Tips to Negotiate a Higher Starting Salary

In life, everything is negotiable and starting salaries in a new position are no exception. As a knowledgeable professional, you have experience under your belt and other valuable skills that employers should be charged a premium for utilizing.

Give yourself your worth by negotiating your starting salary within a new company. Not only will it put you on a better financial footing, but it’ll also make you seem like an ambitious businessperson.

Follow the tips below in order to confidently and successfully negotiate a higher starting salary:

1. Mum is the word. If you’re too forthcoming about your salary requirements, you may come off as desperate. Desperation is something that turns an employer off – big time.

• Furthermore, you may lock yourself into a lower starting salary simply because you’ve given too much information about your salary requirements before the employer has even had a chance to assess your value.

• If your interview is truly impressive, the person interviewing you may give you their absolute highest salary offering immediately simply to ensure that you’ll take the position.

2. It’s not about you. Companies hire employees based on what the candidate has to offer the company, not the other way around. Yet, so many candidates choose to exaggerate the fact of how they’ve always dreamt of landing this job, what the position will mean to them, and more.

• Excitement is good. But, acting too exuberant can cause the interviewer to perceive you as immature. Rather than focusing on what a life-changing experience this is for you, make it known that you’re right for the job because you have a proven track record of saving money, increasing profits, improving employee performance, or some other benefit for the company.

• If the interviewer can see you as an equal counterpart, rather than a giddy newbie, only then will the discussion of salary requirements be pertinent. Also, your assertiveness in this high-pressure situation gives the interviewer a glimpse as to how you will handle high-pressure situations in the workplace.

3. Don’t jump at the first offer. Unless you’ve blown the socks off of the employer, it’s unlikely that the first offer you’re presented with is their absolute best. It’s possible, but not probable.

• If an employer says they’re ready to offer you $45,000, keep cool, calm and collected – even if the offer is much lower or higher than you were expecting. Wait a few seconds to see if they adjust the offer, and if not, counter with a higher figure.

• There’s no need to play hardball, just be firm in your approach. If you’re offered $45,000 and you know you’re worth $55,000, ask for $55,000. The worst that can happen is that you’ll be told that $45,000 is their absolute maximum budget. You can still take the offer as long as it’s on the table.

4. Take the offer. If all of your negotiation tactics have failed and you needed the job yesterday, take the offer. But ask the employer to analyze your performance within six month in order to possibly negotiate a raise.

• With an offer like this, the employer has nothing to lose. If you are truly as good as you think you are, you’ll be able to slash their costs, improve staff productivity, or increase sales, and he will be able to afford to offer you a raise.

Negotiation is all about the legwork. Do your research on the company, their current salary offerings, and the average salary in your locality.

If this is your first time negotiating a salary, it can be daunting. But, you have nothing to lose. If the job is being offered to you anyways, why not try to make it as profitable as can be?

WOW Your Interviewer and Get the Job

The interview stage is so exciting! It’s the final step to landing that job you’ve been wanting. You’ve convinced someone via your resume and telephone interview that you might be the person they’ve been searching for. Basically, you’ve done a great job of marketing yourself so far.

Now comes the most important part: You have to complete the final sale of yourself and your talents. However, interviewing ability doesn’t come naturally for most of us. This makes a lot of sense; after all, you probably haven’t practiced with lots of interviews in your lifetime.

For an impressive interview, focus on these three keys to a great performance:


  1. Preparation is critical. Great performances require great preparation. And great preparation requires time. The interview room isn’t the place to try to remember your responsibilities at company XYZ.
  • Higher-level managers frequently ask potential employees, “What were your three most critical tasks?” You should be prepared to answer a similar question without hesitation.
  • Sit down and go through the last 10 years of your employment. List all your responsibilities and accomplishments. Have your answers ready. If you have to pause and think hard during the interview, it may seem like you’re inventing a story.
  • Reflect on answers to these questions: What successes did you have? How many people reported to you? You will certainly be asked about what challenges you had, so be prepared to list a few and how you overcame them.
  • Also, research the company to which you’re applying. They want to know that you’re interested and that you’re making an educated decision about what you’re potentially getting yourself into.


