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Most people think getting the job offer is the biggest hurdle of your job search. In truth, the biggest hurdle is actually getting the right package from the right company. For a software developer, as with many other careers; finalising an offer that combines your needs and your career goals with those of the company is the biggest barrier standing between you and your new role. This is when, amongst other things, salary comes into play. What is the secret to salary negotiations though? With so much rhetoric online; the salary negotiation takes on an entirely different form. Candidates are now able to take back their power and negotiate for their quality of life.

When do Salary Negotiations Really Start?

The moment a recruiter or hiring manager reads your CV salary negotiations start. This is your first conversation with the business in question and it sets a precedent for everything that follows. Your CV gives recruiters and hiring managers an overview of your education, expertise and experience. This is exactly why you want to submit the absolute best CV you can, never take your CV for granted!

Do Your Research

The first question we ask new potential recruiters coming to e-Merge is, ‘what do you know about us?’. This is one of the best ways to gauge the interest a potential hire actually has in us. If they are invested in their career, they will have done the research and they are less likely to leave the minute things get tough – and they always do, in any field. People who are invested in their career are also more likely to want to learn and grow in their new role. This is the moment you, as a developer, can show your interviewer that you are interested in being successful and adding value to the company in question in the long term. If you don’t show this basic level of interest the hiring manager is definitely not going to call you back for a second interview.

The Courting Process

Just as important as it is for a business to know that you have done your research on them, it is also important to convince them that you are the right choice for them. A symbiotic relationship makes for a successful one. This is a critical step in building rapport and ultimately winning them over. If you get this right and successfully win them over, you will have an ally that will bat for you.

Prove Your Worth

Firstly, if you can’t prove your competence, you’re probably out of the running anyway. More than that, you need to show both the hiring manager and recruiter that you are in fact a more than a relatively decent developer. A high calibre candidate will do more than merely jump through the same hoops as everyone else, they will go the extra mile and continue to improve, becoming better than just a relatively decent developer.

Keep Your Arrogance at Bay

If you walk into an interview thinking your ish don’t stink and that developers are hard to find, you’re going about this all wrong. Developers are not hard to find and the business doesn’t have to pay you all the money. You will get bombed, this attitude is seen as blackmail and uncouth, to say the least. You may get a get a massive increase if you are a rockstar developer but that end of the bell curve really rare in the global software developer community. As recruiters, we manage to negotiate the biggest wins for competent, self-invested developers with a proven track record which they can back up in an interview.

Leave the Hard Sales Pitch at Home

Convincing a business that you’re great does not require a massive hardcore sales pitch. The best way to pitch yourself is using by using your history to predict your future performance. From the perspective of a business, what really matters is spend versus profit – that’s never going to change. If you, as a developer, can ease that ingrained apprehension surrounding it, and show your ability to deliver what is needed, your room for negotiation has already increased.

Submit Your Pay Slip

Your salary slip is an integral device that recruiters use to evaluate your current quality of life and motivate your salary requirements. While we do place a lot of developers without their payslips, this isn’t common practice. What we can say with certainty is that if you’re applying for a position at a bank; 90% of the time proof of earning is required. If however, you are able to push the conversation beyond a payslip, you render it meaningless. Empower yourself, developers who argue against payslips, instead make the conversation about the value of your skills rather than merely the cost.

The trick to earning big salary increases is in taking control of your life, not waiting for others to do it for you. Take a long hard look at the mirror and think about what it is you bring to the table – not what your friend is earning. Polish up your CV and GitHub profile and put them in front of the right people, people who inspire you and are in turn inspired by you. There are so many incredible employers out there who actually want you and want to pay you more. Being passive and not negotiating your salary will only hurt you. And that is the secret to salary negotiations.