Tips for getting more money from an employer

April 2, 2010 at 1:50 pm 1 comment

It’s the proverbial elephant in the room in any job search or  discussion about job movement with a current employer — money: how much will I be paid and what kind of raises can I expect in the future? Except for the few among us who work only for the sheer job it brings, we all need to pay the bills. Figuring out how to maximize your salary upon starting a job (see Nov. 3 post, “Talking about money”) or taking a promotion is key. And even when — in this competitive job market — you have to take a pay cut (see Dec. 1 post “When to consider taking a pay cut”) you don’t want to low-ball your salary too much.

One of the pieces of advice given here and by hiring experts is that in a reasonable period after taking a job, say six months to a year, you’ll want to discuss salary with your employer — especially if you’ve taken a pay cut. It’s also important, if you’ve had wage freezes or lost salary ground in other ways in recent years, to try to get some money back from your employer — especially if things are turning around at your workplace.

But as money is among the most difficult topics for most of us to discuss in the workplace (or anywhere, really), here are some tips for trying to get more of it from your employer or prospective employer:

*Don’t make the conversation about money. Even when you’re seeking to talk to your boss about a raise, frame the discussion about something else — your performance and your value to the company. That will take the pressure off both of you, and you can lead up to the “money ask” (as they say in fund-raising). Take the initiative, don’t wait until it’s time for your official review. If you joined the company in the past year, tell your employer you want to get their thoughts on how you’re doing and talk about how you think you’ve done. If that goes well, then mention money. If you came in with a lower salary than you would have liked (and here’s a tip for job hunters — make sure when you accept a salary cut that you let your new employer know that this is less than you had previously made and that you’d like to revisit it in a set period) mention that and try to come up with a game plan over the next year for making back that cut.

*Do your research. If you find that the company is still struggling or that the previous occupant of your position made less than you are now, it’s probably not a good idea to seek more money. Timing is important — if you are hearing word of layoffs even in another part of the company, delay your request. Yet if the company is doing well or you determine that you’re  making less than colleagues doing similar work (perhaps you were hit with a “layoff discount” and they got you cheap knowing you badly needed a job) you should frame your request for more money with that information. Keep it about the financials — don’t make it personal — and you’re likely to get at least part of what you request.

*Watch how you ask. You don’t want to request more money in a bullying way, “I know I was paid less than my predecessor and I really think you owe it to me to increase my salary,” would be a bad tactic. After discussing your value to the company and your desire to help it prosper over time, bringing up money in the following way could be effective: “I understand that the company’s bottom line is improving, and I think what I’ve been doing has aided in that improvement. My performance appraisals recently have all been very good. As such, I’d like to request a 5 to 10 percent increase.” Give ranges — and percentages are good — so there is room for negotiation. And don’t expect your manager to be able to give you an answer on the spot — end the discussion by asking when they’ll be getting back to you and be sincere in thanking them for considering a raise. You want them on your side when they go to their boss with your request.

*Look to the future. One of the elements of a negotiation when accepting a new position (again, especially when you’re clearly taking a pay cut from your previous job) should be when you can revisit your salary. Try to get them to give you a specific time period, say six months, nine months or a year — and then stick to this timetable by reminding your boss if they let it slip. If you are turned down for a raise because of the company’s financial condition, ask your employer when your request can be revisited — and keep close tabs on how the company is doing and ask again when things look better. If your request is rejected because your boss doesn’t think your performance merits a raise, ask for specific feedback on your performance. After a set period, ask if you’ve improved — and then talk about money again.

*Here’s a (free) online event to consider on Tuesday April 6 that could expand your knowledge of health care (which could be important in your next job, no matter what it is):

Questions about health-care? Special guest chat: April 6
Tuesday, April 6th, 9:00am at TIME IS PDT… Online:

You have been invited by Donald Reynolds.
Stop by on Tuesday.
We’ll chat about health-care for an hour at noon EDT, 9am PDT.
*Also, an invitation from the National Press Foundation to apply for an upcoming seminar to be held in D.C.  on retirement issues (but applications are due Tuesday, April 6 so you better get going!) and a pitch to journalists for its programs:


Too often these days, the ABCs of journalism seem to be “Anxious, Beleaguered and Canned.” But one of the best ways to secure your existing job or to find a new one is expand your knowledge and skill set. The motto of the National Press Foundation is “We Make Journalists Better.” Well,  better journalists have more job options. You’re never too good, or too busy, or too broke, to consider the kind of mid-career training that can give you an edge. And that’s what we offer, at no cost to you.

