Are you making these costly salary negotiation mistakes?

Here are 6 mistakes that could be stopping you from earning the salary you deserve.

Here are a number of common mistakes job seekers make when they begin the delicate process of salary negotiations…

1. You lie about your previous salary
Candidates think they can significantly increase their salary by lying about their previous earnings – big mistake. Potential employers do plenty of checks that allows them to verify your salary history – you could be asked for your last salary slip or they could phone your last employer. Don’t get caught up in this. Tell the truth.

2. You’re unprepared
Normally salary only gets discussed at the second interview, but there is a strong possibility that the interviewer could ask you when they invite you for the interview or when you’re at your first interview. Be prepared by thoroughly researching an acceptable increase range.

Watch: Negotiate a higher starting salary

3. Your research is not correct
Your research must always come from credible sources. Not all websites on the internet can be trusted – figures can and will change according to city, title, country, company, industry etc. A better option is to look at salary surveys that are directly related to your industry and field. Also chat to industry professionals and give them figures and ranges that you think is acceptable – they would be better equipped to tell you whether or not your expectations are realistic.

4. You base everything on salary
Yes, salary is a big part of negotiating an acceptable package, but there are other things to consider as well – take a look at their medical aid package, leave days, working hours, retirement contribution – these are all factors that could influence your remuneration package. If the company contributes a large amount to your retirement, for example, this means that you will walk away with more money in your pocket. Consider all factors before deciding whether or not the salary being put forward is acceptable is or not.

5. Thinking there’s no room for negotiation
Salary negotiations are exactly that – negotiations. Don’t worry that the employer will take the offer off the table. If you really are unhappy with your offer, be professional and polite, and state the reasons why you believe you deserve a higher offer. Reasonable employers will understand, the ones who don’t are the ones you should be wary of.

Read: This is why you’ll never earn more money

6. Providing a low salary range
If you’re asked what your salary range is and you reply with R10 000 – R14 000, you can’t be disappointed if the hiring manager offers you R10 000. Before telling the interviewer your expectations, realize that he or she may offer you the lowest amount you’ve asked for. This is why it’s important to structure your range from your desired salary to a ‘nice to have’ salary – that way you won’t be disappointed with the offer.

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