When was the last time you asked for a pay rise? And when you did, did you try to negotiate a better
The thing is, most women don’t. Despite the fact that women ask for raises as often as men, they:
● Ask for less money;
● Don't negotiate a proposed salary that often;
● Negotiate less forcefully;
● Can negotiate more money on someone else's behalf than for themselves.
Why is that? There are many reasons. Some women feel awkward asking for more money, other
undervalue themselves, or expect to be recognized without having to ask for recognition. And some
women simply don't want to be seen as too assertive or pushy.
But in reality, there’s nothing inherently awkward or pushy about asking for a higher salary. And while
you may still feel awkward about it, there's a solution — learning how to effectively negotiate a pay raise.
Based on our experience at Kickresume, we've prepared 7 tips for you to overcome the obstacles
How to negotiate a salary increase
1. Know your value but have reasonable expectations
Requesting an unreasonable increase can seem inappropriate. Before you decide how much of a raise to
request, do some homework. Use Glassdoor's Know Your Worth salary calculator. Check sites like
LinkedIn, Salary, or PayScale to research the salary range for your position, credentials and your specific
You can also talk to people in your company who work in roles similar to yours, if you feel comfortable
doing it. But remember, only do this to get a better idea of what amount to ask for — never use it as an
argument during an actual negotiation. Your negotiation is about your performance and your value, not
Finally, do some company research. Try to identify any possible obstacles, such as layoffs or cost-cutting.
Check the approximate annual raise budget of your company. For yearly upticks, companies usually
budget 5% or less.
2. Be clear and straightforward
Once you’ve done your research, make an appointment with a clear objective — to discuss compensation.
You don't want to ambush the manager, especially when they're busy or stressed. Additionally, if the
manager feels unprepared to discuss a raise, nothing will come out of the meeting.
Making an appointment is really simple, too. All you have to do is send an email or meeting invitation
saying something like “I’d like to discuss updating my salary to reflect my new skills and the value I bring to
3. Use arguments, not pressure
Avoid making any ultimata like “I need to get a pay rise by January 1st, or else I’ll quit.” Negotiations are a
collaborative process and borderline threats don’t work — especially during a crisis.
If you want to strengthen your position during a negotiation, highlight your commitment to the
company, point out your personal accomplishments and outstanding performance. Don’t forget to back
them with specific examples. Ideally, keep track of your accomplishments throughout the year and when
it comes to the negotiations, you’ll have them all ready up your sleeve.
Also, each of your arguments should be backed up with real numbers. Note anything you can quantify.
For instance, when I was preparing for my salary negotiation as a writer, I put together statistics about
the company blog growth and the amount of projects I worked on.
4. Use bolstering price range
Once you’re ready to talk numbers, use one of these two techniques:
○ name a price range
○ or wait for the manager’s suggestion.
I recommend to opt for the first option. The reason is simple. So-called bolstering price range is a
powerful psychological tactic that changes the reality of the employer’s perception. Research shows that
if you say salary range vs a fixed price, you have a higher chance to negotiate a bigger salary. And this
works particularly well for women.
How does this price range work exactly? Use your desired salary as the bottom of your range and an
increase by about 15-20% at the end of your range. Let's say if you want $7,100 per month, say you want
something between $7,100 and $7,500. By doing this, your boss will automatically start thinking at a
higher level and will have a greater psychological barrier to give you an offer below $7,100.
Unlike men, women hardly negotiate their salaries at all. Prepare yourself for a scenario when you get an
offer that doesn’t come anywhere close to what you wanted. A good start is to say whether it's close
enough or not and what would be ideal. Ask whether it's possible to do a little bit better than that,
mentioning your prepared arguments again.
If this tactic doesn’t work, ask for the manager's advice and opinion. For instance, what other tasks can
you do to get the pay you want? Offering to increase your responsibilities and taking on other duties are
good ways to prove that your pay rise is worth it for your employer.
6. Imagine you're negotiating for a friend
In Linda Babcock's experiment, men firstly negotiated a salary 3% higher than women. But when women
were told to imagine they were negotiating a salary for the employee they were mentoring, they were
able to negotiate a 14% higher salary than men. Similar study confirmed women tend to negotiate more
money on someone else's behalf than for themselves.
These findings suggest that women may be able to improve their own outcomes by linking their results
to those of others. Therefore, just imagine you're negotiating a pay rise for an employee you're
mentoring or a good friend whom you’ve just recommended for a job.
7. Think beyond the paycheck
To avoid a stalemate, prepare a yes-able alternative. A pay rise is not the only thing that's worth
negotiating. There are other benefits worth trading off for an increased payroll, such as bonuses, more
paid vacation days, stock options, development funds, travel costs, gym membership, or working from
home. You can also agree on a tiered raise over time, scheduling another review in a few months.
Want some more tips for negotiating a raise? Here are other useful resources that can help you learn
more about the topic:
Author: Nikoleta Žišková is a resident writer at Kickresume, a professional resume builder trusted by
1M+ job seekers. www.blog.kickresume.com