Giving Exact Salary Expectations Leads to Higher Salary

July 14, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. negotiation [ni-goh-shee-EY-shuh n, -see-] (n.) – a formal discussion with the goal of coming to an agreement
Example:  The negotiation between the applicant and the employer included a policy discussion.

2. round off [ROUND-awf, -of] (phrasal v.) – to change or adjust a number to the nearest whole number or number ending in zero
Example:  The secretary listed down 137 delegates to the conference and rounded the number off to 140.

3. do (one’s) homework [doo wuhns HOHM-wurk] (idiom.) – to carefully prepare for something
Example:  The interviewer was impressed because the applicant did his homework of knowing the company's history.

4. calculation [kal-kyuh-LEY-shuh n] (n.) – a process of counting or computing to determine the amount or value of something
Example: The accountant’s calculations supported the total amount spent on the job fair.

5. blow away [bloh uh-WEY] (phrasal v.) – to strongly impress another person
Example: Jaime's excellent presentation blew his colleagues away.


Read the text below.
A recent study says that people who ask for a more specific and exact amount are more likely to get a better offer than those who round off the numbers during salary negotiations.

For instance, those who ask for $105,000 rather than $100,000 are more likely to get the amount they asked for.

According to Malia Mason, the lead researcher of the study, people who ask for a rounded-off number seem like they did not do their homework. Recruiters then tend to be more aggressive in giving counter-offers, resulting to a lower final offer.

On the other hand, a person who gives a more exact amount appears more informed about the job and its nature.

However, Mason says that giving a specific amount is not enough – the person must also be able to back up the number with calculations. The applicant can provide calculations by researching the pay range of the job on the Internet or by asking someone in the company who is willing to share information.

Ramit Sethi, author of the book "I Will Teach You to be Rich," asserts that the most important part of a salary negotiation is having strong reasons for the number. He recommends the "briefcase technique," in which the applicant pulls out from his briefcase a typed-out plan of what he can contribute to the company within a specific time period. Sethi says doing so will blow away recruiters because this method shows how valuable that person can be to the company.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are the possible disadvantages of giving an exact amount in salary negotiations? Please explain your answer.
·         Would you ever try the “briefcase technique”? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What are the important factors to consider when going to a job interview? Briefly explain each factor.
·         If you were an applicant, how would you prepare for your job interview?


July 14, 2013