When confronted with the thought of negotiating our salary during a job interview, some of us question our ability in effectively handling a salary offer that is below our expectations. With a little strategy, you can negotiate your salary like a pro by incorporating some of these helpful tips into your planning.

Avoid including salary information on your resume. If a company requests salary information on your resume, you could choose to ignore the request or state in the cover letter that your salary is negotiable based on the responsibilities of the position. Another option is to include a broad salary range rather than a fixed amount. If you get the interview, fixed salary amounts leave little room for negotiations.

Do you know what the position pays? If not, you need to do some research. Websites such as salary.com and salaryexpert.com offer salary information for various job titles within a specific geographical area. This data gives you a good idea of what your experience and skills are worth in the marketplace. You can use this information as a baseline for your negotiations.

Never discuss salary until you get a job offer. Try to delay directly answering salary questions until you know what the position entails.If the employer asks for your desired salary before obtaining this information, explain that you are looking for a competitive salary based on the responsibilities of the position.You can then start asking the employer questions about the position. Once it is explained, aim for the highest competitive salary range based on your research and the employer’s information.

If asked for the amount of your current earnings, don’t inflate your salary; instead, support your higher salary request by establishing how your qualifications can be of value to the company. Take your time in responding to an offer. If you are not satisfied with the amount, ask the employer if this is his best offer. Don’t feel obligated to accept right away. Take a day or two to think about it. Sometimes employers will increase the offer if they feel you won’t accept the position.

If you are not successful in negotiating the salary you requested, focus on negotiating bonuses, more vacation time, or a salary increase after your first performance review. Before accepting an offer, remember to always get everything in writing.

In business as in life, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.
Dr. Chester L. Karrass

Author’s Bio: Anne Kern, ACRW — Anne Kern is the founder of ReachHire Resume Service. Anne is current on the latest technologies potential employers use to find qualified candidates. Cover letters, executive biographies, LinkedIn profile creation, and career assessments are just some of the many services she offers. Her business is built around getting her clients the interviews they desire and providing top-notch personalized service.  Learn more about Anne on LinkedIn.