For media types who cover financial, lifestyle and retirement news, we have a program May 31-June 3 that will shed light on new retirement saving options, as well as the impact of the financial crisis on various demographics: retirees, wannabes, soon-to-bes, and worker bees. Supported by Prudential Financial, the sessions will be held in Washington, DC, and will likely include meetings on Capitol Hill as well as presentations by experts in every aspect of this timely topic. More information and the application are here.

Fellowships include airfare, transfers, three or four nights’ lodging (depending on flight schedules) and most meals. You’ll find the application on our website, here. Do it now. Deadline is April 6.

These programs are for you. They’re free. No excuses.

*And some leads to end this work week:

*The good folks at Congress Daily in D.C. are looking for a health care reporter; if you’re interested, move quickly as they plan to fill this position soon:

CongressDaily seeks a reporter to cover  health care politics and policy.
The ideal candidate is familiar with both daily maneuvers and
long-term strategies of Congress, the administration and the lobbying
and nonprofit communities regarding this key issue. The ideal candidate
will have sharp political instincts, an aggressive reporting style and
familiarity with the key players. This reporter must have a talent for
cultivating sources at the highest levels and the ability to write well
under multiple daily deadlines. Experience covering Congress is
required, as is a bachelor’s degree.
Please send a cover letter, resume, and
clips to Jason Dick at

Atlantic Media Company is an Equal
Opportunity Employer.

*Kitco News is seeking free-lancers:
Kitco News, a division of Kitco Metals in Montreal, Canada, is looking for staff reporters and freelancers in the Americas and in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Kitco News is building a global staff to serve its popular Website, and other news outlets.* Americas–Reporters and freelancers needed with some knowledge of metals and mining, good reporting and writing skills. New York and other locations.

News agency experience and language skills helpful in all jobs.

Send CV and writing samples to Kitco News Editor-in-Chief Terry Wooten at

*With a hat tip to (for these next few leads),  the International Medical News Group, part of EBI  in Rockville, has an opening for a multimedia reporter:

Elsevier Business Intelligence (EBI)
Industry B2B Publishing, Corporate/Institutional/Technical Writing, Internet/Online/New Media, Magazine Publishing, Other Publishing
Salary Competitive
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location Rockville, MD USA
Job Requirements International Medical News Group (IMNG), a division of Elsevier Health Sciences located in Rockville, MD, is seeking a multimedia reporter for its medical news web sites and print publications. Key responsibilities include: collaborating across the newsroom with editors, associate editors, graphic designers, photo editors, and reporters to create original articles and to gather associated multimedia content; ensuring that content is user-centric for physician readers and consistent in style, format and quality. The job offers the opportunity to work with a large editorial staff in a lively, stimulating environment.
Bachelor’s degree (preferably in journalism or multimedia communications) required.
Minimum 2-5 years’ experience with writing and editing electronic articles/publications in a fast-paced publishing environment.
Writing and editing with attention to detail and ability to manage multiple projects.
Experience with emerging Web technologies (e.g. blogging, streaming video, podcasting, social media) and with content updating via an html editor.
Proficiency in MS Office suite
Excellent interpersonal, verbal/written communication and organizational skills
Must work well independent of supervision
Experience using a content management system.
Excellent understanding of how Web strategy can improve communications efforts
Aptitude for working with: XML, HTML editors.

Interested candidates should apply online at
Please include a cover letter listing salary requirements, resume and writing samples (links).

We offer an excellent compensation and benefits package. Elsevier is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

About Our Company Elsevier is the world’s leading provider of scientific, technical and medical (STM) information, tools and resources. A global company based in Amsterdam, Elsevier partners with scientists, researchers, healthcare providers, educators and decision-makers in academic institutions, governments and corporations to help them find, evaluate and use information. Our breadth of content is unparalleled, spanning virtually every STM field in the world and includes such distinguished brands as Gray’s Anatomy, The Lancet and Cell. Using innovative technology, we deliver our content through tools that help our customers be more productive and successful in their work. ScienceDirect delivers the worlds’ leading journals electronically to over 11 million readers in 200 countries. And physicians in 95 percent of teaching hospitals rely on MD Consult to get critical information that can save lives. Elsevier employs over 7,000 people in more than 70 offices worldwide. We are an employer of choice, attracting and developing talented and creative people who thrive in a challenging and fast-paced environment.

