These mistakes can sabotage your salary negotiations before they even start

 In the final months of 2023, many individuals are focused on securing a new job for the upcoming year. While searching for a job can be stressful, negotiation during the hiring process can also be challenging. Studies indicate that those who choose not to negotiate may be leaving significant earnings on the table, ranging from $1 million to $1.5 million over a lifetime. Surprisingly, almost 20% of people never negotiate job offers. However, it can be difficult to know what to ask for during negotiations. Questions may arise such as whether asking for a $20,000 increase in salary is too much, if additional vacation days are reasonable, or whether requesting additional benefits will result in the job offer being withdrawn. 

At, we run a mock interviewing platform where we coach hundreds of users through salary negotiation. On average, our users secure $50,000 more in cash and achieve a 94% success rate. Based on our experience, we've observed the same two mistakes made repeatedly by job seekers, particularly when dealing with recruiters at the early stages of their job search, well before receiving an offer: 

1. Revealing information too early: One common mistake is sharing information prematurely. This includes disclosing your salary history (even though it may be illegal in some states to ask for it directly, recruiters may still find indirect ways to inquire about it), revealing your salary expectations, discussing other companies you're interviewing with, and divulging how far along you are in the application process with other companies. It's important to note that sharing this information early on offers no advantages and only carries potential downsides.

2. Negotiating before you're ready: The second mistake is attempting to negotiate before you have done the necessary groundwork. Effective negotiation requires preparation and leverage, which involves having multiple job offers and ensuring that they come in simultaneously. This way, you can compare and negotiate from a position of strength. Failing to establish these foundations makes the negotiation process more challenging and limits the potential increase in compensation.

Although it is still possible to negotiate without multiple offers or sufficient preparation, it is generally more difficult, and the potential for a significant increase in earnings may be limited. Therefore, it is crucial to invest the time and effort in laying the groundwork before engaging in negotiations. Remember, negotiation is primarily about preparation and leverage, not just saying the right things or projecting confidence through a firm handshake. By following these guidelines, you can increase your chances of a successful negotiation outcome.  

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