How to negotiate salary: 10 tips for a better job offer

Wondering how to negotiate salary for a new job, or how to ask for a raise in your existing role? Read on to discover our 10 top tips for getting the salary you deserve.
6 min read
Knowing how to negotiate your salary is an important part of applying for a new job. It’s also a valuable skill to have when you’re already working at a company and looking for a salary increase. We know that asking for more money or additional benefits can sometimes be daunting, but not asking for the salary you want could mean not being properly compensated for your role. Currently, employees across industries have more traction in the job market than in years prior. This means companies are fighting for candidates with the perfect skill set*, which gives job hunters more power when asking for higher pay and better compensation packages. So, if you’ve just been offered a new job but aren’t 100% happy with the offer—or if you want a raise in your current job—we’re here to help.  Here are our 10 top salary negotiation tips, including how to manage your salary expectations and what you can do to build your confidence in asking for more.

1. Know your value

 Start out by doing some research into how much people in similar roles at other companies are being paid. This will help you to get an understanding of the job market and how competitive it is, which will put you in a stronger position when negotiating your salary. Recruiters are a good source of information, as are websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. It’s also helpful to reach out to family or friends in similar job positions for some first-hand insight. You could also ask colleagues you trust in your current role and see what their thoughts are.

Banking basics

Banking jargon can be confusing—but it doesn't have to be. Find simple explanations to popular banking terms.

Learn the basics
Banking basics.

2. Be specific 

 It’s always best to start your salary negotiations with a specific figure in mind—this shows your potential or existing employer that you’ve done your research and are confident in your value as an employee. They’ll likely be impressed that you’re taking the initiative. Remember, you can always begin your negotiations with a higher salary than you’re hoping for, and then compromise on a lower amount if needed. 

3. Build your case for a salary negotiation

 Before negotiating your salary, it’s a good idea to gather hard examples to support your case for why you deserve more money or a raise. Take some time to think about your work achievements and any transferable skills that will benefit you in your new role. Or, maybe your role has changed in the last 12 months and you’ve taken on new responsibilities. Try to use tangible examples that prove how much value you bring. For example, you could mention if you increased sales by 5% or recently helped launch a new product. 

4. Remain positive 

 Going into job offer negotiations or salary negotiations with confidence can make all the difference. Employers will often gravitate toward likeable individuals who they want to work with, as well as someone who is confident in their skills. As you go through the negotiation process, be respectful and professional. If possible, try not to come across as negative or to downplay your expectations. 

5. Understand who you’re talking to

 There may be multiple people that you speak to as part of a hiring panel or salary negotiation process, each of whom has different roles and priorities. This will vary depending on the company, but it’s usually the HR team who can answer more detailed questions about the total compensation being offered for the job. Try to direct your questions to the relevant individuals, to help you get the right answers more quickly. If you’re hoping to be promoted within your existing job, you’ll normally need to speak to your manager. 

Banking A-Z

Can't tell NFC from NFTs? Check out banking terms to help you better navigate your money.

Check our banking glossary
Banking basics glossary.

6. Think about how you’ll negotiate your salary

 Job offers and salary negotiations can happen over the phone, in-person, or even via email. If possible, it’s best to discuss your salary in person or over the phone, as this can feel more personable. If this isn’t an option, or if you’re more comfortable negotiating via email, it’s important to consider the style and tone of your replies. Choose words which convey your positivity, empathy, and openness to discussion. It’s a good approach to adopt and demonstrates your willingness to find a solution.  Happy in your current role but considering asking for more money? It might be better to start salary negotiations for your current role in person, particularly if you have a good relationship with your manager and feel comfortable with them. See if your employer has set up regular reviews for your personal development. If not, it’s probably a good idea to request one.

7. Be honest about other offers

 If you’ve applied for multiple jobs and have received another offer that you’re considering, be upfront about this with the hiring manager. Other companies being interested in you helps to give you more bargaining power and may lead to a higher offer. Let them know that they are your preferred choice and explain what salary would lead you to accept their offer over the competitor’s. Be careful if you’re using this as a bargaining tool for salary negotiations in an existing job. While it’s generally a positive thing that another company wants to employ you, you don’t want to use it as an ultimatum with your current company. 

8. Look at the total compensation package

Though salary may be the most important factor for some, it's just one element of most compensation packages. Other benefits may include things such as flexibility around working from home, flexi time, bonuses, health insurance, holidays and gym discounts. Depending on your circumstances, these benefits may outweigh a slightly higher salary, so it’s worth finding out exactly what’s on offer. 

9. Prepare yourself for difficult questions

 There’s no getting around the fact that salary negotiations can sometimes be awkward. However, it’s better to assume there may be some difficult questions, rather than going in unprepared. These could include questions around whether you’re currently applying for other roles and whether they are your top choice. Be as upfront about your current situation as you feel comfortable with, without compromising your privacy.

10. Be prepared to walk away

 If you’ve followed all these tips for negotiating your salary and the employer won’t budge, you may want to consider walking away. If you’re not happy with the company’s final offer and your current circumstances allow you to turn it down, you can politely let them know that you’ll be withdrawing from the application process. While disappointing, you can view the experience as good practice on how to negotiate salary that you can use to help with future job applications. This will be slightly different if you’re talking to your current employer about a raise. If you haven’t already started looking at other jobs, you might want to stay in your role and apply for higher paid jobs at the same time. This will give you more security while you search for something new.

The bank you'll love

✓ 100% mobile ✓ No hidden fees ✓ No paperwork ✓ Free virtual Mastercard ✓ Free ATM withdrawals

Get started
An elevated hand holding a transparent N26 Standard card.
The good news is that if you prepare yourself for salary negotiation, it can be a positive experience that boosts your confidence—and your bank account. Remember to always look at the total compensation package and how it supports your lifestyle. Want to manage your salary in an easy, secure place? Our bank account is designed to keep you in the driver’s seat and support you wherever you go. Having your salary deposited directly into your N26 bank account offers a range of benefits—including access to our Statistics feature, which allows you to track your spending and manage your money better.*

  • Can you lose a job offer by negotiating salary?
  • How do I negotiate my salary over the phone?
  • Is it better to call or send an email when negotiating salary?
  • Can I negotiate better benefits as well as more pay?
  • What should I do if salary negotiation doesn’t work?

Find similar stories

BY N26Love your bank

Related Post

These might also interest you
How inflation can deplete your hard-earned money, and ways to fight it.
Banking Basics

How inflation can deplete your hard-earned money, and ways to fight it

Inflation can take a toll on your money — if you let it. Here, we share strategies for fighting inflation, like investing and taking advantage of high-interest savings accounts.

10 min read
SEPA transfers made easy–everything you need to know.
Banking Basics

SEPA transfers made easy–everything you need to know

You’ve heard of SEPA payments, but what does it stand for, and how does it actually work? We unpack all you need to know about SEPA transfers here.

8 min read
Best ways to send money online internationally.
Banking Basics

Best ways to send money online internationally

Sending money overseas? Here’s what you need to know to get the best exchange rates and avoid hidden fees on your international money transfer.

8 min read