how to negotiate your salary

How to Negotiate Your Salary for Engineers

If you’re thinking about starting a job search, you’re probably thinking about compensation goals. Your technical skills and experience will help you during interview rounds, but understanding how to negotiate your salary can make a big difference in your earnings.

Here are some tips from technical recruiting experts to help you navigate your offer process and negotiate your salary.

1) Identify your compensation priorities

You should have a clear understanding of what you want your compensation package to include. Before you start negotiating an offer, rank your priorities from top to bottom. This helps you focus on what’s most important during the back and forth. Plus, it makes for a more efficient negotiation process. Your employer will appreciate the limited approvals they need to get and revisions they need to make to your offer documents.

2) When to start negotiating your salary

So, let’s break down when you should negotiate your offer. Conversations around salary should take place throughout the interview process. If your priorities or expectations change, make sure to communicate that. By the offer stage, the employer should have a clear idea of your desired salary.

If you’re negotiating salary, it’s best to do so after receiving a verbal offer. If you’re negotiating benefits, PTO, equity options, etc., it’s better to wait until you receive a written offer. You’ll have more details on the full compensation and benefits package, which will allow you to be more specific when negotiating. 

3) Negotiate your offer over a call, not through e-mail

You’ll be in communication with your hiring manager or point of contact both verbally and via e-mail. While it may seem more professional or simpler to e-mail your negotiation requests, consider doing so over a call instead. 

After your initial verbal offer, wait a day before requesting another call. Taking the night to think over the offer instead of immediately responding will help you craft a more thoughtful and clear reply. Use this time to create a pros and cons list and revisit your compensation priorities. If you are working with a recruiter, this is a great time to make use of their expert opinion. They can act as your sounding board and provide feedback as you plan your response. 

4) When asking for more, come prepared with backup

Sign-on bonuses have become an attractive addition for new hires in the tech world. A bonus can be the difference between accepting or passing on an offer. If you’re looking for a sign-on bonus and aren’t offered one upfront by the employer, don’t be afraid to ask. Explain the reason behind your request. Being transparent will help the employer get you to your compensation goal.

Whether you are asking for a salary increase or a bonus, prepare to back yourself up. Bringing research to the conversation can help you negotiate more confidently and effectively. If you have a higher offer on the table, leverage it. If you don’t have a higher offer, but feel that your offer is lower than it should be, you can use market dynamics in your favor. Use trusted sources like Angel.co or Triplebyte to show why you are asking for more.

5) Continuous communication is your key to success

It’s important during the offer and negotiation stage to stay in contact. If you need time to consider or compare offers, let your point of contact know and be clear about your timeline. Employers will worry that you are losing interest if you go more than a couple of days without responding.

If you are holding back on accepting an offer, whatever the reason may be, let your point of contact know. Communicating your reason will help them advocate for you and your needs. Most employers are hoping for a response within 72 hours. Be direct to avoid any miscommunication…your compensation is important.

Navigating your engineering offer can be an intimidating process. Whether you are new to the job field or have years of experience, negotiating for yourself can help you reach your desired salary. Remember to be transparent with your compensation goals, ask at the right time, and be responsive. 

 


Are you looking for your next software engineering role? We’d love to hear about your career goals. Email us at community@closeriq.com!

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Lauren Miller