It’s no secret that the most stressful parts of a job search is when you have to negotiate your salary.

If the salary you suggest is too low, you’re undervaluing yourself. If you go too high, you can give them an easy reason not to hire you. The key is to find the perfect number that can be the anchor in which you start the negotiation process.

One tip from Barking Up the Wrong Tree, is to go in with an aggressive offer that looks like you’ve done your research and you know exactly what you’re worth (which you should anyway!).

When someone says “$100,000” it sounds like they didn’t put a lot of thought into it and will probably accept less.

But when someone says “$102,500” it seems like they probably have a good reason for asking for that exact amount.

The best thing to do is go in there fully prepared. Educate yourself with the company, asking your HR contact what the process is for pay raises and promotions. Also spend time researching and find out the average salary range for similar jobs in your area, industry, and geography.

Remember, you can always consult websites like Salary.com, PayScale, Glassdoor, or Job Search Intelligence. And contacting a professional staffing agency can also be a great resource; they can help you narrow down your desired salary and even help you find the right job.

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