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Negotiating a compensation package

Before you see that job offer in writing, you may have to negotiate — after you get the "pre-offer," that is.

More companies are asking candidates what salary, benefits, vacation time and other compensation they would be willing to accept before they put an actual offer on the table, says Gary Bergmann, senior consultant for Boston outplacement firm ClearRock.

"There are so many qualified people looking for work that employers can ask this of job seekers," Bergmann said.

Though there isn't an official offer to accept or reject, the same strategies and tactics should be put into play during the pre-negotiating stage.

ClearRock's tips for getting the compensation package you deserve:

Do your homework ahead of time and learn what the fair market value is for the role you have been offered. Check out Web sites such as, and for comparable salary ranges.

Ask for a few days to review the details to make a good business decision. Evaluate the offer against your personal criteria and other offers you may already have received.

Do not accept an offer on the spot, even if it's beyond your expectations.

Be prepared to walk away from an offer, which will convey that you mean business and give you additional influence in securing the best deal.

Never bluff about having another offer if you don't.

Use the word "need" during negotiations, rather than "want" to underscore what it will take to land you the desired compensation.

Negotiating a compensation package 04/15/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 11:35pm]
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