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Job search tips

Tips and best practices on applying for jobs.

7 Essential Salary Negotiation Tips to Get What you Want

By Job search tips, Jobseeker

This is a guest post by Tania Doshko 

In today’s fast-paced world, changing jobs is no longer perceived as a taboo and is more of a way to challenge yourself and get to a better place professionally and financially.

Negotiating salary may be intimidating, but it is definitely easier than you think. One can achieve great results by using the following salary negotiation tips to get what one deserves. Furthermore, salary negotiation is an essential step of the hiring process, equally important both for the employee and the employer.

This article will outline top tips that will come in handy if you’d like to negotiate the salary and get what you want.

Salary Negotiation Tip#1: Do Your Research

Before bringing up this topic, you definitely want to research the matters like salary DOE and the average salary for a particular position, qualifications, and location, whether it is a new job offer or a salary increase request. Studying the market will help you better understand what you are worth and what you can ask for from your employer.

It is also beneficial to research internal policies if you are interested in a pay rise. Knowing how much other people make, what role you have in the company or the given project, what value you bring, and what the pay range for your position is, you can better negotiate your points. However, don’t be afraid to walk away if the company considers you to be replaceable and doesn’t want to increase your pay.

Salary Negotiation Tip#2: Be ready to discuss more than money

It is not about the money. Sometimes due to the company’s structure or policies, employers can not offer you a higher salary. However, there are other benefits the company may give you.

For example, many crypto jobs offer their employees sports cards, flexible working hours, and remote work. Some sales jobs can provide a higher bonus or percent. Some other perks may include business trips if you are up for travelling, constant training, and educational opportunities. Other companies offer free meals and lots of activities for team building.

You may also ask for some additional vacation days per year.  Sometimes, the ability to work flexible hours from home, a sports card, and an extra day off may prove more beneficial than a few extra bucks. All these aspects should be considered when negotiating a compensation package.

Salary Negotiation Tip#3: Show what you have to offer

Your offer should always be backed up with the story behind it—clearly, state why you want that 20% salary raise or a certain monthly amount. It may be unclear to the employer if you don’t justify your demand.

Instead, carefully think through what you can offer for the benefit you are asking for.

  • First of all, your experience and qualifications are a great reason why you’re asking for a raise.
  • Secondly, your educational background, certificates, and extra education you have undergone in recent years.
  • Thirdly, what’s the market salary for your talent, you should at least strive to be matched with the market, if not more.
  • Fourthly, specific technical skills may add more attractiveness to your offer.

Salary Negotiation Tip#4: Prepare your point and rehearse your speech

When getting ready for the salary negotiation for a new job offer or a pay increase at your current job, prepare the answers to questions such as ‘why you feel worth this monetary compensation’ or ‘what will the company gain in return’.

It is a good idea to prepare information about your achievements and gains in the past years. It would be nice if you could turn it into figures. For example, how much your productivity increased, or your work influenced the ongoing projects, sales, or any rates applicable to your work.

Don’t be shy; rehearse your arguments and points alone and with your trusted friends. This way, you will be more confident and also you can anticipate questions that may come from the employer’s side which will be easier for you to convince them of your wants.

Negotiation Tip#5: Get the employer to do the most talking

If it is a new job offer, let the employer talk and tell you as much information as possible. Wait for them to outline the job description, and name the salary and benefits the company offers to their employees.

Don’t feel bound to break the silence. Let it stay for a while, as it may benefit you. The research made by MIT’s Sloan School of Management states that if participants hold silence for some time when negotiating, it helps them arrive at mutually beneficial results.

Consider the perspective the company is offering. Think through your career trajectory and ensure you pursue something that will eventually take you where you want to be.

Salary Negotiation Tip#6: Take your time to think it over

After the negotiations:

  1. Give yourself time to think about all the pros and cons.
  2. Let the offer sink in and see what it can bring you in perspective.
  3. Reach out to people to help you decide

You are in charge of the conversation. If you have to give an immediate answer, think about it for a couple of minutes. If the situation allows, take a day or two to be able to consider other options and make your final decision.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and talk about the salary structure at their company. It’s also beneficial to speak to somebody from your prospective company and discuss current policies and future raises opportunities. The most important thing is, don’t negotiate against yourself. Don’t discuss your salary history. It is usually irrelevant to the current or future job offer negotiation.

