Part of your ability to succeed in obtaining a job is knowing your worth. If you overvalue yourself against the market, you are unlikely to get a job offer – there are plenty of similarly qualified candidates willing to take less. However, undervaluing your worth will leave you unsatisfied and may even raise questions with a potential employer as to why your salary requirements are at the low end (or under) the market price if you have good qualification.
Knowing your worth begins with research. As many of you know, the job market has experienced a major upheaval. A candidate once worth £50,000 may now only be worth £40,000. If you don’t do research on the current market condition in your industry and position, you will be in a poor position to negotiate from a vantage point.
One place to start is at salary survey sites: SalaryExpert, PayWizard, and Reed Salary Calculator. This will give you a general overview of what people are earning in the same and similar positions. Beware, however: the market at this moment is not necessarily reflected in these figures, as there are numerous people still employed at former boom-time salary levels.
Next, you should check out job boards and company job websites to survey what is currently being offered and what experience and skills they are seeking. The more skills you have, the farther up the salary range you can place yourself. Likewise, if you lack certain skills or experience, you will fall into the lower range.
Finally, get assistance from a recruiter. Recruiters know their clients very well and have a good feel for what they are willing to pay for someone with exactly your experience. Remember, every employer will have a different salary range in mind, and many don’t reveal that range. If they use a recruiter to fill the position, you can realise a significant benefit. Recruiters also often use their own salary tools to determine the market pay for your industry and job position. They constantly keep their eyes on the overall job market and work to negotiate top salaries for their clients.