Veterans are in a unique position to leverage their military skills into higher paying civilian positions. The interviewing process can be overwhelming for recently separated veterans. Veterans have skills and discipline that their civilian counterparts lack. Utilizing these skills is important for securing a great salary. There are three tips that every veteran can use when negotiating a salary. First, research is incredibly important. A well-prepared applicant brings power to the negotiating table. Second, it is imperative to negotiate, even if the first offer sounds good. Thirdly, veterans need to sell their value to potential employers. Veterans have unique skills and abilities that make them valuable hires.
The most important tip for negotiating salaries is to research. This is especially true for veterans. Veterans have been out of the civilian job world for a while. It is important to get familiar with current industry standards. Bringing knowledge to the negotiating table is a powerful technique. Spend an hour researching current pay scales for the desired position. This is a good way to determine if a prospective employer is starting with a lowball offer. If the first offer is close to the industry standard, a modest counter offer may be suitable.
This research can be viewed as mission planning. The target objective is a desired salary. Planning for the mission ensures it goes off smoothly. This knowledge can also boost confidence during negotiations. Prospective employers will respect a well-informed candidate.
The second tip is to negotiate. This may seem obvious, but many job candidates leave money on the table. Accepting the first offer is often a mistake. Most hiring managers are willing to negotiate. Veterans have more to offer than traditional employees. Coming back with a counter offer is necessary. This tells prospective employers and hiring managers a few things. First, it shows that the candidate has confidence in his or her worth. Second, it shows that the candidate is unwilling to settle for something unsatisfactory.
Although the negotiation table can seem intimidating, it is nothing compared to the voice of a drill sergeant in basic training or boot camp. Veterans are physically and mentally tough. They can use that toughness to return a firm counter offer to a potential employer. If the task seems daunting, it can help to practice with a friend before the appointment or interview. It is important to get comfortable with the negotiation process. If the counter offer is rejected, one can ask about benefits that accompany the original offer. A great benefits package can often make a huge difference in one’s quality of life.
Sell Your Value
Finally, veterans need to sell their value to potential employers. It is crucial to let a prospective employer know about the talents, skills and discipline acquired during military service. Employers will respect veteran applicants for their service. This is an especially good tactic if the applicant is short on industry experience. Military service can go a long way at the negotiating table. An employer that hires a veteran knows he or she is getting a reliable, disciplined employee. It is not as much of a gamble as hiring an ordinary civilian.
This is a great time to highlight military achievements and training certificates. Remind the hiring manager or prospective employer that they are negotiating with a confident, sell-assured veteran. The hiring manager will appreciate a candidate that knows his or her worth. This is also a good time to call on strength and inner-fortitude. The negotiation table is not for the weak-hearted. When handled professionally and confidently, the desired salary can be achieved.
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James King is a retired veteran having served multiple tours of duty overseas. As a writer, he has contributed to The Top 10 Best Online Colleges for Military and G.I. Bill for soldiers who want to take advantage of online opportunities to educate themselves for a better career when they leave the military.