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How to use public salary ranges to negotiate a new job, says ex-Goldman Sachs recruiter

How to use public salary ranges to negotiate a new job, says ex-Goldman Sachs recruiter

It’s never been easier to see how much a job will pay before you go into an interview.

More than a dozen states, cities, counties and Washington, D.C. have passed pay disclosure laws, where employers of a certain size are required to list the salary range of an open job. And more than 1 in 4 workers in the U.S. now lives in a place where they’re entitled to see pay ranges on job ads.

But once you have that information, how can you actually leverage pay ranges to negotiate a job offer?

It’s as simple as asking one straightforward question in a job interview, says Chanelle Howell, 31, a New York City-based recruiter who’s interviewed hundreds while working for Goldman Sachs, Bridgewater Associates and through her own consulting company.

She recently gave this example: Say you’re interviewing for a position that states the salary range is $100,000 to $150,000.

In an interview with the hiring manager or recruiter, ask: “Can you tell me what skills and experiences separate the $100,000 candidate from the $150,000 candidate?”

This question will prompt the interviewer to explain their compensation strategy for the role. For example, they might say a candidate in the top end of the range has a certain number of years in the field, managed a certain number of people, led specific projects or is an expert in specific skills.

Use this information to then shape what skills and accomplishments you can discuss based on your own background. The key is to repeat these qualities throughout your interview, Howell says, to help build your case for why you’re a star candidate.

DON’T MISS: The ultimate guide to acing your interview and landing your dream job

Then, “later in the negotiation process, you can use their literal words to justify why you deserve more money,” Howell says. By the time you reach final conversations and get a verbal offer, it’s time to run through how you meet the expectations of a top-paid candidate, then counter the offer with your desired pay at the top end of the range.

“The key is to push your potential employer to quantify exactly why someone deserves that dollar amount and then to create your story around that,” Howell says.

Put another way, “get them to give you the answers.”

What to do if you don’t know the salary range

Even if you don’t live in a state or city where pay range disclosures are required by law, you can still point out that it’s a growing practice and that you’d like to apply it in your situation: “Given new pay transparency laws, a lot…

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