During a job search, especially while unemployed, it can be easy to feel as if the only thing that matters is landing a position at a great company. And while a job offer is technically the ultimate goal of a job search, it shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all of your future. In other words, there’s a lot to consider in conjunction with a job offer, so it’s wise to take some time to yourself before accepting.

One of the most important aspects of accepting or declining a job offer is the salary that comes along with it. And if the salary you’ve been offered isn’t what you think you deserve, you owe it to yourself to negotiate.

Consider this: studies have shown that individuals who fail to negotiate their salaries following a job offer can lose out on many thousands of dollars. But even if the stakes aren’t quite that high, no one wants to miss out on any portion of a potential salary!  While most job seekers tend to shy away from negotiation, the reality is that negotiating a higher salary could make a huge difference in your life, in and outside of work.

Different experts in the career advice category swear by their unique take on salary negotiation, but no one person’s method will work for everyone. Therefore, whether you’ve been offered a position or are still in the interview process, becoming acquainted with multiple approaches to negotiation will allow you to utilize what works for you in your own experience.

For example, one of the most common methods of salary negotiation is silence. Many experts insist that job seekers should not tell the company or hiring manager what salary they hope for. In other words, interviewees should let the company make the first move when it comes to numbers. But what happens if they straight up ask you what you require? Sometimes individuals respond with a vague statement, such as, “I will consider any reasonable offer.” Others choose to say that they would rather discuss the work than the compensation. When negotiating, it’s a good idea to tailor your response to your personality, but make sure not to come across as rude or unappreciative.

Additionally, after you’ve received an offer from a company, it’s important to respond with an educated rebuttal. This means looking online to find what salary others in the same position earn, as well as taking into consideration your past compensations and the value you will bring to the company. In other words, if you believe your marketing ideas can bring in $500k in profits, share that information with the hiring manager and use it as an explanation for the number you request – just make sure you’re always within reason.

While negotiating, it’s important to remain confident and persistent while always maintaining a professional level of respect. Also, don’t forget to take into consideration that other aspects of the position that are commonly negotiated, such as benefits or vacation days. Only you know what you need, so only you can ask for it!

The biggest piece of advice we can give about salary negotiation? Just do it! Blindly accepting a number without any thought can show the hiring manager that you may not value yourself highly, which means you probably won’t bring much to the company. Plus, by failing to negotiate you will undoubtedly be losing out on money that could have been yours.

That being said, don’t be afraid to walk away. While it’s always exciting to be offered a job, especially when facing financial difficulties, sometimes we have to turn down opportunities that won’t help us grow to our full potential.

Finally, whether you’re just starting out on your job search or you’re searching for that company with just the right offer, it’s a smart idea to download Rake to keep your efforts organized!

Here’s to finding the best fit – and the best salary!

Also published on Medium.