Receiving a job offer may seem like the pinnacle of your employment search -- and, in many ways, it is. Before you start celebrating, however, you need to achieve the peace of mind that comes with knowing the offer meets your needs. This usually involves a negotiation process. You must strike the right balance between being appreciative of an offer and making sure it fairly represents your worth in the marketplace and helps you realize the primary goals of your job search. There are seven tips to ensure the best possible outcome for job applicants, plus some food for thought for the partners and human-resources professionals sitting across the negotiating table from them: 1. Know your priorities. 2. Address the employer's needs, not just your own, as a basis for determining compensation. 3. Know how much leverage you have. 4. Persuade the interviewer to name the first figure, if possible. 5. Consider more than just money. 6. Understand the variable pay components. 7. Remain professional.
Negotiating, if it's done right, gets results. This is both true for the big screen and the office or board room. College internships, volunteer work, and activity in campus and trade organizations serve as viable tools for negotiation.