3 tips for negotiating the salary you deserve

Successfully negotiating a starting salary or for a raise comes down to being able to prove three things: your accomplishments, your achievements and your value.

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In a recovering economy and a tight IT talent market, candidates are finding they have more leverage when negotiating salary for a new position or angling for a raise. The key to managing this tricky, nerve-wracking process is to focus on your accomplishments, achievements and your overall value to the company -- and be able to quantify those.

Make lists

The first step is to track your accomplishments and achievements on a regular basis. This can be an informal achievements journal where you note the major projects and successes you've been involved in, or a more formal itemized spreadsheet or calendar that you're updating on a regular basis, says Elaine Varelas, managing partner, Keystone Associates.

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