Salary Negotiation Tip#7: Be ready to walk away

Don’t negotiate just to negotiate. Stand your ground about something that is totally important. Fighting for something that is not really worth it may make employers feel uncomfortable. It can also limit your possibilities in future negotiations.

On the other hand, remember that if it’s not on the table today maybe it will be there later. However, be patient because it may change after some time, and the company will be willing to grant you what you want when they can.

If the company refuses something you really want, be ready to walk away. This readiness provides a great source of power. Employers feel that and, thus, negotiations go on in a different direction. In other words, have alternatives. Otherwise, employers feel that you are desperate to get the job. The worst thing that can happen is they will refuse you. That’s not the end of the world. If you know what you want, you can get that.


Negotiating salary is a vital step in the hiring process. It is not about money alone, but the above benefits and opportunities the company can offer in exchange for the employee’s skills, and qualifications. It’s an exchange. That’s why it is crucial to prepare for this talk and be ready to prove your worth.

However, don’t forget it’s not all about money. Sometimes, benefits, friendly colleagues, and a healthy environment at the workplace may be worth sacrificing a few dimes.


13 Ways to Beat (ATS) Applicant Tracking Systems

By Job search tips

In the modern job market, applicant tracking systems (ATS) have become an essential part of the hiring process. These systems help employers streamline recruitment by sorting through a large volume of resumes. That’s great for employers.

What about job seekers?

Learning to optimize your resume for ATS can significantly increase your chances of getting an interview.

How does ATS work?

When scanning a resume, ATS looks for basic information like contact details, job titles and education history. It also looks for keywords that come directly from the job posting. Resumes that show minimum qualifications for a role are sent to recruiters and hiring managers for the next step. Meanwhile, resumes that fall below the threshold simply get rejected.

What’s an ATS Resume? 

An ATS-friendly resume should be easy to read and understood by an ATS. It includes relevant keywords and phrases that are specific to the job opening. By writing your resume with the software in mind, you increase the likelihood of it being seen by a hiring manager.

Why optimize my resume for ATS?

97% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS for hiring. ATS screens your resume and stores it in a searchable format. Recruiters use ATS to search for potential candidates based on specific criteria, including keywords.

75% of job applications fail the ATS. Your resume will be disqualified if it lacks relevant keywords or is formatted poorly for the ATS.

That’s why it’s crucial to optimize your resume to the job description and use relevant keywords to increase your chances of making it through the initial screening. Here is how to convert your resume to an ATS-friendly format.

1- Pay Attention to Job Titles

Applicant tracking systems rely heavily on standardized job titles to categorize and compare candidates.

Use common job titles that closely match your roles and responsibilities to ensure your resume aligns with the ATS. This increases the likelihood of your resume being properly parsed and ranked by the system.

2- Tailor Your Resume for Each Application

One of the most crucial strategies to beat the ATS is tailoring your resume for each job application. ATS software is designed to scan resumes for specific keywords and phrases related to the job description. Speak the language of the industry. Familiarize yourself with relevant jargon and incorporate it judiciously into your resume.

Therefore, customizing your resume to align with the particular requirements of each position can increase the likelihood of your resume passing through the system and reaching the hands of the hiring manager.

3- Optimize Your Resume Format

ATS algorithms may struggle to read complex or highly stylized resume formats. A clean and simple format to improve your resume’s readability is the way to go! Stick to standard fonts and use a chronological order for your work experience. 

A straightforward format enhances the chances of the ATS accurately parsing your information. Here is an example of an ATS-friendly resume format.

4- Don’t use Headers or Footers

Leave your header and footer blank in your resume. An ATS may not recognize the content you place in your header and footer, so place your contact information and your name in the body of the page.

Bonus point: avoid ATS parsing errors, customize the file name and metadata by adding relevant keywords and your full name.

