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Tips on how to negotiate a better job offer

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As the economy gradually improves, job hunters may still hesitate to ask for more compensation, employers may be more willing to negotiate an offer than you think, and it doesn't always have to be for more money.

Job hunters shouldn't be shy about negotiating a better offer. According to a recent survey from Careerbuilder.com, many employers expect it.

Michael Erwin of CareerBuilder said, "The number one thing to remember about a job offer is that employers have already built into that, that you are going to come back and negotiate, so there is some room to come back and ask what they have to offer."

A better offer doesn't necessarily mean a higher salary. In the Careerbuilder survey, many employers said if they couldn't meet a potential employee's salary demands, they might be willing to offer alternative benefits like:

  • A more flexible work schedule
  • More vacation time
  • Telecommuting options
  • Compensation for a mobile device

Negotiation could also be the first chance to show off business-savvy to a new employer.

"They'll think you're a good businessperson and that you'd be good for their team, because someone who has good business negotiation skills is going to be a good addition to any team that's trying to build a business back after this bad recession," said Erwin.

If the employer won't budge, revisit what the job might mean for the future. Even if a job lags in salary, it may pay off with learning and promotion opportunities in the long run.

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