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Negotiate with Caution

There are lots of tips out there for how to handle salary negotiations, but most of them really don’t apply in this situation.

You're not trying to get the highest salary you can. You are trying to get the job. If you like the job, take it.

Be realistic about wages and benefits. Just because you have 30 years of experience doesn't mean you will be paid more than a younger candidate. If employers ask what your salary expectations are, simply make it clear that your expectations are realistic and in line with the position you're applying for. Visit CareerOneStop’s Salary Info tool to explore salary ranges.

If the salary appears too low, ask if the employer will consider a counterproposal. If so, request an increase in line with your research. Keep in mind that the employer has the right to say no.

Study all offers closely. Look at the employment status (contract or regular employee), pay, health benefits, secondary benefits (disability and/or life insurance), paid time off, retirement savings plans, work schedule and potential for growth. Ask for this information in writing.