*The Center for American Progress in D.C. is looking for an associate editor for

Center for American Progress – Campus Progress
Industry Internet/Online/New Media, Non-profit
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location Washington, DC USA
Job Requirements Reports to: Editor,
Department: Campus Progress
Staff reporting to this position: None
Position classification: Exempt, full time


American Progress has an immediate opening for an Associate Editor of, the daily online magazine of Campus Progress. Campus Progress, part of American Progress, helps young people make their voices heard on critical issues.

The Associate Editor will work with Campus Progresss editorial team to assign, develop, and edit reported and opinion pieces by young writers for the web magazine, which covers both politics and culture. He or she will also recruit new writers, contribute original writing and other work to the web magazine, and work with Campus Progresss network of student-run publications. runs reported and opinion articles, cultural reviews, videos, photo essays, comics, and other content from a wide range of contributors, mostly young people. The magazine has interviewed national figures including President Barack Obama, Stephen Colbert, Margaret Cho, M.I.A., Talib Kweli, Paul Krugman, and Rachel Maddow. Its content gets links on leading websites and blogs.

Campus Progresss journalism division also offers funding and training to a diverse network of more than 50 student-run print and web publications on campuses across the country. Participants at our journalism conferences and trainings have included Seymour Hersh, Helen Thomas, E.J. Dionne, and other top reporters from publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Politico, The Nation, Think Progress, and many others.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

Commissioning and editing articles.
Producing articles, blog posts, video, and photo essays for the magazine.
Finding new writers, producers, and artists.
Working with the editor and online communications team to implement layout, photos and art, multimedia production, and design for magazine content.
Working with the Campus Progress communications department to promote content to other websites, blogs, and media outlets.
Contributing to production of regular print editions of the magazine.
Mentoring and training editorial interns and editors from Campus Progresss network of student publications.
Contributing to planning and implementation of journalism events and conferences.

Requirements and qualifications:

At least one year professional journalism experience and/or journalism degree.
Bachelor’s degree.
Familiarity and/or experience with online journalism and the tools and programs used to produce it.
Writing and reporting experience.
Editing experience.
Strong organizational and management skills.
Exceptionally strong writing, research, and analytical skills.
Broad knowledge of politics, policy, and culture.
Proven ability to work on tight deadlines.
Commitment to the goals of Campus Progress.

To apply, simply e-mail your Word resume and cover letter attachments to:

Or you may write to:
Center for American Progress
1333 H Street, NW, 10th Floor Campus Progress Search
Washington, DC 20005

In your correspondence, please reference the exact title of the job you are applying for in the subject line. This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls please.

Please also send three to five published clips with your Word resume and reference where you located this job posting in your cover letter.

Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.

Thank you for your interest in American Progress.

About Our Company American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize our progressive agenda:
The Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name American Progress. The Center for American Progress is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a non-partisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees. American Progress provides a very competitive compensation and benefits package. American Progress is an equal opportunity employer.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to
For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to

*And to wrap up this week’s leads, the World Wildlife Fund in D.C. is looking for an editorial director and a manager of media relations:

Publication or Company World Wildlife Fund
Industry Non-profit, Public Relations
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location Washington, DC USA
Job Requirements World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the global conservation organization, seeks a Media Relations Manager to develop and execute strategic media and communications plans primarily supporting WWFs market transformation and corporate engagement programs.

A Bachelors degree or equivalent experience and knowledge of media relations and communications strategy are required. Eight years professional experience in public relations or journalism is also required. Candidates must also demonstrate skill in multi-tasking and relationship management as well as an ability to work as part of a high-level, multi-dimensional, international team.

AA/EOE Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. To apply, please visit Job #10063

About Our Company For more than 45 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The largest multinational conservation organization in the world, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.

Happy hunting and have a good, long (for many of us!) weekend! I’ll be back with you Monday.



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

How to get your resume in the right hands Strategies from the (job-search) front

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. j4p3methe  |  May 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Really proficient post. Theoretically I could write something like this too, but taking the time and effort to make a good article is a lot of effort…but what can I say….I’m a procrastinater. Good read though.


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