How to use LinkedIn to Prepare for a Salary Negotiation

LinkedIn has aggregated data on salary information on professionals around the world. This information is free and available at your fingertips. When it comes to a salary negotiation, it’s best to come to that conversation prepared. It’s also a good idea to have a realistic, research-backed estimate of future salary opportunities.

#1 Determine what you need to survive

Before you walk into a salary negotiation, you need to be aware of your baseline. Your baseline consists of basic expenses you must cover to maintain the status quo. These basic expenses include rent or mortgage payment, utilities, insurance, gas, groceries, debt, and savings (8-10%).

Having these expenses in mind will prepare you to make the most of that conversation when the time comes. For example, if you know that transportation is going to be a major expense, one of the arrangements you can work out with your employer is a discount toward insurance and transportation if an increase in base salary is out of the question. 

If you’re having a hard time estimating your baseline, then I recommend checking out Texas Reality Check. It’s a simple and straightforward tool that can help you evaluate your expenses. In the end, it’ll provide a base salary estimate that will help you cover your basic expenses.

#2 Brainstorm 3-5 ideal roles you’d like to fulfill

It’s possible to get different estimates depending on the responsibilities of a role. You want to make sure you have an ideal range of what your industry is offering.

For example, if you are a writer, then you can use “writer” as one of your keywords, but I’d also encourage you to look up “content creator” “copywriter” and “technical writer” as well.

Try to be as specific as possible to get a good idea of the range you’re working with in terms of salary. If you notice that a certain keyword has a higher salary range than another then that may influence your career path.

Learn how to use LinkedIn to plan your career.

#3 Pay attention to the little details

Be careful not to overlook how the ranges change based on customizations like industry and years of experience. By default, LinkedIn will show you the average across all industries and experiences. Adjust the filters to make sure they match your experience level and industry.

Bonus tip: If you’re planning on moving do salary research in the place you want to go- not in your current city. For example, if I plan on being a Marketing Director in San Francisco, but I’m currently based in Houston, I would do make sure that my salary research was in the context of San Francisco (not Houston). 

Underneath the averages, you’ll see a salary range. Don’t take this range for granted. Of course, it would be ideal to land on or above the average salary range but you want to be sure that you are aware of the lower end of the spectrum as well. This way you’ll know if an employer is trying to lowball you.

Learn how to use LinkedIn to fill your skills gap.

#4 Compare the LinkedIn salary ranges to PayScale and Glassdoor

Use online resources like PayScale and Glassdoor to round out your salary research. These resources will give you more context of what to expect in terms of salary. It’ll also give you more confidence during the negotiation because you’ll be able to reference, with confidence, three sources of information.

One thing that you have to keep in mind is that the salary information is self-reported so take anything you read with a grain of salt but it’s always better to come into a conversation with knowledge in hand.

#5 Ask colleagues who are familiar with the position if the range is realistic

Check your network for colleagues who are in the same industry or performing the same role as you. Ask a handful of those colleagues for feedback about the salary information you researched. It doesn’t have to be their current position either. Most people feel uncomfortable sharing their exact salary information, so instead, you can ask them if a certain range sounds realistic.

For example, if you are interviewing to be a recruiter and you have some experience then talk to your colleagues on LinkedIn to get their feedback your certain salary expectations.

You can say something like “Do you think a base salary of 35K-42K is realistic for this position based on my experience?” Your colleague is free to correct your assumptions or affirm your research. Either way, it’s less awkward than asking exactly how much money they made in the position. \

Learn how to use LinkedIn to build meaningful relationships.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can take your career to the next level. Did you know you can use LinkedIn to revamp your resumeplan your careerfill a skills gap, land an internship, build meaningful relationships, conduct industry research, transition to another industry 

How did you prepare for your salary negotiation? What resources did you use to prepare? Share your experience in the comments section! 

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