By Sunny Simon

  The job market is heating up. Are you thinking about launching a job search? If the answer is yes, do you really know what you’re worth? Salary research is vital. Having relevant compensation data helps you command the dollars you deserve. 

     Step one is determining the industry, type of position  and geographic area where you will direct your search.  Once you have sorted out those details, you can begin your homework and determine an accurate salary range.

     Various websites offer the information you need. You can begin with LinkedIn. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, create one immediately. LinkedIn is one of the most important tools for anyone conducting a job search. It is a vibrant networking community, a place where recruiters go to find talent. This website offers a premium service that you can try out free for 30 days. By using the salary data tools at the site, you can sort by job title, years of experience, industry and location. For some job titles, you can also find average bonus and stock option data.


     Another excellent source is which is powerful for a myriad of reasons. Not only will you find salary data, but also inside information on various companies. Click over to that site and plug in one of your target companies. A search will reveal  how they conduct interviews, what benefits are offered and reviews by employees who work there. While you’re gathering data, you might want to post your resume to the site and set up job alerts.

     Once you’ve done the research you’ll determine the fair market value for your skills and experience. The tricky part is managing the artful dance of selling the interviewer on your worth without tripping and falling right out of the running. Be confident when that dreaded salary question is asked. When pressed to give a number, talk about a range. For example, you can explain that upon reviewing multiple salary surveys you found the fair market value to be in a range of 70 – 85k.

     If you’ve successfully waltzed through the interview and are presented with an offer, consider it carefully. In some cases, the number is just a starting point and you can launch into a negotiation. Ready yourself for this segment of your job search by studying negotiation tactics.

     A final note. Don’t be caught off-guard. Get prepared. Time spent mapping out each segment of your job search, from creating a stellar resume to accepting an offer, will yield a successful result. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at