  1. Be authentic. One thing interviewers like to see is someone who is genuine.
  • Let go of the idea that you have to be perfect. Interviewees frequently twist and contort the truth in an attempt to appear more favorable. This is extremely difficult to pull off successfully in a high-stress environment like an interview.
  • Be honest. Coming across as authentic is largely a function of being consistent. This is easy when you’re honest. Interviewers will frequently continue to pursue a line of questioning when something doesn’t seem right.


  1. Practice selling yourself. What are your strengths? What are you good at? And more importantly, how can you convey those in an interview? Selling yourself without bragging is a fine line, but the interviewer needs to see the things at which you’re great.
  • Pull out the video camera and record yourself while a friend or family member interviews you.
  • Solo, you can record yourself going over your resume and work experience.
  • Consider joining a Toastmasters club. You can get a lot of practice and feedback.
  • Confidence and comfort come from practice. Give yourself the opportunity to be successful and practice daily.

Interviewing is a necessary final step to getting the job you desire. Following these tips will go a long way towards preparing you.

Don’t worry if you’re not a great interviewee. Few people naturally are. But with some preparation, you can become very good, very quickly. That practice will really give you the upper hand against your competition.

11 Ways to Crack the Hidden Job Market

You can shorten your job hunt by knowing how to use methods other applicants usually miss. After all, if you’re relying on want ads alone, you could spend a long time searching. Advertised positions represent as little as 20% of total vacancies, and your resume often winds up in a pile with hundreds of other hopefuls.

On the other hand, the hidden job market has a larger number of opportunities, and less competition. Learn how to position yourself to take advantage of openings that haven’t been advertised.

Benefits of Cracking the Hidden Job Market

  1. Achieve a closer fit. When you’re targeting companies you want to work for, you’re more likely to find a workplace where you’ll feel at home. That sense of belonging will add to your job satisfaction.
  2. Weigh in early. How would you like to write your job description? Contacting potential employers early in the process may allow you to shape your position to suit your strengths.
  3. Receive more offers. The average corporate job opening that’s advertised attracts up to 250 resumes. Your odds of being welcomed onboard increase when there are fewer candidates under consideration.


Cracking the Hidden Job Market with Networking

  1. Go online. LinkedIn and other technology make it easy to research and contact companies that interest you. Be sure to keep your profile updated because hiring managers may be looking for you too.
  2. Reach out to recruiters. Many positions are filled through employment agencies. Call up a recruiter to schedule a consultation and stay in touch so you can hear about future developments.
  3. Volunteer your services. Use your skills to support a worthy cause. You can make new contacts and impress them with your expertise at organizing events or tracking finances.
  4. Join a job club. Your fellow job hunters often have valuable leads. Start a club or find one through community listings or your local library.
  5. Attend events. Conferences and networking sessions can help you touch base with lots of contacts in a short time. See what’s on the calendar at your professional association or read industry publications.
  6. Contact alumni. Mine your college alumni group for information and referrals. Some companies have similar resources for former employees or you can approach them on your own.
  7. Seek referrals. Ask your contacts who else they would suggest for you to talk with. That way you can create a pipeline of information interviews and coffee dates.
  8. Focus on giving. Remember that networking is more about giving than taking. Offer to help others before you ask for something for yourself.


Cracking the Hidden Job Market by Becoming an Insider

  1. Complete an internship. If you excel at your summer position, you may have a shot at joining the staff. Pick a company with a track record for hiring interns and ask your supervisor for feedback to help you learn and grow.
  2. Consider temporary positions. Even if you’re looking for a permanent position, it may be worthwhile to accept temporary jobs, especially if you’re currently unemployed. That way you may be able to view internal listings on the company website, as well as network with employees who could have a say in hiring you.
  3. Do contract work. Contract assignments are another way to showcase your abilities at any stage in your career. Exceed expectations and let the company know what kind of opportunities you’re looking for.

Companies often bypass advertising to save money and target candidates who are more likely to match their needs. By tapping into the hidden employment market, you can impress hiring managers and find your dream job.

