Even if you don't feel comfortable negotiating your salary for a new job, it's something you definitely should do if you want to be paid what you're worth. Forbes recommends starting the salary discussions early so you can avoid lowball offers.
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According to the article, the best time to bring up compensation is after the first interview, when the recruiter or HR person calls you about coming in for the second one. The idea is to wait until you have a sense that you might like the job and the company is really interested in you, but save yourself the hassle of going to the second interview if they wouldn't meet your salary requirements.
On the phone, ask if it's a good time to check on the compensation. If the recruiter asks you what you were earning before, just state your target salary range. By bringing up the numbers early, you set the expectations. Forbes compares this to buying a house:
In a job search, you've got to price yourself like a house. Imagine going to look at a house for sale — you like the house, but there's no asking price. The owner is puttering in the garden when you visit, and you ask her, "What do you want for the house?"
She says "Make me an offer." You're going to make a lowball offer, of course — who wouldn't?
The homeowner hasn't given you any guidance, so naturally you're going to shoot low and only up the offer as you go.
A job search works the same way. If you don't tell your next boss what you think your talents are worth, s/he's going to offer you something on the low end of the organisation's scale. That isn't tacky or evil. If you have a salary target in mind, and I fervently hope you do, put it out there early in the process.
Hit up the article below for more advice on this tricky situation.
How to Negotiate a Job Offer [Forbes]