How you discuss the subject of salary is just as important as how much money you ask for. Follow job seeker "Maureen" as she learns the ins and outs of salary negotiations with advice from careers expert Derrick Dortch.
The Exchange: Part 1
Don't just accept the first offer you receive: Negotiate!
Determine how much you are worth in terms of your education, experience and skills before discussing salary.
Find out the salary range for the position.
Decide on the minimum you will accept in terms of salary.
Don't be afraid to negotiate. An employer will not lose interest if you ask for more money.
The Exchange: Part 2
Show interest in the offer, ask for it in writing and take time to reflect on it.
Remember that your compensation package includes your salary and benefits -- and you can negotiate both.
Draft a negotiation letter with talking points. Send it to your prospective employer, then meet with them to discuss it.
The Exchange: Part 3
Suggest other options if they can't meet your terms.
Make sure you get everything in writing.
Don't be afraid to walk away if the employer won't meet your terms.
Remember: If you get the salary you want, you'll be a better employee.
EDITED BY: Amy Adkins- washingtonpost.com; AUDIO/ PRODUCED BY: Sakina Rangwala- washingtonpost.com; VOICES: Maureen McCarty, Andrea Browne, Delece Smith-Barrow and Graham Eng-Wilmot; ILLUSTRATIONS: iStockphoto