6 Easy Ways to Make a Good First Impression

6 Easy Ways to Make a Good First Impression

In almost all life situations, we want to leave a positive impression with people when we first meet them. Whether you’re establishing a new business contact or meeting your future in-laws for the first time, first impressions matter. Remember, you never have a second chance to make a first impression!

Follow these tips to make a great and memorable first impression:

1. Have a pleasing appearance. Even though attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder, it’s still important to look your best. Clean, wrinkle-free clothing, brushed and styled hair, and light or no fragrance helps most people be at their best. If you wear make-up, you know it doesn’t take much to enhance your appearance.

2. Make eye contact and smile. In some cultures, making eye contact doesn’t indicate good rapport. However, in American culture, people make positive connections with each other by looking each other in the eyes. If you don’t, the person you’re meeting for the first time may think you have something to hide!

• Also, a smile makes you look appealing and friendly. You look more open to others when you’re smiling in a natural and relaxed way.

3. Pay attention and listen. When you’re out in public or socializing at a party with new people, distractions are bound to happen. But when you’re meeting someone new, make an effort to pay attention and focus on what’s being said. When you listen well, you show genuine interest in the person.

4. Refer to the new acquaintance by name. In most situations, it’s beneficial to you to be seen as focused, a good listener, and polite. Using the new person’s name in your conversation helps accomplish all of these things. Plus, using their name will help you remember it later.

5. Initiate conversation with a positive comment. Making a positive impression means that people will have good thoughts when they remember you by something you did or said. Consider these examples of ways to start a verbal exchange with a new acquaintance:

• “Sharon, I saw the drawings you did for the local Boys’ Club campaign. They’re amazing. How did you come up with such an incredible visual?”

• “Kevin, I heard from Julie that you’re quite the fisherman. Where are the good fishing spots around here?”

• “Pam, Bill always speaks so highly of the work you do. How long have you been working at the James Corporation?”

6. Be sincere. Be yourself whenever first meeting someone. People tend to sense when others are putting up a front or behaving in ways that aren’t natural for them. Being genuine is a quality everyone wants to see. If you’re sincere, your new acquaintance will sense that.

Because you never know what might blossom between you and a new acquaintance, put in the effort to make a positive first impression. Try some of the tips above or think about techniques that may have worked for you in the past. You’ll make a great first impression and perhaps even pave the way for a successful business venture or a life-long friendship.

Ace Your Next Job Interview by Listening Better

Ace Your Next Job Interview by Listening Better

Active listening skills are a subtle but effective way to perform better on job interviews. Half of all communication is listening but few of us get any training on doing it well. Fortunately, listening well is relatively simple, and will become automatic once you practice the skills.

Here are some techniques that will help you acquire more knowledge and make a better impression on your prospective employer.

How to Use Active Listening for Your Job Interview

1. Recognize your limitations. Many studies confirm that we only take in half of what we hear and we forget half of that by the next day. Becoming more attentive often takes some deliberate effort.

2. Relax your mind. Most people feel anxious about applying for a new job. Take time to quiet your mind and reduce distracting thoughts. Meditate, get a massage, or listen to instrumental music.

3. Stay alert. Prevent fatigue from sabotaging your interview. Get a good night’s sleep and squeeze in some aerobic exercise beforehand. Sit up straight and dress in layers. Being chilly makes concentration more difficult.

4. Show your enthusiasm. Successful people often enjoy talking about their work, especially when they have an appreciative audience. Make eye contact and lean toward your interviewer. Let your positive feelings shine through when you describe your past accomplishments and how they relate to the position you’re seeking.

5. Position yourself as a good fit. Use the information your interviewer provides to home in on the type of candidate they’re after. Explain how your background and skills enable you to contribute and become a valued team member.

6. Take notes. People listen much faster than they speak. Take advantage of that gap to take notes and collect your thoughts. Jot down keywords and main themes rather than recording every word.

7. Keep an open mind. It pays to be flexible. Remain neutral to avoid rejecting a new viewpoint or job opportunity before you have a chance to consider it from all angles.

8. Put yourself in your interviewer’s shoes. Your interviewer may feel uncomfortable too. Empathize with their responsibility to find the right person for the job.

