Job hunting can be a daunting task. Whether you’re just out of school and searching for your first full-time gig or pursuing a new career, the hunt for employment can be a full-time job in and of itself! But when your hard work pays off and you finally nail that dream interview, it’s not quite time to celebrate just yet. Now you need to practice the delicate art of salary negotiation.

Here are some “Do’s and Don’t’s” to follow when negotiating your salary:

How To Negotiate for a Higher Salary

DO’s

Do ensure you have done your homework when it comes to what a position in your industry and geographic location is going for. This will give you a basis of where you stand based on your experience. Sites like CareerBuilder offer helpful salary calculators.

Do withhold your salary expectations as long as you possibly can! Many companies use salary information as a screening tool to rule out candidates before even getting to know much about the value a candidate will bring to the company.

Do let the company make the first move when it comes to salary negotiation. Knowing the range for the position will give you an idea of how much you’ll have to sell yourself once the company puts a number on the table.

Do be professional during negotiations. Keep the conversation positive by letting the company know the value they will get from you for the salary you are looking for.

 

DON’T’s

Don’t feel pressured to include specific salary information on an employment application early on in the process. You can instead write in “negotiable.”

Don’t be reserved when it comes to selling yourself and letting the company know why you are worth a great salary. Outline your skills and experience with confidence, and come to the table with enthusiasm about helping solve problems and improving processes within the job. Be careful not to cross the line where confidence becomes cocky. That can be a turn-off to a prospective employer.

Don’t let your current salary limit your viewpoint of what your potential earnings might be. If your research shows your position is worth more, hold out for an offer you feel positive about.

Lastly, don’t let the employer rush you into accepting a salary you’re unhappy with. Be honest that the offer is not what you’re looking for and if they really can’t bump it up, perhaps negotiate a deal where they reevaluate your performance within a few months and up the salary at that point.

Getting a new job can be an exciting, life-changing event — just make sure your new employer knows you’re worth your salt!