Salary discussions are another one of those tricky subjects that should be approached carefully and strategically to determine if your pay expectations are in line with the prospective employer’s compensation range for the position. So let’s see, you wrote a good professional resume or killer LinkedIn profile and secured a job interview. Let’s talk about the money! is a useful site for researching and getting a feel for the position’s pay range in different industries and geographical areas, particularly for those individuals who are changing careers, or reentering the workforce after sabbatical, relocating, or seeking career advancement.

While it is a good practice to reserve discussions about specific numbers until an offer has been extended, more than likely you will be asked about salary requirements during the online application process, phone screening, or first interview.

Online Application:

If asked about your salary requirements during the online application process, provide a figure in the middle based on your research.

First Interview:

If asked during the first interview state an acceptable range, keeping in mind your total compensation package—and then very professionally ask the employer what the range is for the position. This allows for a two-way dialogue and enables you to obtain more information.

When discussing salary history, if your salary history is slightly higher than the pay range for the job, build the discussion around your years of experience, the results you bring, 3rd-party testimonials, and/or any awards that support your pay rate.

Conversely, if your salary history has been on the lower end, same suggestions apply: discuss key points regarding your talent, any quantifiable achievements, specialized training, and education to help further support your desire for career advancement, while keeping in mind your total compensation package including benefits. One of the key points to remember before giving verbal or written acceptance of a job offer is to factor in the total compensation package including signing bonuses, benefits, relocation reimbursement, gym membership, incentive-based compensation, etc.

As previously mentioned, this is the salary discussion phase and the strategy here is to build your value so that you can effectively negotiate and agree on specific numbers when an offer has been extended.

At this stage the heavy lifting has been done. Take a moment to reflect and congratulate yourself on all of the time invested in creating a powerful LinkedIn profile or writing a professional resume that has placed you closer to accepting a job offer.