yourself together and prove you deserve a good salary as much as Dorothy deserved the ruby slippers.

Need a real-life example of what you can say to the hiring manager?

While compensation isn’t of the highest importance to me, I believe it’s essential that I’m fairly valued for my future contributions to this company. As an example of what I can bring to the table, in my last roles, I managed to:

  • Orchestrate content strategy for the successful launch of 4 macOS apps that got more than 450,000 yearly downloads.
  • Supervise effectively 12 external writers, which helped quadruple conversions from our site over six months.
  • Increased average lead generation by 123%, organic traffic by 221%, and SERP rank by 102%.

I believe that I should be recognized appropriately for my work and the skillsets I have, which will ultimately help the organization reach its goals.

So, given the above mentioned, I feel certain that a yearly gross salary of XYZ will be suitable for someone with my track record and experience level.

What do you think?


If you get a no, don’t give up. 

Have a look at the perks, bonuses, and benefits you’ll receive and see if they can make up for a less-than-ideal starting salary before you make a decision.

If not, there are a plethora of other jobs out there. In fact, for the first time in over 20 years, there are now more job openings than job seekers to fill them. 

Don’t ever sell yourself short.

So—What Do You Think?

There you have it. 

A whopping three tips on how to negotiate a robust starting salary that will make you feel comfortable financially.


What’s your experience with negotiating a salary? Did you ever accept a salary without trying to negotiate it first?

About the author


Max Woolf

Max Woolf is a writer at ResumeLab. He’s passionate about helping people land their dream jobs through the expert career industry coverage. In his spare time, Max enjoys biking and traveling to European countries. You can hit him up on LinkedIn.