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Negotiating pay

Perhaps the hardest part of the jobseeking process is negotiating your pay and benefits package. If you don’t have sales and negotiation skills, this can be be a bit of an obstacle.

Here are some key pointers for tackling the subject:

• Be aware of your market value – use a salary checker to find out the market worth of the job role according to the location and industry.

• Make sure you know the salary range for the job you are going for prior to interview – you may be asked what salary you're looking for at this early stage.

• Don't be modest – if it's not too big a jump from your current salary, ask for the top end of the pay scale on offer.

• Don’t ask about salary – wait for the employer to make the first move. If they haven't addressed the subject by the end of a second interview, ask what sort of salary they’re looking to offer for this position.

• If you're comfortable handling negotiations, wait for a clear sign that the employer wants to offer you the job before stating what you're looking for.

• Bear in mind pension contributions, training allowances and other benefits (laptop, BlackBerry, bonus) that come with the job.

• Be prepared to give specific examples of how you add value to the organisation to back up why you’re asking for that particular salary.

• Always start your negotiations with a figure slightly higher than the amount you’d be willing to accept.

• Don’t lie about your current salary and package – you will be caught out. If you’re good enough for the salary you’re requesting, you’ll be able to negotiate your way to it through demonstration of your skills.

Further links:

- Understanding PAYE

- Pensions advice

- Tax rebates

- IR35 explained

- Find an IT job