5- Use Relevant Keywords Strategically

Identify key terms and phrases in the job description and incorporate them strategically into your resume to reflect your skills, experience, and qualifications. Ensure your submission mirrors the job description’s grammar, punctuation, and language style and contains ‘enough’ keywords found in the posting. If effective, a human will see your application, so keep your keyword frequency reasonable and leave out those fluffy, cliché buzzwords.

Be genuine and avoid overloading your resume with keyword stuffing, which may lead to your application being rejected.

Spell out the acronym: ATS doesn’t recognize many acronyms, so using both text versions is crucial to ensure an ATS identifies your content.

Quantify Achievements: Numbers speak louder than words. Where possible, quantify your achievements. This not only grabs human attention but also registers positively with the ATS.

6- Format Dates Correctly

Most ATS accurately parse dates in the following formats: MM/YYYY (02/2024) or Month YYYY (Feb 2024). So, ensure that you use the correct date format.

ALSO READ: Develop a Winning Mindset for Your Job Hunt

7- Label Resume Sections with Headings

It is crucial to have clear and easy-to-navigate section headings on your resume. Similarly, recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds scanning a resume. It’s essential to avoid confusing them with unconventional headings.

Do: use straightforward labels like “Experience.” or “Education.”

Don’t: use vague headings like “Things I Am Proud Of” or “What Made Me Into Who I Am.”

8- Include a Skill Section

Create a dedicated skills section in your resume that highlights key competencies related to the job

The skills section should provide a snapshot of your qualifications and increase the chances of the ATS recognizing your skills.

Insert your hard skills on the first third of the first page – these should include functions, programs, fields, languages, and any other hard skills listed in your other headings.

Bonus tip: Swap out the career objective for a hard skills summary. 

9- Add Your Education Details

Ensure your education details align with the industry standards. Some ATS are programmed to recognize specific degrees or certifications.

10- Avoid Graphics and Symbols

While a visually appealing resume can positively impact human recruiters, ATS software may struggle to interpret complex graphics and symbols. 

To beat the system, keep your resume clean and simple by avoiding unnecessary graphics, diagrams, icons, symbols, or a picture of yourself that could potentially confuse the ATS algorithms.

11- Use a Traditional Font

To ensure that your resume is easy to read by Applicant Tracking System, it’s recommended to use a traditional font such as Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Garamond and Georgia. Some ATS may automatically change unfamiliar fonts, which can alter the design of your resume. 

While the font size doesn’t affect your resume’s readability, using a 10- or 12-point font is excellent for a more professional and readable look, especially when a recruiter reviews it.

12- Save Your Resume in ATS Compatible Format

For the best chance of your resume being read by an ATS, upload it in a widely accepted format such as a Word document ‘.doc or .docx’ or a plain text file ‘.txt’. Avoid using a .pdf version.

If you’re worried the formatting won’t transfer, convert your .doc into .txt to see how it looks before submission to minimize the risk of misinterpreting or rejecting your resume due to incompatible file formats.

13- Proofread for Accuracy

Errors in your resume, such as typos or formatting issues, can negatively impact your chances of passing through the algorithms. Before submitting your application, thoroughly proofread your resume to ensure accuracy. Correct any spelling or grammatical errors, and double-check that the formatting is consistent.

Bonus tip: use Grammarly for proofreading.

Successfully navigating the applicant tracking system requires a strategic approach that combines customization, optimization, and attention to detail. By tailoring your resume for each application, strategically incorporating relevant keywords, and optimizing your resume format, you can significantly improve your chances of beating the ATS and advancing to the next stage of the hiring process.


Best Times to Apply for Jobs

By Job search tips

Slow and steady doesn’t always the win the race.

If you see a job you’re interested in, apply quick. That doesn’t mean clicking ‘submit’ right away – it means not wasting time by waiting. If the job’s been posted for longer than four days, don’t wait any longer – apply ASAP! Make it a priority and schedule it in your calendar. If you wait, you’re wasting your time by applying later. Read More