Here are some quick tips to help you negotiate the highest salary for your experience.
* Discover what you're worth by researching salary surveys for your occupation, experience and location.
* Research the company to see if they're booming or hurting financially. If booming, go for top salary, benefits and perks. If not, get what you can comfortably live on, but think twice about working there.
* Research yourself so you can sell your skills, talents, accomplishments, work ethics and experience for top pay.
* Politely sidestep salary (say it's negotiable, open or competitive) until you're confident they want to hire you. Then you have leverage.
* When asked point-blank about salary, counter by asking what the range is, so you know the boundaries.
* Command rather than demand, while working toward a win-win situation.
* Be eager and enthusiastic, but willing to walk away if you've reached an unsatisfactory negotiating ceiling. Don't burn your bridges, but rather politely decline the offer.
* Even if you get what you want, wait to accept for a day or two to think it over, time permitting.
* Never lie about past salary. Reference checks might expose you.
* Consider the value of benefits and perks too, such as stock options, bonuses, telecommuting options, and promotion potential.
* Ask about extra benefits and perks, so it appears that you are compromising if you don't get them, or attempt to trade them for a higher salary.