9. Restate key points. Summarize and paraphrase the most important messages. This will help reinforce their thoughts in your mind and show your interviewer that you are on the same page.

10. Seek clarification. Avoid misunderstandings by clarifying anything that’s unclear. A good employer will appreciate your efforts to fully comprehend their expectations.

11. Ask thoughtful questions. Use open-ended questions to elicit more information. Incisiveness also helps show that you’re a strong candidate.

Meeting the Staff

1. Get to know your supervisor. Your manager will likely play a big role in your job satisfaction. Talk about the daily routine and responsibilities. Learn about their work style and how they establish priorities.

2. Pick up valuable information from your co-workers. Try to meet some of your future associates. They can clue you in on the work environment and organizational culture. Plus, it’s usually a good sign if employees are involved in the hiring process.

3. Learn about the big picture from leadership. You may also get the opportunity to talk with some of the organization’s senior executives. Even if the time is brief, use those meetings to help get a better sense of the organization’s strategic plans and future direction.

Go to your next job interview better prepared to listen. The session will probably be more productive for both you and the people you interview with. And even if you don’t get this job, if you’ve kept your ears open, you may have positioned yourself for a different one. Active listening is one way to open up new career opportunities and build a better future.

14 Things Successful Candidates Do the Night before a Job Interview

The night before a job interview is usually a bit stressful. You might be thinking about what would happen if you forget the responses you’ve been practicing or get lost on the way there. You might be wondering how you stack up against the other candidates or whether you have enough relevant experience.

At the same time, you want to show up confident and prepared so that you’ll make a positive impression. To increase your chances of receiving a job offer, run down this checklist for what to do on interview eve.

Preparing for an Interview – Managing the Logistics:

  1. Set your alarm. Showing up on time is a must. Even if you usually wake up naturally, take the extra precaution of programming your alarm.
  2. Lay out your clothes. Make the most of your appearance. Select clothes that are flattering and professional. Try each item on to ensure it’s in good condition. Decide on your accessories too.
  3. Organize your materials. Bring along anything you might need, from a good quality pen and notebook to a mini sewing kit and breath mints. Write out a list so you’ll know you’re ready for anything.
  4. Minimize stress. Try to avoid distractions and conflicts. Postpone any sensitive discussions or unpleasant tasks for another time.
  5. Work out. Deal with any remaining tension constructively. Go to the gym or take a run around the park.
  6. Eat well. Give your mind and body the fuel they need to function well. Eat a balanced dinner early in the evening. Start assembling your breakfast so it will take just minutes in the morning. Mix up a smoothie or bake a casserole.
  7. Check the directions. Confirm the address and any instructions the company gave you. Check on road construction and weather conditions that might cause delays. Look up your exact route online.
  8. Budget extra time. Create a buffer so you’ll have time to spare. If you arrive too early, you can check your hair or walk around the block.
  9. Get a good night’s sleep. Enjoy relaxing activities that help lull you to sleep. Read or do needlework. Turn off the TV and computer at least 2 hours before bed.

Preparing for an Interview – Enhancing Your Performance:

  1. Develop some small talk. One way to show that you’d be a pleasant colleague is to brush up on your conversation. Scan the news for interesting topics or find something unique about the local neighborhood that you can mention.
  2. Update your research. You’ve probably read plenty of material about the company by the time you schedule an interview, but it helps to know any breaking news. Check their website and social media pages.
  3. Outline your agenda. Create a rough draft of each item you want to cover. If the interview stalls, you’ll be able to help guide things along. If the meeting goes smoothly, you can refer to your notes at the end to ensure you have no remaining questions.
  4. Rehearse your part. With relatively few hours left, focus on your top priorities. Review your answers to tough questions or polish one of your success stories.
  5. Print out your resume. However many times you’ve submitted your resume, be sure to bring at least one hard copy along. Someone may ask for it or you can take notes on it.

You can use the night before your job interview to lay the groundwork for success. Take care of important details and put last minute touches on your performance. You’ll feel more assured knowing that you’ve prepared yourself to be on top of your game.